Hooray! The sun is shining! If you are like me and live in a city where many months are cold and snowy you definitely want to spend every second of summer soaking up the sun. Patios, beach days, long walks, BBQs… the list goes on. This can make staying active and eating well over the summer somewhat of a tricky balance.
Personally I found myself stumbling through this a couple years back. For many years I spent my summers in competition prep. This means I was living the brown rice and chicken breast life with little room for fun foods like ice cream (my all time fave!) and patio bevies. During this time, I was hyper focused on my figure competition. The thing about competing is it involves a lot of sacrifice, including food. When I decide to compete I accept this and find the best balance that I can. There may be an occasional treat meal here and there, but overall I was not spending my summers enjoying patio cocktails.
Then everything changed. About two years ago I competed in May and decided to take the summer off of prep life. Beyond deciding not to compete I didn’t really think of what this would mean for me nutritionally. It took me a long time to realize why I was experiencing so much stress and anxiety over friends inviting me out for patio drinks when I hadn’t yet trained that day. I felt like I was choosing between getting my workout in and spending time out in the sun. It took a little bit of time but I finally figured out a system that works for me. Here are the tips and tricks I use to stay on track with my fitness and nutrition goals all summer long.
- Include A Friend
In the summer months it’s super easy to become distracted with everything other than working out. The first way that we can stay motivated and
consistent is finding a training partner or a group of people to exercise with. When you share a workout goal with someone you are more likely to complete that workout. Simply put when you’ve made an appointment with a friend or a group of people you are less likely to skip out for something else. Click to find out about Women & Weights Small Group Training and Buddy training sessions.
- The Early Bird Gets The Gains
My next tip is to get your workout in before noon. Why? Let’s just think about what a summer day is typically like. Maybe you have a lunch date that turns into a walk at the park, then a stop for ice cream, a friend texts and wants to meet for drinks… You see where I’m going. The day can easily trickle into a whole bunch of other things. This is super fun, but problematic if you have planned to exercise later that day. With each new activity you say yes to, it becomes less likely you will get yourself into gym clothes and go to the gym to work out. But if you complete your workout before noon or better yet first thing in the morning, the rest of the day is yours to play. Guilt free!
- Make A Workout Schedule
Pick the number of days you want to exercise and which days of the week you will work out. This should be based on what you have going on your social life. The important thing here is to be realistic. It is the only way this tip will work. Look at what is keeping you busy with school, work, kids, vacation etc and plan around all of it. Keep in mind your workout days do not have to be the same days every week. Move them around all summer based on what you have going on.
- Maintain A Regular Nutrition Plan & Balance Your Treat Meals
Summer can provide a lot of opportunities for spontaneous indulgence. This makes it important to continue to feed your body good nutrition. Balance out your main meals and be prepared with healthy snacks for throughout the day. Have breakfast every morning and include a portion of protein like a poached egg, nut butter or Greek yogurt. Choose whole grains like brown rice, sweet potato and steel cut oats, and pick lean protein such as chicken and fish. Finally go for lots of vegetables and fruit. Looking ahead to the week can help balance meals eaten away from home and your nutrition plan. If you know you are going to a patio for after work cocktails with coworkers on Tuesday and a family brunch on Sunday, then the rest of the week should have a bit more structure. The main thing is to plan ahead!
- Stay Hydrated!
Beer doesn’t count! Water is the best option as the temperature rises. Heat stroke and dehydration are very real possibilities if water intake is neglected. Water also helps promote good digestion.
Following the tips I have listed above can help you maintain your fitness and nutrition goals all summer long. It also helps to prevent the ‘restart’ once summer is over. When we are always restarting, we find ourselves coming back to the same goal over and over again. If you could master your summer nutrition and fitness goals, what would you new goal for the fall be? Comment below, I want to know!
Until Next Time… In Good HEALth,
Images by Bree Ann Merritt Photography