How to Maintain your Summer Body through the Silly Season
So summer is here which means swimsuits, beach hangs and time to show off your ripped summer body! Or perhaps your “shred for summer” plan went slightly off track and you’re not quite there yet. The desire to look fit for summer is a goal many people plan to achieve, but it is often the case that summer rocks around every year and we just aren’t quite ready. Don’t worry! We have set out below a few tips and tricks to keep you on track with your fitness over the summer months, so that stay on track over the summer party season!
Set realistic goals
With summer already here, so too is the desire to achieve a “quick-fix” in terms of weight loss and fitness, but avoid the desire to cut calories intensely or to over-exercise – both techniques will stall improvements in your fitness or progress with your weight loss goals.
Goals need to be specific and focussed. You need to set yourself a goal that can be measured, so that you can be proud of yourself when you move closer to achieving it. If you’re goal is weight loss, it is a great idea to start with a body composition scan, or a body fat percentage assessment, as weighing yourself on the scales is not necessarily a healthy measure of improvement. This is because as you get stronger, muscle generally replaces fat within your body, but the number on the scales will not change. Taking a photo at the start of your health journey, and again 12 weeks later, is a great way to see motivating change in your body as your fitness improves.
The most effect way to approach your summer body goals is to set motivating physical targets, for example, to be able to do 10 chin ups by the end of summer or to run 10km. Setting performance-based goals is motivating and uplifting, and is a way to measure the success of your hard work without focussing purely on the number on the scales.
Be consistent in your workouts.
They say it takes 21 days to build a new habit. Getting into the habit of moving everyday will not be easy at first, but a few weeks in, you will find yourself going stir crazy if you miss a workout! The best way to approach a new health program or fitness goal is to schedule in your workouts each week and give each session a different focus, for example training a different muscle group to the point of fatigue in each training session. Although there may be a lot of social events filling up your calendar over the coming months, stick to your training routine. This is easier in summer as the sun is up nice and early so you can get started with your training first thing! Scheduling your workouts and having a consistent routine also minimises some of the stress surrounding the silly season and is better for your overall wellbeing.
Tips to keep your workout routine consistent over summer:
Do short and intense sessions – focus on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for a short and solid cardio and strength blast – just 20 minutes at high intensity will blast fat and build strength.
Rise and shine – get up bright and early and get your session in before the day begins – the sun is up early in summer so you can be too!
Track your progress – the more you recognise and acknowledge improvements in your fitness and physique, the more likely you are to feel motivated and keep going, so ensure you are tracking and recognising your progress!
Rest – don’t forget to factor in a rest day or two each week to ensure you don’t fatigue, burnout, and give up on your routine all together.
Eat with your goals in mind
There are so many parties, drinks and social events on during summer and you are inevitably going to eat and drink things that are not in keeping with your normal routine. It is important to try and minimise the impact of these events by staying on track otherwise. The best way of doing this is through planning and preparation. If you know you have a huge weekend of social commitments, try and keep your weekly routine leading up to it healthy, and prepare your meals at home to ensure you are fuelling your body with enough nutrients.
It is also a great time of year to consume a wide variety of fresh fruit and produce as lots of delicious fruits and veggies come into season in summer! A great way to consume lots of healthy vitamins is to make up juices or smoothies full of healthy fats, fruit and vegetables!
If you do go hard on the food at Christmas, don’t beat yourself up about it, your progress won’t be thrown out the window from one meal. You can also experiment with intermittent fasting after a huge feast, allowing your body time to digest and recover from a large meal by waiting up to 16 to 24 hours before eating again. This will give you more energy and prevent you from hitting calorie-overload after every Christmas party.
Embrace the Outdoors
Summer is the perfect time of year to increase your incidental exercise as the warm weather brings with it many outdoor activities like swimming, surfing , kayaking, beach volleyball, beach cricket, any sport on the beach really. You can also use this time of year to take your workout outdoors, all you need are a few pieces of equipment and some clear weather and you will be dripping with summer sweat in no time!
Being out in nature makes any activity more exhilarating, and fresh air is great for your health. Check out Flex’s summer specials for some great pieces of equipment you can take outdoors for an intense workout! Grab a skipping rope and smash out some cardio intervals, some dumb bells to load your HIIT session, and a kettle bell or two to work your upper and lower body.
The summer heat means we are more likely to become dehydrated. When the body is dehydrated, it will not work as effectively meaning the efforts of your workouts and healthy eating can be hindered as your body will hold on to water weight! The other risk of dehydration is that your body can misread being dehydrated for being hungry, leading to overeating. Particularly after a workout, try and drink as much water as you can and continue to sip throughout the day to avoid bloating, headaches or fatigue from dehydration. This will help you look and feel your best over the warmer months and besides, going to the bathroom every hour is a great way to increase your daily incidental exercise!
Enjoy your Summer
Don’t forget – it is the holiday season for a reason! It is time for you to enjoy yourself, congratulate yourself for working so hard throughout the year and to catch up with friends and family. It is ok to have a few drinks, eat dessert and take a couple of sleep ins – these things are good for you too because they allow you to enjoy yourself, relax and de-stress!
Rest, balance and relaxation are just as important to a healthy body as consistent exercise and healthy eating are.Working towards a fitness goal is a continuous journey and leading a healthy and active lifestyle should become a daily habit, not just a seasonal approach.
Get outdoors, enjoy the warm weather and have a great time so that when January comes around you are ready to smash out another year, focussed, energised and ready to take on whatever challenges you have set for yourself!