Once upon a time, someone somewhere decided that summer was the season to be in your best shape ever. We’re here to tell you that you build results over time...and if you haven’t reached your goals by this summer, that’s okay.
If you feel like you need to move towards a healthier lifestyle—or you’ve been trying to but are still in the throes of your fitness journey—we’re happy to report that you can still keep yourself on track and have fun this summer. Here’s how.
Shedding Pounds...The Fun Way
Being strict and unforgiving is for the winter. It’s summer now—we’re getting enough vitamin D, the air is warm, the kids are out of school, and vacation and beach days await. You’re going to be at parties—Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, vacation, birthdays, grad parties, you name it. And you’re probably going to be around a lot of alcohol. What’s a person on their fitness journey to do?
Add In a Cheat Day
How far you are into your fitness journey will determine how often you should work a cheat day into your schedule. But add one in. Studies have shown that cheat days can actually help you lose weight, and that’s because each week (or every other week, or month), they give you a light at the end of the tunnel. They’re also a reminder: your weight loss diet shouldn’t be treated like shackles or a punishment. Food is fuel. And when you allow yourself to eat it, you soften cravings. It’s summertime for goodness sake—add the dressing to your salad and eat the pulled pork at the barbecue.
Take It Outside
We’re obviously big proponents of stepping into a gym and dedicating an allotted amount of time to just you and your goals. But summer is the perfect opportunity to make the natural world your playground, too. Kayaking can tone your arms; hiking will strengthen your legs; paddle boarding will harden your core; biking will target your lower body; swimming will get your blood flowing. Work the outdoors into your workout time—exercising outside is a major mental health boost and it’s fun for the entire family or friend group.
Add Seasonal Foods to Your Diet
Summer: the season of produce! Fruit and vegetables are overcrowding your local farmer’s market or farm stand: go buy some. Fresh fruit and veggies are good for your brain. They provide healthy doses of fiber for your digestive system and help you feel fuller longer. And local produce is just as good for the environment as it is for you. Plus, who can say no to a fresh fruit salad?
Start a Challenge with a Friend
We're proponents of a workout challenge, not a diet challenge. Lots of the diet challenges you see are actually yo-yo diets, which won't cure cravings or help you in the long run. What will help you is a workout challenge—so grab a friend, find one that aligns with your personal goals, and get sweaty. Workout buddies are proven to help you stay on track, and a 12-week workout plan will help you have a goal at the end of the summer to work towards.
Summer Weight Loss Tips from Our Trainers
There are a few workout best practices you should follow this summer to get the best results. Here are a few of them.
- Weight Train
- To see results of any kind, you need to add resistance. Weight training helps you target the places where you want to see change, adds healthy mass over time, and helps you burn fat. Combining weight training with cardio will help you see results faster. So once you’re done at the gym, head out for a hike with the fam.
- Switch It Up
- If you’re doing the same routine, the same resistance, or the same machines over and over, your body will plateau. Every week or so, make sure you’re switching it up. That could be as simple as having dedicated days for arms, legs, back, etc. Or it could mean you run the same full body routine for a week and then switch up weight, resistance, and machines the following one.
- Make a Vacation Plan
- It’s so easy to let yourself go for an entire vacation. But when you’re done with your two weeks off and back to reality, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things. Worse, you begin to lose your fitness after even a few days of not training. Yikes! So, before you go on vacation, make a tentative plan. Set alarms on your phone to remind you to work out that day. Work in the “fun” workouts we talked about earlier. And eat dessert...but not every day.
Bonus: Your Summer Body Tone Up Plan
Need a plan to keep you on track? Here’s one of our favorite routines to get you toned this summer.
Pro tip: To really enhance the benefits of your workout, add 30 seconds of cardio in between your sets.10 Dumbbell Squats to Overhead Press: 3 Sets
- Begin with arms raised and bent at the elbows in front of your chest. Lower into a squat position, being mindful to keep weight in your heels and core engaged. When pushing out of your squat, immediately push arms up into a dumbbell press. Keep this as one fluid motion, using your legs to power your press and engaging your full body.
10 Kettlebell Swings: 3 Sets
- Start standing with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Holding the kettle bell with both hands, swing it up to be parallel with the floor. In one fluid motion as the kettle bell swings down naturally, let it swing between your knees as you squat, keeping your chest up. Swing it back up. That's one rep.
10 Kettlebell Front Squats: 3 Sets
- Holding the kettlebell with both hands, squat down. Be mindful of keeping your chest up and putting weight on your heels. Push back up. That's one rep.
10 Barbell Curl to Press: 3 Sets
- Begin with the barbell down by your thighs, elbows tucked. Curl the barbell up, and instead of stopping when you've curled it to a ninety degree angle, continue the movement upwards and press until your arms are straight. Bring the barbell down and curl down. That's one rep.
Finish off your weight-training segment with 3 sets of alternating plyometric jump squats and pushups.
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