With the beginning of summer finally here, I find myself pushing a little bit harder in the fitness and nutrition departments. Of course, because we always seem to encounter messages when we need them, I also recently came across a meme that referred to "getting beach body-ready" that read "Have a body. Go to the beach." This resonated with me so much because we don’t have to be in any specific "shape" to enjoy all of the joy that the beach has to offer. Just put on your swimsuit and go! With that said, we can still challenge ourselves to stay on top of our fitness routine without making it feel so HARD.
Just as we can choose to free ourselves from needing to look a certain way, we can also choose to take the pressure off our workouts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for stepping outside my comfort zone and pushing myself, but when someone tells me to do 100 burpees, I feel like running for the hills and never returning!
When summer days already feel so go-go-go, life can feel obligatory, restrictive and all around, no fun! The secret here is to incorporate more of a flow and play into our fitness routine which will naturally keep us coming back for more! Consistency is so key in feeling and looking our best so let’s make our workouts fun and maintainable!
Here are some of my favorite ways:
Take your workouts outside into the fresh air - no gym required! Grab some dumbbells and a mat for at home and simply get moving. I love using compound strength training movements like the squat and shoulder press or lunges and bicep curls. Using multiple muscle groups at the same time gives you the best bang for your buck in both muscle building and fat burning.
Tip: Using multiple muscle groups at the same time gives you the best bang for your buck in both the muscle building and fat burning department!
Play like a kid again
One of the greatest gifts that my daughters have given me is the constant reminder to infuse more fun and play into my life. We all need more fun! Try a handstand, play on the monkey bars, do cartwheels on the beach, jump rope, get on your bike. Do more of what brings out the child inside you! If you have kids, get them involved – they love it!
Play your favorite tunes
It’s amazing how much energy a good beat can create. Put together a playlist of your favorites and if you don’t feel like doing a structured workout then just crank the music and dance. There's actually a lot of benefits that come along with working out to music, including a decreased perception of effort, enhanced endurance and it's said that it can even mask some of the pain associated with physical activity. Yup, music is that magical!
More and more research is showing the benefits of shorter high-intensity bursts of exercise. Doing 30 seconds of something that really gets your heart rate up followed by a recovery period of 30 seconds to a minute allows workouts to be short and efficient. An example would be to skip hard for 30 – 60 seconds and then skip in a more relaxed manner for a minute. Another would be to do pushups or squats for 30 – 60 seconds and then plank for a minute. I always find that little bite sized intervals are less daunting than a marathon sweat session too!
Join a group class
We spend so much time being digitally connected as a way of feeling more "connected" but end up so disconnected as a result. Connecting with others in person makes life and workouts so much more fun and interesting. Whether it's a group class at a gym, outdoor boot camp, yoga class or even meeting up with a friend to workout on a consistent basis will keep you accountable to show up. It also makes the entire experience way more enjoyable knowing you are working together with others to reach your health goals ... and that you have someone to endure the pain with, of course - haha!
What's one of your favourite ways to stay active during the Summer?