I feel like I write about this every summer (which I usually do) but I thought you could use a reminder on how to make sure you do not pack on those awful, unwanted summer pounds. With the days getting hotter and the nights staying brighter, it is so easy to swap a workout for a patio session with friends. As fun as that sounds at the time (trust me – I am with you in choosing lazy patio nights over hot and sweaty workouts) your fall wardrobe will thank you if you follow these few simple suggestions.
Get your workout done early. If you are used to after work sessions but find they are being spent watching sunsets alongside a charcuterie plate, set your alarm an hour early and get sweaty before your day starts. With the sun rising at 5am, it is easy to get outside for a quick walk or run and follow that up with 20 minutes of circuit style strength training. Download your favourite workout app onto your phone and after you finish your cardio go through a quick 15 minute blast. You are going to beat the heat and you won’t feel as guilty when you pour your second cocktail later that night.
Make your workouts social and outdoors. If you prefer a lazy Sunday morning brunch, try opting for a morning hike followed by a picnic. Get a group of friends together and each of you bring something to munch on half way through your hike. Make it a day at the park, or beach, where you spend time playing Frisbee, volleyball, soccer or any other sport you used to play as a kid, rather than lying on a towel soaking up the rays. Grab some friends and head out to a neighbourhood tennis court and have a mini tournament or hire a yoga teacher to run you through an outdoor, sunrise yoga class. Check out your local outdoor pool and swim a few laps in between your weekly gossip catch ups. You can still have fun with your friends without having it centered on summer snacks and drinks.
Try something new. You almost can’t go anywhere near water without seeing paddle boards or kayaks for rent these days. Take a lesson or two and then make a goal of getting out once a week on the water. You won’t need to do another sit up with how intense these activities work your core. Or maybe you are a little more adventurous and want to try sail boarding or kite surfing. Nothing makes you feel young like playing in the water. Search out a new hike, cycle in an area of your city you’ve never explored or go for a run in a different neighbourhood.
Find a set of stairs. Stairs are everywhere and they are such a great way to get in a quick and intense workout. The city I live in is loaded with stairs: at beaches, up mountains, beside stadiums and in parks. Set a goal of how many sets you are going to complete and then each time you do it try and beat your last attempt.
Do yard work. And if you don’t have a yard, then go help someone else do theirs. Mowing, raking and planting all burn mega calories and build muscle mass. I’m a huge fan of helping with manual labour at the family cabin – hauling wood kept my grandpa in shape for 90 years!
Bring your workout gear on vacation. When I go on vacation I love to lie around and do nothing. I read, I sleep and I enjoy a cocktail or two with friends. But, I ALWAYS get in my workouts as soon as I get up. Some mornings it is a run, sometimes a hike and sometimes I just get down and do squats, lunges and push ups. Either way, I am much happier when it is done and I can enjoy my lazy days guilt free.
Life is too short to not enjoy summer weather and all the patios and barbeques that go along with it but balance is key. It is ok to skip your workout once in a while, but if it becomes a habit, take some time to figure out what you need to change to make sure you are not out shopping for a new fall wardrobe.
Attached - Sam Heughan leaving the gym the other day in New York.