Summery days have a way of inspiring you to get active so it's time to shrug off the cosy layers of winter and embrace bright, early mornings, warm evenings, and plenty of time outdoors. It's also the perfect chance to refresh your fitness routine and design a new workout plan that you'll be excited to stick to.
Where should I start? To make any lifestyle changes, thinking through what you really want to achieve and what you can realistically commit to is essential.
For the best results, take some time to consider the following questions:
What are your fitness goals?
Do you want to improve your fitness, lose weight, gain muscle, or socialise more? Defining why you’re exercising will help you choose what kind of activity is right for your health goals and lifestyle needs.
How much time do you have, and when?
If you have a busy schedule, an hour a day may be hard to maintain. Exercise should reduce stress, not add to it – so choose a routine that fits your lifestyle. Consider incorporating exercise with something that you need to do throughout the day, such as walking to the supermarket instead of driving, or taking your dog for an extra walk. If you have kids, plan family time and holidays around physical activity such as swimming or hiking.
What does your body need?
Think about what you do all day, and what your body needs to complement that. For example, if you work indoors, choose an outdoor activity. If you’re sitting all day working from home or in the office, exercise that includes stretches such as yoga or Pilates could be beneficial. If you’re constantly on your feet during work, try something that uses different muscle groups to your job including lifting light weights or strength training.
What do you really enjoy?
If you hate running, resolving to run every day probably isn't going to go too well. If you choose something you enjoy, you're more likely to stay motivated and committed. If you’re an introvert, consider solo activities like cycling or yoga. If you crave interaction, a training buddy or group fitness classes might be right for you.
Summer fitness ideas
Getting clear on your goals and how your new fitness routine could best work into your lifestyle should help guide your plan. Then the fun really starts. Here are a handful of ideas to get the inspiration flowing.
1. Take it outside
Morning sunshine, warm weather and longer days create the perfect conditions to get some vitamin D with your workout. Mix up your gym session with outdoor runs and ocean swims, or take an evening walk to reflect on your day.
2. Walk your dog (or someone else’s!)
Pets can be excellent furry exercise buddies. Check out your local council website for off-lead parks, beaches, and walking trails.
3. Create a fitness calendar
Blocking out dedicated fitness time in your diary is a great way to ensure life doesn’t get in the way of your exercise plans.
4. Grab a buddy
Being accountable to someone for your exercise goals has been proven to help you stay on track. Involve a family member or friend in your fitness activities, or team up with a personal trainer.
5. Embrace incidental exercise
Not all workouts have to make you sweat. Making small choices throughout the day can add up to big results. Work your legs and stomach by standing rather than sitting in a waiting room, tone your thighs by walking up the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, or get a gentle core workout by giving up your seat on public transport.
6. Go on a wellness retreat
Sometimes we just can’t make time for regular exercise. Getting away for a few days can help you reconnect with yourself and get some exercise in an idyllic setting. Yoga and meditation retreats are a great option for a physical and mental reboot.