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Enjoy summer, but don’t forget to stick to an exercise plan

The long days of summer are almost here and you’re ready to spend time on the beach, on the water or by a pool with your family and friends.

As it warms up, it will be so tempting to skip your long run on the weekend or your favourite fitness class.

Don’t. Instead, find a way to a simplify your summer fitness plan even if that means you have to stray a little from your normal routine to avoid the summer slump. Just make sure you commit to healthy habits that truly matter.

Summer is special for all ages and meant to be enjoyed in every way including exercise. It isn’t about saying see you in September, to your commitment you worked at all year.

Exercise doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Use summer as a chance to evaluate your routine and commit to two or three habits that make you feel your best.

What makes you feel ready for the day?

Your first step is to determine what habits or activities make up the basis of your healthy and fit lifestyle; we all have the things we need to function at the level of health and happiness that we want. For example, I need to get out and move every day. I can be flexible in how I do this as long as I feel the way I want to feel. If running long distances during the summer months does not appeal to you, try to stick to a base mileage so you don’t destroy the progress you’ve made all year.

For those evenings when exercise isn’t possible, try and workout in the mornings. As well, stick to healthy habits such as a balanced breakfast, drinking plenty of water and having vegetables at every meal. With healthy habits in place, even if everything else falls away you’ll still be feeling fine.

How can you make the most out of your time?

Firstly, remember it’s about quality not quantity. If you do a short workout, make it intense. Or try to do a full body routine that might focus on just four or five multi-joint movements. The key is to have options. However, in order to make this work, to stay motivated and feel your best, you must get rest. Change up your normal bedtime routine. Pack away your phone a little bit earlier and ensure you get adequate rest to succeed with your summer plan.

What do you need to do to get your mind in gear?

Every time you skip a workout I’m sure you feel a twinge of guilt. Do everything you can to stick to them. Schedule them at the most convenient time – and lock that time off. And if, for some reason, you still don’t make it, get out. Go for a walk. You are still moving and that is the goal.

Let this mentality transfer to your eating habits as well. If you feel guilty every time you have a piece of chocolate cake or pizza, stop. It’s more about recognising what we eat and how it affects our bodies. If you eat that chocolate cake with intention, you’ll most likely be just fine. You don’t have to do extra burpees or workout more to pay for it. If, however, you eat the entire cake while mindlessly watching Netflix, then you will most likely feel uncomfortable when you’re done and perhaps for a while after. Even then, you don’t have to punish yourself. It just means you were disconnected from your food and your actions. You can trust your body if you allow your mind to be in tune as well.

Keep all this in mind and plan a summer strategy around your healthy habits. When summer winds down, you can start increasing your mileage or workout time and adding other exercise back in.

Healthy living should be manageable and free of guilt. It should be based on a commitment to do a few small things consistently, not a rotating cycle of jump-starts and hard stops. The mental work may be more challenging than showing up at 6am to that spinning class, but you’ll find the rewards much more satisfying for your overall health and wellbeing.

Build your summer habits now and B-Active For Life.

Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Look for B. ActiveForLife on Facebook

Betty Doyling recommends that everyone get out and enjoy summer and all it brings but also make the time to exercise (File photograph)

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Published April 28, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated April 26, 2021 at 9:53 pm)

Enjoy summer, but don’t forget to stick to an exercise plan

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