As the sunny, warm, summer days approach, it's easy to become complacent with your health and fitness goals. Deciding that where you are at is “good enough” and that summer is already here anyway, right? It’s easy to forgo healthy, nutritious meals for fat and calorie-laden barbecues. Attending poolside parties, and the “dog days of summer” can take a toll on your overall energy and motivation as well.
It’s important to remember though, that summer is actually just a few short months, and creating a consistent, healthy, metabolic internal environment while maintaining your conditioning and overall health and physique year-round will make those summer months much more peaceful and enjoyable! Make June the new January!!
Focusing on some simple, summer tips and tricks will allow you to stay fit and lean while also still enjoying beautiful days by the pool and pleasant evenings at the backyard barbecue.
Interval training is a great way to increase your overall caloric expenditure during and after your workout. A unique concept known as EPOC, or Excess Post Oxygen Consumption is a key player with this type of training. Essentially, your body works hard during the 24-48 hours after an intense workout to repair, recover, and replenish the oxygen debt lost during training. Outside of the calories burned during this type of workout, your body’s metabolism will continue to stay elevated during this recovery time period, burning additional calories while you rest! Yes please! This type of workout also will allow you to decrease the overall volume (or time working) giving you more time to get out and enjoy your day!
You may want to consider getting up and getting your sweat session done early in the morning to avoid the hot, humid, summer temperatures which can affect performance, leave you susceptible to dehydration, and decrease overall performance. Get creative and switch up your plan every now and then; this may mean enjoying a refreshing pool workout or going for a breezy bike ride in the early AM.
A recent German study indicated that a pre-workout cool shower improved overall performance in heat due to the cool water aiding in decreasing heart rate, and both core and skin temperature. A simple trick to utilize if you feel your performance is dwindling in the summer heat is to apply a cool pack or towel to your head or neck for a few minutes.
You don’t have to miss out on social situations and backyard barbecue fun just because you are concerned about your nutrition. Making simple swaps, such as enjoying fruit as opposed to heavy, calorie-dense sides is a great switch, as fruit is loaded with water, lots of micronutrients and is a refreshing treat during warm, summer evenings. You may also want to consider swapping your burger bun with a lettuce bun, and keeping condiments to a minimum by loading your burger up with crispy lettuce, juicy tomatoes and crispy onions. Sweet potato “fries” are a great alternative to regular fries and onion rings, and you can make your own honey mustard for grilled chicken by simply combing agave syrup or a bit of organic honey with mustard, which is extremely low calorie and will give your protein a pop!
Keep your motivation high and give yourself a nice treat for keeping up with your fitness and healthy lifestyle choices during the lazy months of summer by picking up a sleeveless, flowy, summer dress to show off your shapely arms and shoulders, a cute pair of cutoffs that showcase your great legs, or even a bright, cheery, new fitness sports bra top or legging. These will make you feel beautiful, will show off your hard work, and won’t tack on the pounds!
Other activities that will allow you to enjoy the summer sunshine and get your healthy dose of Vitamin D while still burning a bunch of calories include washing your car, gardening, walking the dog/hiking, and doing basic yard work just to name a few.
Enjoy your body Beauties!!
Yours in Health and Fitness,