Alas, summer has arrived in New England! This beautiful season is short-lived, and we are with the task of soaking up long beach days, taste-testing all the rose, and ensuring the kids make some epic memories. It’s no wonder we tend to shelve our fitness routine for the next 8-weeks. Besides, carrying coolers on sand qualifies as fitness.
While I fully support living it up, I also believe there is a way we can do it without completely ghosting on our fitness routine. The idea that we can maintain our normal routine when our summer routine is anything but normal, is straight crazy talk. This perspective is what typically sets us up to fail. We try to do it all, and when we can’t uphold a standard, we abandon it altogether. But, if you can allow yourself to be realistic and flexible, then you can indeed find a way to balance all the fun and at least some fitness this summer. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Lay of the goals.
Ok, maybe not life goals, but the summer may not be the best time to push intensity or set a new performance goal, especially if your schedule is doing a complete 180 from the norm. A major trend in fitness is measuring workouts to drive motivation. Heart rate, row pace, steps, strength, intensity, you name it; we measure it. While this is undoubtedly a great way to track progress and keep clients motivated, it can also do the exact opposite. Feeling the need to perform at 100% every single time you exercise can deplete your motivation when you fall short. We end up comparing ourselves to past performance vs. leaving the hour feeling good from what you accomplished in the present. Jenny said it best in her recent CK article when she said, “we can’t expect ourselves to be at peak fitness 365 days a year.” Take some pressure off performance and be proud of yourself for showing up! Try not to take away from your efforts now, as the present is what matters the most!
Buy-back some time.
Time is incredibly valuable and often, worth buying back! Bringing on a house cleaner, getting your groceries delivered, or hiring a meal delivery service for the summer will give you back a few hours per week that you can dedicate to your family and fitness routine. Something to think about even if it is temporary for the summer! If you’re spending a college salary on summer camps, there are other ways you can “buy” back time at zero cost. Think about blocking phone apps, less TV time, or waking up an hour early to get to a morning class.
Focus on non-event days.
It’s no wonder we are overwhelmed with the calendar when a typical weekend includes three lacrosse games, two birthday parties, and a fundraiser. Instead of focusing on your commitments, start to focus on the days that you do not have events going on. When you look at these days, you will realize there are more of them than you think, and they will begin to feel abundant vs. nonexistent! These are the days you can focus on winning with your routine. Get in an early workout or take time to prepare some healthy snacks for those busy days!
Commit to a routine.
It may sound crazy to commit to anything when you have a hectic schedule. But often, when we are the most unmotivated and busy, committing to something is exactly what we need to stay accountable! Commit to a home routine, buddy-up with a neighbor for a run, hire a trainer, or attend classes you need to schedule in advance. We all vary in the level of accountability we need, so find what works for you and don’t be afraid to mix it up!
Don’t sweat doing less.
Taking a week or two off from fitness is perfectly OK! It’s when that vacation turns into an 8-month sabbatical. Often, we beat ourselves up for taking time off or working out fewer days than usual. The conversation grows in our head, “why did I take the week off?” or “I should have made it to the gym more.” This mental talk has a negative impact and often ends up leaving us out of the game longer. Try to drop this conversation the second it creeps into your head. Give yourself permission to take a guilt-free, no-fitness vacation, or simply do a little less than usual. If you work out regularly 50 weeks out of the year, you’re looking at an impressive track record. Consistency is more important than perfection!
Kerrie Gotell is the Founder of KFIT Body, an all-women’s fitness and nutrition studio located in Hingham, offering a customized approach to wellness. KFIT caters to women looking for increased accountability to attain personal goals, including improved energy, moods, fitness level, body composition, and nutrition knowledge. Their mission is to help women discover their strength in the gym as well as in life.