Happy June everybody! In the Northern Hemisphere this means that bikini season is on the brink of being in full swing and this is often accompanied by a sense of panic. Am I fit enough? How am I going to be able to fit in my fitness routine with a summer full of camping, festivals and beach days? Moving your body is essential to your physical fitness both in terms of how you look AND how you feel. It is paramount for the overall heath and functionality of your entire being and is absolutely necessary for healthy mental fitness too! If you want to look good and feel good it is essential that you prioritize fitness and here are ten tips to make that happen!
- Schedule It
Treat your personal fitness as if it is as essential as eating, sleeping and going to work. Make it a non-negotiable. One of the best ways to do this is to schedule it into your week. On Sunday evening, or a time that works best for you, open your planner or calendar and schedule exercise time. Block it out as if it is an appointment with a rough cancellation policy. If you start your week with a clear vision of how your fitness is going to fit amonst your other responsibilities you will be better prepared and can plan your other social ventures around it.
- Food is Fuel
While we are strengthening our planning game let’s look at food. What we eat and HOW we eat greatly affects how our body feels, moves and recovers. Food is fuel and if we fail to fuel properly our energy levels falter, our exercise may be less effective and our recovery time will be greater. When you are finished scheduling your non-negotiables into your calendar take stock of how you will need to fuel to be operating optimally. Aim to eat larger meals at least 2 hours before a workout and/or a snack no more than 20 minutes before you start to move so your body isn’t trying to digest and exercise at the same time. Also remember that your workout isn’t over until you eat. Have a snack ready that ideally has a ratio of at about 3:1 carbohydrates to protein within 20 minutes of exercise to minimize recovery time, and eat a proper meal within 2 hours.
- Remove Obstacles
When we wake up in the morning feeling groggy it is way too easy to hit snooze and skip yoga class. However you are much less likely to pull the sheets back over your head if you’ve got your clothes waiting and ready next to the bed and your yoga mat and water bottle by the door. Identify your own areas of resistance and strategically plan around them when you are feeling more motivated.
Thinking of joining a gym? Join the one in the same building as your job, or a few blocks from home, not the one across the city that takes 20 minutes to drive to in good traffic. Want to start running? Look for trails or routes that take you door to door. Look for the path of least resistance to optimize your likelihood of keeping your commitment to yourself.
- The Buddy System
It has been time tested and proven that having a buddy helps keep both parties on track. We are much less likely to flake on a homie than we are on ourselves and it’s nice to be relied upon by someone else. It’s also a great way to combine social time with fitness time!
- Hire a Coach
Some of us need more than an alarm clock and a waiting friend to get us out of our own way. If you need more of a swift kick in the booty or you want to become more skilled at your craft then hire a coach. A coach, instructor or trainer will help you get to your goals more efficiently, in a more highly skilled manner. If you purchase a package ahead of time you are also more likely to follow through on your investment.
- Challenge Yourself
Setting goals for yourself helps prevent you from plateauing and it forces you to get out of your comfort zone. This works great with the buddy system and with a coach for improved accountability. It also keeps things fresh!
- Sneak in some fun stuff!
There are lots of ways to sneak in some extra sweat time if you want it. Skip the elevator and take the stairs. Grab the kids and go play outside. Swap your brunch date for a picnic at the end of a big hike. Bring a volleyball to the beach. The opportunities are endless!
- Find movement that you love
Move in a way that excites you. There is positively no need to pump iron in the gym if that’s not your jam. Go to a zumba class, go surfing, climb a mountain! The world is your oyster so go out and enjoy it with enthusiasm and all that love will come right back at you!
- Change your attitude
No one wants to get up and workout every day. We all have days where we would rather veg out on the couch. In times like this change your perspective. You are a walking talking miracle of able body and mind. You have the freedom to choose what you do with your time and you have the desire to be in good health. You know that exercise is good for your mind, your body and your spirit. Get through the sticky spots because you know you will feel infinitely better afterward.
For some tips for keeping fit on vacation check out this article!