Many people start to think about getting fit for summer when the weather starts to turn nice during spring. For some people, the new fitness plan relates to worries about how they will look in a bathing suit, while for others, it’s simply to get the body ready to take full advantage of the nice weather by having an active summer.

Regardless of why you want to get fit for summer, it is going to require some work. No one gets in shape overnight and it won’t happen while you sit on your couch, either. For those looking to get in shape and enjoy everything the summer has to offer, starting your fitness plans early is one of the keys to success, but there are also some tips you can follow to help you along the way.

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Why You Need to Start Now

You already know that there are several benefits to exercise and improving your fitness levels. By setting fitness goals, you can improve your health and feel more energetic. Improved fitness can even have benefits for your mental wellbeing.

On their own, those benefits should be enough to motivate any person to get started on their fitness plans right away. However, when you set a deadline like getting in shape for summer, there are several reasons why you should start as soon as possible.

It Will be Easier to Sustain

By giving yourself more time, you not only make your fitness goals more attainable, you also make it easier to achieve sustainable results.

When you wait to the last minute to do things like lose weight or tone your body, it forces you to turn to things like crash diets and intense workouts. Crash dieting has a history of being hard to sustain, and when you work yourself out too hard, it can be easy to get burned out. People commonly give up on these types of fitness strategies, so it is better to give yourself enough time to get fit in a way that is more manageable and sustainable.

It’s Safer

Even if you can achieve your goals with strategies like crash dieting and high-intensity workouts, it isn’t a safe way forward. If you are out of shape and you push yourself too hard, you could get injured. Your body isn’t used to working out and you need to give it time to get accustomed to the increase in physical exertion. You need to start your exercise routine out relatively light and then gradually increase the intensity so you can avoid injuries.

If you’re over-eager at the start, you may end up straining or hurting yourself in a way that requires you to seek professional help. While direct access to physical therapy in NY,  LA, and elsewhere is convenient, you don’t want to have to stop your progress before it’s even really begun.

It’s Healthier

Taking your time is also the healthier way to lose weight and improve fitness. Extreme diets are not only known for being hard to sustain, but they can also be bad for your health. A poorly planned crash diet could deprive you of nutrients that are important to your health. Along with that, extreme calorie cutting can make it difficult for you to continue working out to improve your fitness.

Furthermore, severe calorie restrictions can lower your metabolism and make it difficult to build muscle. That’s certainly not something you want to be dealing with while working to achieve your summer fitness goals.

Tips for Getting in Shape Before Summer

Now that you know why you need to get started on your pre-summer fitness routine early, let’s take a look at some tips that can help you get in shape before summer.

Set Fitness Goals

Setting goals is one of the best ways to improve at anything. Of course, a target weight is one of the more obvious goals you can set for summer fitness, but you shouldn’t limit your goal setting to the numbers on a scale.

One good way to set fitness goals is to look at the activities you engage in and try to improve. If swimming is a part of your fitness routine, set a target for the number of laps you want to be able to do by the time summer starts. If you run on a track, you could try to increase the number of laps you do there or even set a target time for completing a specific distance.

Work on Cardio and Strength Training

If you want to get fit for summer, you should balance your workouts with cardio and strength training. Since cardio does burn more calories, it will be more appealing to people who are trying to lose weight, but strength training is a key part of physical fitness.

Strength training will build strength and endurance for a better overall fitness than you could get from cardio alone. Additionally, muscle also has a higher metabolic rate. While more muscle won’t dramatically change your metabolism, it can help to offset the lowering of your metabolism, which is a common effect of restricting calories.

Find Your Workout Routine

There is no one workout routine that is going to work well for everyone. Different people have different fitness goals, and there are various body types and lifestyles that can determine the right workout for the individual.

For some people, working out from home will be the right answer. For others, heading to the gym might make more sense. You also have people that like to work out every day and others who might decide to work out every other day. If you want to be successful with your summer fitness plans, you need to find a workout routine that works for you as an individual.

Change It Up

Doing the same exercises every day can get a little boring. Beyond that, changing your workouts can be a good way to improve your overall fitness. If you have been doing the same exercise routine for a while now, try to change things up and add some new variety to your routine.

You could do cardio one day and then switch to strength training the next. If you like to run and swim, you can alternate these exercises to keep them fresh. For your strength training, you could plan different days for working on different parts of your body.

Avoid Injury

Again, it can be easy to get injured when you are just starting with your fitness routine. Add to that the fact that you set the summer as a deadline, and you might be tempted to push yourself harder than you should.

Instead of jumping straight to pushing yourself hard, take it easy at the beginning and build the intensity gradually. Along with that pain that comes with an injury is the fact that you will have to stop working out while you heal. An injury could completely derail your fitness goals, so it is better to be careful.

Watch Your Diet

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Exercise is going to be one of the keys to getting in shape for summer, but you also need to eat healthy as well. Cutting calories can help you lose weight, but you do not want to be too restrictive. Additionally, you need to make sure you are still getting a balanced diet with all of the necessary nutrients.

One good way to do this is to keep a food diary. When you write down everything you eat, you can track your calorie intake and make sure you are still getting enough of each food group. A food diary can help you stay on track and it can also be a good way to make sure you are dieting the right way as you try to get in shape.

Get started on your plans for increased fitness today. Even if you don’t reach all of your goals before summer, any improvement should be seen as an accomplishment. You’re still in better shape than when you started, and you can keep working on improving your health and getting in shape even once the summer is over.

Cover Image credits: Photo by Leandro Estock from Pexels