It can be tough to stay focused on your fitness regime when the sun is shining. But keeping up your exercise through summer is vital. Whether you’ve been exercising for years or are just starting out, taking a break from regular workouts can seriously affect your progress.
And while nearly 1 in 3 gym goers (29%) aim to work out six times a week, according to research from sports nutrition brand Myprotein, you can get just as much of a session in the great outdoors. Just stay clear on what you’re working towards and why.
How do you enjoy the summer while keeping your fitness regime on track? Aspiring Gentleman asked Myprotein personal trainer Tom Pitfield for his pro tips.
#1. Set yourself some goals
Do you want to lose weight or bulk up? Have you got something to work towards, like a wedding or vacation? Make sure you know what you want to achieve and by when to keep your workouts focused.
#2. Find what works for you
Staying fit doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym. When the sun is shining, get outdoors and mix things up with running and cycling in the countryside or on the beach. Find something you love to do and you’re more likely to stick with it.
#3. Plan ahead
Don’t leave your workouts to chance – get them planned in at the start of the week and stick to the schedule. If you’ve set yourself a target of three gym sessions a week or want to take a 40-minute cycle ride, look at what else is happening in your week and dedicate time on set days to make sure exercise happens.
#4. Track your progress
It can be easy to lose motivation if you’re not tracking how well you’re doing. There are plenty of tracking apps and devices available, but even a notepad and pen will do. Record your results and any patterns you’re seeing – you’re not going to improve if you’re not monitoring your progress regularly.
#5. Start small
Pushing yourself too far can also affect your motivation, so start small and build up gradually, whether that’s the number of sessions you’ve planned in or the number of reps you’re aiming for. Building up your fitness takes time, so be realistic in the targets you’re setting yourself – then set new goals regularly to keep you on track.
#6. Don’t forget your diet
Your body needs the right fuel to help you get the most out of exercise, so make sure you’re eating well and staying properly hydrated. Eat a variety of foods and monitor your macros – fat, carbohydrates and protein – to make sure your body has everything it needs to get fit and stay healthy. If you need more protein, or find you’re losing more weight than you’d like, look at supplementing your diet with protein shakes and nutritional supplements.
Health and fitness is all about balance, so it’s fine to get outside and enjoy the summer with your family and friends. As long as you’re clear on your fitness goals and know what you’re working towards, there’s no reason why having fun in the sun needs to knock you off target.