If we are honest the goal of a summer wedding or an annual holiday improves our motivation to exercise towards our summer beach bodies. However, once these goals disappear as quickly as the sunshine then it’s easy to put on a few pounds.
Exercising and working out because of a life event can be easier; the hard part is keeping up your fitness levels all year round. The irony is if you did keep it up all year round you won’t need that mad 2 or 3 week rush of exercise, living off green vegetable smoothies until your flight to Marbella is boarded. Follow these few simple steps to maintain your summer body during the winter, and before you know it, its summer again!
Having a crash diet weeks’ before a summer holiday is not healthy, you may well shock your body into dropping a few pounds but this is not safe or sustainable. Plus when you do return to eating food your body is more inclined to store food as fat just in case you dare to “starve” yourself again!
To maintain general health and wellbeing your body needs the essential nutrients all year long, not just for the summer. Keep up the good work of eating more fruit, salads and vegetables throughout the summer and continue this into the winter. A top tip is if you have enjoyed a particular ‘summer’ meal on holiday such as a healthy breakfast or a melon and Parma ham salad at lunch then why not get the recipe and introduce it to your weekly diet throughout the winter. Bring these enjoyable summer tastes and memories into your home all year round, and remind yourself of what you’re working towards, health and happiness.
Set Short Goals
As we have discussed it’s easier to muster the motivation to hit the gym when you have a life event to attend, even if that motivation is in the form of sheer panic!
But keeping these up short term goals throughout the winter months and indeed all year round is crucial to maintaining a healthy summer body. Milestones such as a summer wedding or holiday seem to be enough to get your motivated, so why not set other milestones. For example, work towards looking fabulous on New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day or a Christmas Party. And these are examples that are already in your diary by tradition; don’t forget to add your own goals such as birthday parties, work events and a family get together! Find different events that motivate you and create short fitness goals to work towards, 3 or 4 events later and not only will you see that your still in great shape but you can start your countdown to the summer again.
Change It Up
Ok, I agree the weather doesn’t always allow long walks or family bike rides like the summer does but, that’s no excuse. A change of scenery throughout the winter will do you good and spark off new levels of exercise engagement. For example, why not join a yoga or spin cardio class; not only can this be attended whatever the weather but it provides you with a solid continuous structure of exercise week in week out all year round. The indoors during these ‘off’ months is your friend, workout at home with short 15-20 minute high intensity exercise or use the local swimming pool. Pick a new exercise you enjoy, and stick with it!
[caption id="attachment_602" align="alignnone" width="300"] Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and author photostock[/caption]
Variety is the spice of life
You may well be in familiar territory at the gym or used to going out for morning runs, however varying your exercise throughout the year is crucial for consistency. The run after work or the same resistance machines at the gym tend to get a little boring week after week, especially as the summer disappears, making it easy to give it up.
However, it’s now time for a change. The word ‘exercise’ shouldn’t send your mind to a hot and stuffy gym where people are working out just for the sake of it. The word exercise should be open to interpretation and set your mind free to choose anything you desire and enjoy. The more fun you have the more likely it is you will return and keep it up. This can vary from simply turning your weekly runs into cycling or getting off the treadmill and using a rowing machine. Thinking further afield indoor rock climbing is hugely popular, dance, yoga, boot camp, kick boxing classes are all bursting with variety and a change of scenery. Spicing up your life with different forms of exercise is the key to focusing on your summer body all year round.
Help Is On Hand
Even if you do aim to follow all of the above steps, there is one thing missing, a partner! Having a work out partner is instrumentally important to maintaining your summer body all year round. This could actually be your partner or a friend or family member but whoever it is, you are there for each other. Having a workout partner is your year round support system, you can join classes together, attend together, travel together, run together, cycle together, ok you get it! What I am saying is having the option to converses with a partner, motivate and encourage each other not only through the work outs but week after week is very important. When it’s dark, wet and miserable outside it is tempting not to get in your car and head to your yoga class. But if you receive a text saying “on my way, meet you there” you’ll be surprised at how quickly you are kicked into action! By working out consistently with others, you will find yourself committed to staying physically fit all year round.