Summer break can be a much needed breath of fresh air. An excellent opportunity to unwind and refresh ourselves from work or school. BUT, we don’t want all of our hard work and effort to have been wasted only to start again at the end of summer.
As a trainer, I am always want the best for my clients. The toughest rebounds are from the holidays and summer vacation. Summer vacation for a lot of people means more time with the family and even trips away from home. These all introduce opportunities to excuse bad habits and put those good habits at risk.
So, for today, I want to address how to keep on track when life changes during this season, and make the recovery easier.
I have identified several reasons why people get off track during summer breaks. Just because you have a break, doesn’t mean you have to break all of your good habits too.
Work schedule changes: Modern work environments give a great freedom to have extended weekends or be with family when we would otherwise be in your normal work schedule at the office. These schedule changes can wreak havoc on established patterns. A few missed workouts and it is too easy to wave off this season and vow to do better next later. BUT WE CAN DO BETTER NOW!!
Family’s schedule changes: Often kids and grandkids have more free time during the summer months. This gives more opportunities to spend time “chilling out” or time gets redirected to entertaining the kids. This is a dangerous routine buster. My best advice is to bring them along to the gym. Or, better yet, get them involved with your workout. Add exercise time together to your daily routine and motivate and teach them through your actions.
Vacations: “But I want to have a relaxing vacation.” We all deserve a break from the day to day. Keep in mind,m there are so many opportunities to sneak in a bit of fitness along with your relaxation. What is better than a walk on the beach? Or even a quick cardio run up the stairs instead of the elevator of your hotel? Swimming is a great way to get in some calorie burning and still soak in the cool water.
Sleep Schedule: When travelling it is easy to get your internal clock off whack. Changing your sleep schedule can mess with your daily routines and often workouts suffer the most. Getting in fitness time will help boost energy by getting those endorphins and adrenaline moving. It also makes for better rest when you can get it.
Diet changes: Stopping for a quick bite with the family or sacrificing your own needs to satisfy others, means that food options are often not ideal. Most fast food places have poor choices for healthy options. My best advice is to try and set a plan ahead for one or two meals and snacks per day. Maybe pack some protein rich greek yogurt or a protein shake and some fruit for a quick and efficient breakfast. Having a plan for at least one meal keeps your head in the game. Sure, there are always opportunities when the calories are worth it but fully going off any diet plan makes it more difficult to recover later. Remember, dieting and exercise go hand in hand.
Family visiting: The last major distraction is having family visit It is too easy to have the previous examples affect your fitness life. Schedule change, sleep change and diet change can happen even over a few nights of having guests.
So, what are the best ways to counteract all of these?
**First, honor the workout. I love that word honor. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN FITNESS PLAN. Our lifestyle is our decision. Honoring our body and the plan we have set forth is OUR responsibility.
**Set summer workout goals. Look for fitness opportunities at your destination such as a ropes course or beach workout. Look forward to a fitness run in the fall that will help motivate you through this tough time of year. A lot of destinations like Disney have seasonal opportunities to combine vacations and fitness. In June at the Pink Physique, we had a pushup challenge. Seek these goal-oriented opportunities to push yourself into different skills to keep you motivated.
**Exercise discipline. Bad decision can be followed by good decisions. Always keep the goal in mind.
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