When summer started, you may have had grand plans of upping the ante of your exercise routine. More daylight hours, nice weather and the vision of a beach-ready body were all the motivation you needed to get out there. But now, it seems like summer is already winding down and your motivation is rapidly dwindling – you’ve got the summer exercise slump. Here are some tips to get you back on track:
1. Change it Up – If you’ve been taking the same walk every day for a month, you’re probably tired of the scenery. Make a change. Look for a new walking path or even try your favorite route backwards. Gyms often offer introductory offers. If you’re not tied into a contract, try something new. Have you been thinking about a yoga or Zumba class? Now’s the time!
2. Find an Accountability Partner – If you’re exercising alone, it’s easy to hit snooze and miss your morning workout. But, if someone else is counting on you, you’re much less likely to bail. Find a walking buddy, a swimming partner – someone to help hold you accountable for your workouts.
3. Set Realistic Goals – Perhaps you’ve given up because you’re not seeing the progress you were hoping for. Well – take a good look at your goals. Were they realistic? Try smaller, more attainable goals for encouragement. Weigh yourself just once a week and shoot for a 1 pound loss. A pound equals 3,500 calories. This means you need to eliminate that many calories in order to lose a pound through diet and exercise. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you reach a goal – you deserve it and rewards can be super motivating!
4. Buy Some New Gear – It shouldn’t be all about the fashion, but the truth is a new pair of sneakers or running shorts can be exciting and just what you need to renew your routine.
5. Make it a Family Affair – Maybe the issue is time related. It can be hard to find time for a workout when the kids are out of school. Instead of looking at it that way, turn it around and include your family. Maybe go for a brisk walk while your kids ride their bikes. Hit the pool and do a few laps while the kids splash around. Go for a family hike. Even a rowdy game of tag can raise your heartbeat and count as exercise. Your kids will love being involved and you’ll love the results.
6. Don’t Underestimate Recovery – Recovery after a hard workout is essential. Your body requires rest, nourishment and hydration. Aim for 24 hours between cardiovascular workouts like running, walking and cycling. If you’ve been strength training, your muscles might need 48 hours of recovery. Don’t push yourself too hard. You’ll be more prone to injuries and giving up.