The race to get in shape for summer is a trend that, without fail, rolls around every year.
And while it’s great that the onset of warm weather and sunshine serves as a motivator for more people to get involved with exercise, we can’t forget to keep some of our focus on the bigger picture.
In other words, if you’re aiming to get fit for the upcoming summer season, don’t place an expiration date on your exercise plans. Start with the intention to continue practicing a healthy exercise habit even after you’ve reached your summertime goal.
Looking good is about feeling good, and exercising on the regular is one of the best ways to make sure that both your body and mind will always feel incredible.
According to Julie Stubblefield a fat loss coach and founder of Fit Mom Revolution, if you want to make sure that you’ll stick with your new exercise routine in the long-term, you should start by asking yourself two key questions:
1. Can I sustain this level and volume of activity for years?
2. Do I enjoy this?
“The amount of exercise you execute to change your body is the minimum amount you will need to continue with to maintain it,” Stubblefield said.
There are tons of different workouts and exercise routines to choose from, so make sure to choose an activity that excites you and keeps you coming back for more.
The following tips will help you kick your summer fitness routine into high gear and ultimately, create a healthy exercise habit that will last for life.
Monitor your progress.
This will help you make sure that you’re staying on track and you can check in using body composition measurements (e.g. waist, thighs, hips, etc.), photographs, the scale, or a combination of any of these tracking methods. “Don’t wait until right before your beach vacation to try on your swim suit,” says Lisa Reed, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and owner of Lisa Reed Fitness LLC. “Take a picture of yourself now in your suit and decide the areas you would like to work on. Embrace and love your body now, and be excited for the healthy changes you will make and how those changes will reflect on your figure.”
Hire some help.
If you’re not sure where to start or feel like you need an extra motivational boost, hiring a trainer or working with a group, even if it’s just for a few weeks, might be a smart option for you. “Hire a personal trainer, join a group strength training class, or sign-up for a boot camp,” Reed suggests. “Accountability and consistency are both key components to succeeding in any fitness routine. Plus, having a trainer or a workout group or buddy provides ongoing motivation and support." Dan Kleckner, an ACSM certified exercise physiologist and owner of Kutting Edge Fitness, says working with a professional is also beneficial because you can place confidence in the plan your trainer provides. “There is no one-size- fits- all plan, so you need to develop the right plan for you to yield long term success,” he said.