May 20, 2017

fitness

4 fitness tips to help keep you on track this summer

THE SUMMER IS upon us, mornings are getting brighter, evenings a little longer and now we’re even seeing a bit of sun.

Over the next couple of months, it’s inevitable, and perfectly normal, for your routine to get a little sidetracked away from your normal daily routine as holidays, festivals and weddings take centre stage.

With all of this going on in our lives, we might not see a trip to the gym as a priority when the sun is shining and certainly I’d encourage clients to change it up a little during the summer months as opposed to slogging away inside.

The priority should be to enjoy the sunshine and good weather when we get it whether that’s going on a holiday, enjoying food and drink, getting outdoors and just generally spending quality time with family and friends.

But all of that doesn’t mean you have to completely switch off and put your health and fitness to one side. You will no doubt spend enough time training indoors during the long winter months so now is the time to get outside and top up your fitness while also getting some much needed Vitamin D.

Here are a couple of ideas to keep you ticking over during the summer months.

Plan ahead and change it up

A plan or programme is something that will help you stay accountable during the summer months. The list here is endless and you could even come away from strength training and instead focus on more outdoor cardio work or even getting involved in something like tag rugby.

At the same time, however, it is also important to have something to work towards or a goal in mind. Having a journal or even using a vision board is something I’ve found quite useful as it can help you keep track of what your long-term goal is.

Over the years I have seen people set goals back in January and once the summer months start to kick in the goal is slowly put away to the side.

Don’t get me wrong, the summer should be enjoyed and your focus can shift a little off your fitness goals but there is no need to fully give up.

What I suggest here is try and stay with it as much as possible while incorporating a break of a few weeks in there.

A break is good

When a lot of my clients go away on their summer holidays they ask me what workouts to do. I always tell them first that the hotel gym does not need to be on the top of their list.

The goal of any holiday should be to switch off and enjoy the break by spending good quality time with family and friends. A break really is good for the body and there really is no harm eating and drinking a bit more of the food that you wouldn’t necessarily while at home.

If you do want to get some exercise in during this time then simple things like swimming, running or even renting a bike to check out the local area is best. Any time I go away I like to get out and run as it really is the best way to see the sights and find your bearings.

Get active outside

When we have some sunshine in Ireland it is quite important to get out and get our dose of Vitamin D. It is important for good overall health and strong and healthy bones.

It’s also an important factor in making sure your muscles, heart, lungs and brain work well and that your body can fight infection. Not only is getting outside in the sunshine good for boosting our Vitamin D levels but overall it’s great for clearing the head and can only encourage us to keep working on our mental fitness.

We spend enough time throughout the year working indoors at work or on the sofa so now is the time to get outside and use the fitness that you have worked on by doing some activities outside.

New Hobby/challenge

In last week’s article, I highlighted the important of varying your training and each summer I always try and pick up a new hobby. Last year I took up trail running and since that it has become a part of my weekly training plan.

Bringing in a new activity, hobby or skill that is totally new for yourself will not only test you physically and mentally but will give you something to work and concentrate on.

The list really is endless with tag rugby, hiking and cycling just a couple of examples. My new hobby this summer is sea swimming at Seapoint and not only have I found this great for my fitness but it also helps clear the head too.

Next week, I will put together some of the most basic but effective outdoor workouts you can try this summer.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.