10 Unconventional Ways to Stay on Track this Summer
Summer is a magical time. The sun is out, the days are long, and people in general are in a better mood. When that first real summer weather hits, there is a wonderful relaxed vibe that spreads throughout the office and carries over into other everyday places like Starbucks and the grocery store.
Strangers actually smile at each other!
But staying on track with your health and fitness goals can be a challenge during these glorious summer months. Vacations derail workout momentum, after-work drinks abound, and BBQs with friends and family can start to show on your waistline.
Unfortunately, a lot of advice about staying on track can feel pretty generic and boring, so we asked our founder (and former Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach) what her favorite tips are. Some of her responses might surprise you!
Summer has a curious way of messing with our routines. But it’s usually for the best reasons possible. Vacations and long evenings are what it’s all about. It’s a time to gather with friends and family, and enjoy some fresh air (something many of us are in serious need of).
I had this hilarious client back in New York, and one time we were talking about staying healthy for her upcoming family vacation and she joked,
"If you tell me to just each clean while I'm on vacation I'm going to punch you in the face."
She was kidding (I think), but I certainly understood the sentiment, which is why I always recommend trying one or more of these 10 unconventional ways to stay on track during the summer.
1. Eat the ice-cream.
Or your Aunt’s potato salad, or your favorite "not-the-healthiest" food being served at your company cookout. Why? Because total deprivation is generally a recipe for binging later, and enjoying special memories with friends and family is important. Plan ahead for it and always eat from a plate (don't just stand next to the bowl of bean dip and have at it... too easy to go overboard).
2. Ditch the cardio.
It can be hard to get excited about sweating buckets when you are sweating just walking across a Target parking lot. It can also be unsafe to workout outside when the temps are in the 90's or above. Fortunately, not all workouts need to be a total sweat fest. If you find yourself opting out, go to an air-conditioned gym and try a less sweaty option like lifting heavy weights or taking a barre or yoga class.
3. Take a week off from workouts.
A huge reason summer is so great is because of vacation! Vacations are a time to unplug, disconnect from work, and recharge. Your body also needs an occasional break from working out. If you notice that workouts are feeling really forced, try taking a purposeful (and guilt free) week off. When you take this thoughtful break, you will come back refreshed and excited to workout again.
4. Water down your rosé.
Literally. As in, pour sparkling water into your wine glass and make your drink a wine spritzer! This is a great way to enjoy yourself and be part of the party, but adds a nice built-in buffer to prevent accidentally going overboard. Wine is not necessarily the enemy of results, but too much of it can be. Adding water will help you stay sabotage-free during your summer get togethers.
5. Buy new workout gear for your vacation.
It's pretty standard to upgrade your wardrobe before a big trip. Gotta have a new bikini to feel your best at the beach, right? Do the same for your workouts. You will be much more likely to hit up the hotel gym if you've got a cute new sports bra for your post-workout vacation selfie.
6. Eat before the BBQ.
It doesn't have to be a full meal, but eat a good protein filled snack before you leave home (Protein Powder mixed with water or your milk of choice is perfect for this!). It won't ruin your appetite, but it will help you manage the snack table so that you don't inhale ALL the chips and guac while waiting for the burgers. Your waistline will thank you.
7. Be the party planner.
When you are in charge of the party, you are also in charge of the menu. Give your guests guidelines on what to bring, and make sure you have plenty of healthy options on hand for the snack table (because it's impossible to stay near food and not eat it... so there might as well be carrot sticks and kale chips at your disposal, right!?).
8. Take your daughter/son/niece/nephew/friend/SO to Disneyland.
Or any local amusement park near you! (But really if you haven't been to Disney, GO, it's so magical) Not only is it fun to ride the rides and see the shows, you will also end up walking like 10 miles before the day is out. It's a great way to get outside, hang out with your family, and satisfy your inner child.
9. Clean out your closet.
Cleaning is cleansing, and getting rid of the old makes room for the new which can be motivating. Go through your clothes and toss anything you haven't worn in the last year, especially if the clothes no longer fit you properly! Only allow things in your life that help you move towards your goals, this includes your closet.
10. DRINK MORE WATER.
Not really unconventional I realize, but it's too important not to mention. Being properly hydrated will help you curb your appetite, prevent afternoon slumps, and keep your skin glowing. This is particularly important in the summer when we are more susceptible to losing fluids throughout the day.
* * * * *
What is your favorite unconventional strategy to help you stay on track? Drop it in the comments below!