School’s out for summer! I think those very words are a throwback for all of us reminiscent of the freedom we had as kids with no homework, no schedule, no alarm clock, and no structure. As adults there is a mixture of both chaos and feeling carefree when the calendar page flips to late June. Some of us have changes in our work schedule in the summer too, and if we have kids at home there’s no doubt our routines are upended. Even with those variables aside, summertime seems to get filled with lots of activities and visitors and our schedules blow out the window as soon as we open them up for that summer breeze.
So how do we handle the chaos of camp carpool, spontaneous trips to the lake, and the joy of just being outside while maintaining our gym regimen? How do we make time for the gym when there are so many other activities in our lives? And the big question, does the gym need to be a priority if we are getting exercise lots of other ways outside this time of year?
I’m pretty sure you know my answer to the last question. I’m so grateful for the workouts at the gym that have given me the strength and endurance to do all these other activities I enjoy. Since I attribute my level of fitness to the work at the gym, I’m going to continue to make that a priority. So the real question is what is my strategy for summer success?
This week’s big reveal is that nothing changes about the combination for success: Have a goal, create your habits and routine, be accountable, and have fun.
Top 4 Secrets to Summertime Success
1~ Set a seasonal goal ~ We already know our long term goals, but when summer comes, we can think about short term goals to mix it up and keep us focused. My long term goal is to stay fit and strong, but specifically for summer I want to increase my speed on the winch handle while sailing to be a better racer. I’m tackling those battle ropes and those biceps curls with sights for a podium finish on the racecourse. Maybe you want to train for a Tough Mudder or hike Mt. Battie, or maybe this is the summer that getting up out of the sand at the beach will be a little easier. Having a short term goal will make it easier to stay motivated and stick to your schedule.
2 ~ Keep the rhythm going ~ There are lots of ways to add exercise to your life when the weather is nice and the water is warm: paddling, swimming, walking, or biking. I like to see those as activities of a healthy lifestyle, and not necessarily a replacement for a workout routine. There are so many variables that can sidetrack us from those best laid plans. Continuing classes provides the routine we need as the foundation for our wellness. Plus training at the gym offers specific benefits, development, and toning. I also don’t want to risk losing the gains of strength training by taking a few months off. Maybe I’ll drop one day at the gym and commit to adding a vigorous walk as a substitute, but more than one or two subs can become a slippery slope. I make sure to have my scheduled days at the gym and prioritize my fitness routine. It might be different times or less frequent, but I’m still committed in a way that works with my schedule.
3 ~ Accountability ~ Having a fitness buddy is important. Try to find a walking partner or a neighbor at the lake house who likes to paddle and would like to commit to getting together once a week. This way if you’ve replaced a gym day, you will be more likely to stay committed to your alternative exercise with a friend. And that slippery slope I just mentioned is especially possible if the weather turns. Have a bad weather back up plan. Check the gym schedule on Zen Planner to add a drop in if we hit a rainy spell. Trying new class times is a great way to meet new people too and increase your accountability network.
4 ~ Fun ~ Last but not least, whatever you are doing have fun with it. A few times this week I’ve run into people in town and they have immediately launched into their apologies about not being at the gym. Summer schedules should be absolutely guilt free. Never apologize for being fulfilled and doing what you love. No doubt those are the best summer memories, the ones filled with freedom, fun, and laughter. Mix it up, embrace the chaos, created some calm, and enjoy the carefree feeling. It’s summertime and the living is easy…