5 Ways to Achieve Your Fitness Goals for the Summer

Hitting those fitness goals this summertime can be especially tricky. You may want to just stay at home watching television, eat out with friends, or sleep in for those extra few hours. But long summer breaks shouldn’t be an excuse to loaf around, gain weight, and lose muscle mass. Here are a few ways you can achieve your fitness goals and come back to work or school stronger and healthier.

Be Realistic With the Goals You Set
Everyone would like six-pack abs in the shortest amount of time and put a little amount of effort as possible. The reality is, the three summer months you get likely won’t be enough time to get that ripped beach body you see on Baywatch or America’s Next Top Model. Setting such a high expectation can set you up for a very stressful and disappointing summer.

Go for smaller and more practical goals that are easier to hit. For example, you can download one of the best personal trainer apps to commit to your goals. Also start by running for a mile or two every morning for five days a week, do 25 push-ups and crunches every time you’re taking a break from video games, or do 50 bicep curls after watching an episode of your favorite TV show. These are all small exercises you can do in as little as 10 minutes a day but can have a compounding impact over time.

Get a Workout Buddy
A workout buddy keeps you accountable. During those days when the temptation to couch potato is just too strong, your workout buddy can help push you out the door and in the gym. It’s best to go with a friend or family member who you know is a fitness nut or at least someone who has a greater commitment to health and fitness than you do.

Having a fitness buddy also has other benefits apart from motivation. You can turn some traditional one-person exercises into a two-person system for more fun and lively workout. Squat jumps, chest press with resistance bands, bodyweight squats, and push-ups with shoulder tapping are only a few of the exercises you can do with your workout buddy.

Summertime means continuous perspiration, particularly during the midday hours when temperatures are hottest. The more you sweat, the more electrolytes and minerals you lose through the sweat. If you don’t drink enough water, you put your body at risk of dehydration. This can introduce several uncomfortable side effects, including headaches, dizziness, low blood pressure, and lethargy.

Drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water per day. Avoid beverages that are high in calories and sugar. Drinking water is beneficial when you want to lose weight since it effectively suppresses your appetite. For fitness enthusiasts, however, it also helps maintain a cool core temperature during intense workout sessions.

Eat Fruits and Veggies
One of the best parts of summertime is the variety of fresh fruit slices and fruit smoothies. Keep in mind, however, that the latter is a less healthy way of satisfying your body’s needs for certain nutrients. Fresh whole fruits contain less sugar but more fiber and other nutrients.

The same goes for vegetables. Eat at least four servings per day, with one serving equivalent to one cup raw or half cup cooked. Non-starchy vegetables are filling and are low on calories. Depending on what veggies you go for, they can also provide a hefty amount of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

Avoid Alcohol and Other Harmful Habits
Alcohol might taste like it doesn’t have any calories, but it certainly does. More accurately, a gram of alcohol contains 7 calories. Furthermore, alcohol enhances the taste of food, which increases the likelihood of consuming a more sizeable meal. Drinking a glass of wine occasionally is harmless, but make sure you are balancing it with regular exercise and a healthy diet regimen.

Apart from alcohol, steer clear of smoking, vaping, skipping meals, sitting for prolonged periods, and not getting enough sleep. All of these habits can hurt your physical and mental health and disable you from following a consistent fitness routine.

When setting fitness goals, don’t just think about what you may want to achieve in the span of a season. Build on habits and aim for goals that you can benefit from following over the long term.