The lazy days of summer will soon be upon us. For many that means late night barbeques, beach trips and vacations to destinations near and far. All of that can add up to less exercise and more eating. Don’t let summer fun derail the diet and fitness plan you have worked so hard to maintain. Try these tips to stay and track so you can have fun without feeling deprived.
Stay active no matter where you are this summer
- Stay in areas with high walkability scores. Park the car and walk most everywhere you go. Walking is a great way to see a new place as the locals do and maintain a moderate level of activity. This is also the perfect way to make exercise a family affair. After all, the family (or friends) that exercises together, gets and stays fit together.
- Choose adventure – think rock climbing, hiking, skiing or biking. These are fun activities that have a vacation feel while helping you get your fitness fix.
- Get up early and get it out of the way – even if you get in 15 minutes every morning using a fitness video you can maintain some of your fitness gains. Alternatively, opt for hotels that offer a fitness center or a run concierge. This service provides maps to help you chart your course from the hotel. On return many provide water, a towel and a piece of fruit.
If you have kids at home during the summer, your schedule can quickly get out of control. That means exercise goes out the window. Stay on track by:
- Inviting kids along on a family hike or bike ride.
- Getting a fitness helper. Ask this person to provide care and entertainment for the kids when you work out. Consider trading favors so cost is not an obstacle in securing childcare.
- Join a fitness center that provides childcare and offers hours that fit your schedule.
- Invest in a video training program – it is ready whenever you are. There are also many good, free options online.
- Break it down – Exercise in 10 or 15 minute increments if you can’t get 30 minutes in all at once.
- Start a contest – get your best buddies together for a beginning of the summer weigh in. Have everyone contribute an agreed upon sum of money. At the end of the summer, weigh in again. The person that maintained (or maybe even lost weight) wins the pot. Money can be a powerful motivator for staying on track.
There are so many temptations over summer, especially during vacation. Try these strategies to avoid overdoing it.
- Visually divide your plate into quarters. Fill three-quarters with nutritionally sound selections. Use the last quarter for treats. Opt for special treats that are unique to the locale or not usually available to you. Chew mindfully, giving special attention to the taste and texture of the food. Studies have shown that the first two bites are the best. After that enjoyment drops. Often we don’t notice this because we are eating on autopilot.
- Practice when and then – for example, when I have finished my apple or salad, then I will have my small fries.
- Include fruits and vegetables with all meals and snacks. Add broccoli or asparagus to your eggs, berries to your yogurt and avocado to your sandwich. The added fiber will help you feel full so you can enjoy meals without overeating. Visit local farmer’s market for the latest harvest and some fresh plate ideas.