As we roll into summer, where short working lunches turn to long lunch affairs in the sunshine with a wine pairing for each dish, it’s hard to stay motivated on your fitness goals.
The conflict between slimming down for summer, but enjoying a lovely beverage during the day is a hard one. Where do we find the balance to hold strong our discipline when heading out for a cheeky after work drink feels far more enticing? ‘Tis the season to be with family, friends and be far more indulgent than any other time in the year. Long family lunches, home-cooked dinners, pavlova at every meal and gingerbread houses. If you’re apprehensive of the season to come, but want to stay motivated and driven with your fitness regime, here are my top three tips to keep motivated with working out this silly season.
Turn at least one hangout a week into an active outdoor catch-up
As we head into summer, this is absolutely one of my favourite things to do. It’s getting warmer out, and it’s lighter for longer which means that instead of being cooped up in a gym, you can do exercise outdoors.
A great way to do this is to organise a catch-up with a friend that involves movement – like getting a coffee and going for a walk, an afterwork stroll, doing outdoor yoga with your friends in a park and the list goes on. Incorporating physical activity with a catch up facilitates accountability also.
My personal favourite is scheduling a morning waterfront walk before my workday starts which starts in the Viaduct, trails to Wynyard Quarter and down through the Westhaven Marina. It’s the perfect way to get me up, catch up with a close friend and be ready for work before my 8.30am start time. Walking is also an extremely underrated activity as it has so many scientifically proven benefits such as increasing energy levels throughout the day, promoting increased cardiovascular fitness and reducing the risk of heart disease. The best thing about walking with a friend is that it doesn’t feel like a chore in the slightest, but has all the impacts of a low impact workout.
Buy a new workout outfit
There is nothing I find more motivating than a new outfit. This holds particularly true when it comes to exercise. A study of 20,000 frequent American gym-goers has shown that having workout wear that you like has a direct causal effect on motivation levels and meeting fitness goals. The workout clothes in this instance serve as a reminder of your progress and serve as an overall morale boost.
Looking and feeling your best while exercising helps keep spirits high, and therefore promotes an overall healthier lifestyle.
Do shorter, but more impactful workouts
We live busy lives in general, and especially as we roll into December through to March and have an abundance of public holidays and reasons to celebrate and catch up with friends, it can be hard to find the time to do your usual workout routine.
A handy tip that I find always helpful when short on time is to switch out a typical 50-minute to an hour workout with a short 25-minute workout which is intense and effective. If you are a member of a gym, I would recommend you try out a spin class which is a great high intensity cycle option, or a cardio/plyometric workout.
If you’re not a gym-goer, with the current virtual world there are a number of great YouTubers that provide HIIT workouts which you can do from the comfort of your own home. I would recommend checking out Pamela Reif, Natacha Oceane, Blogilates, Tone It Up, Jessica Smith TV and Group HIIT to name a few. The benefit of an increasingly digital world is that there are so many workouts easily accessible to you.
Hopefully this has motivated you to stay on your goals! Happy working out.