image by Kimberly Glaster; used by permission

It is no secret that being physically fit prevents illness, keeps or gets us lean, and is ideal for overall health. Everyone has their own definition of fitness. Although May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, fitness should be an attainable goal all year long.

The trouble with summer fitness is…it’s hot outside! Heat for many can be a huge deterrent to consistent exercise. Other barriers to working out in the summer-time? Vacations and travel, chasing kids, new injuries as a result of weekend warrior syndrome, and other pesky summer issues.

If you have any doubts about your exercise and fitness regimen, here are some summer fitness strategies and tips to freshen up your summer routine and keep you healthy and motivated.

1. What are your time obligations during the summer?  Does the nature of your job change with the seasons? Perhaps you are a seasonal worker, college student, or school-teacher. A drastic change in work routine can be a barrier to finding the right time to exercise. Squeeze in short walks throughout the day. Shorter spurts of exercise, such as 10 minutes of walking spaced throughout the day, offer benefits too. Make lunchtime count. While at work, keep a pair of walking shoes at your desk, and take a brisk walk during your lunch break.

If your summer evenings are free and it is cooler to exercise, try these tips: 

  • Start a walking group. Round up friends, neighbors or co-workers for regular group walks. Plan routes through your neighborhood or near your workplace, along local parks and trails, or in a nearby shopping mall. Simply walking or jogging with a friend can be an added incentive to continue your workouts.Boredom is a workout killer and having a friend along can help keep you both accountable.
  • Visit your community recreation center or local swimming pool. Many recreation programs are offered after work hours. Join a club or summer sport team. In a recent post, “Who Says Adults Can’t Have Recess” there are non-competitive alternatives for organized sports

If evenings don’t work, try getting up earlier. The sun is up earlier on summer mornings, so an early morning walk or run can kick-start your day. Wake up 30 minutes earlier twice a week to exercise. Once you’ve adjusted to early-morning workouts, add another day or two to the routine.

If your days are limited, add more time to your workout. If you are walking for 20 minutes, add five more minutes to your time over the next two weeks. When you feel ready, add another five minutes, and so on. In a previous post, I suggested ways to get three hours a week for fitness.

2. If your exercise has become boring, revamp your routine. Your weekly Saturday matinee with the kids could become a weekly Saturday bike ride, rock-climbing lesson or trip to the pool. Choose acFamily-Fitnesstivities you enjoy and you will be more likely to stay interested.

Try cross training. This can be as simple as trying a new exercise or activity. If you belong to a gym, try a spin class, zumba or body pump. Adding new exercises and rotating through different type of activities, such as walking, swimming and cycling, works out new muscles and can invigorate your fitness routine.

3. No energy to exercise? Without exercise, you’ll have no energy. It’s a vicious cycle. Perhaps you are a stay-at-home-parent and spend your summers chasing your kids. Longer summer evenings mean more time for evening fitness activities with your family. After dinner, get everyone moving during a brisk evening walk.

4. Are you a weekend warrior who is nursing a sports injury? Get professional help from a certified expert, who can monitor your movements and point you in the right direction. If your injury is serious, visit a sports medicine physician, who can evaluate you and recommend specific treatment, such as physical therapy.

If you belong to a gym, hiring a personal trainer can boost your workout as well as introduce you to new exercises. A trainer can motivate you and give you the proper exercises to help heal the injury and get you back on track.

5. If you are planning a long vacation or holiday where traveling will take you away from your routine, try these suggestions:

  • If your vacation takes you into the outdoors on a daily basis, embrace what the area has to offer. Plan ahead and pack the right shoes, clothing and equipment to enjoy the hiking trails, the lakes or other wonderful leisure spaces available to you.
  • Are you staying in a resort or hotel? Check to see what amenities it offers to guests.
  • If you are traveling and visiting friends or family members, ask them what they do for exercise. If you belong to a national chain health club, find a nearby gym and schedule time to go. Or visit their gym as a guest. Just about every neighborhood has a local park with recreation facilities like jogging/walking trail, tennis courts, club house or swimming pool. Again, plan ahead by asking your hosts for the name of the organization and check their online class schedule.

6. Quantify what you have accomplished so far. Keeping a record over a period of time and seeing results can be extremely motivating. Write down how many days you exercise, for how long, record any inches or weight lost (or gained). Do your clothes feel looser? Keeping an exercise journal can be very simple, from jotting on a notepad to keeping track on a mobile app. By writing things down, you can visually see what you have accomplished and see what else you might need to do to adjust.

7. Check out your gear. If you are wearing the same old shoes you’ve had since 2011, look for wear and tear to make sure you aren’t causing harm to your feet, knees and legs. If you swim, take a close look at your goggles or perhaps fins if using them. Many stores have summer clearance sales. Now is the time to buy something new to add to your exercise wardrobe. Nothing like a bright color to put a spring in your step!

Don’t let hot weather prevent you from getting your exercise each day. Don’t let a couple of setbacks be a barrier to regular exercise. Life can get in the way and disrupt our routines. Unfortunately, it seems easier to abandon our exercise plans when faced with time constraints or other barriers.

We all need to live balanced lives, and committing to leisure in the form of exercise in a consistent manner can lead to better health and happiness!


45 thoughts on “Seven Summer Fitness Strategies

  1. Terri, heat is a deterrent for many people. I don’t do well with routine interruptions. It seems to spark my excuses monster.
    I slowly entered exercising because of my son. Back in March, we did a pushup challenge together. He wanted to continue by exercising more. Although he fell back after an injury, I continued on.
    Believe it or not, I started the year with just a therapy bike pedal machine. The kind used in physical therapy. I used to do 15-minutes of it. Graduated to the elliptical in May and now in June, I completed my latest challenge, 60-min. on the elliptical non-stop.
    One thing that has helped develop this discipline is Mel Robbins 5-second rule. Basically, it states that if you are building a habit, you need to act within the first 5-seconds of having the thought to “do” or you’ve lost it.
    It’s great at activating the “Just do it” muscle. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I live in coastal Georgia, and it’s very hot and humid in the summer. Your tips and information are helpful. Thank you for linking up at The Blogger’s Pit Stop. I’m sharing your link on social media.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great ideas! During the summer, I usually get up earlier to workout before the weather gets too warm. Sometimes, I also workout when I take my kids to the playground after the heat has subsided a bit. A playground workout is always fun to do and the kids like to join in too 🙂

    -Fabi at Wonder Fabi

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  4. Terri, these are great tips! I’m not able to keep an exercise schedule anymore, but my husband has begun walking in the morning due to the heat. I also think he really likes being out when very few others are, enjoying the cooler weather and the peace and quiet! Great tips, pinning to share! #WAYWOW

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  5. I simply love your tips, Terri!
    Exercise is the answer for most of illness. It is about being active physically AND mentally. Generally it involves social contact and getting outside the house.
    Thank you really very much for sharing it on #TipTuesday.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the idea of documenting your progress. My PT usually has a testing session at the beginning of a new program and then we revisit at the end. It is great to see how you progress and it certainly motivates you. Thanks for sharing this with us at #WednesdaysWisdom and look forward to next week’s post.


  7. Great tips here Terri and you have inspired me to pop to the gym in the hotel we are currently staying. Thanks for spreading the fit and healthy lifestyle at #anythinggoes. See you next week

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s so darn hot today but your post is inspiring me to get out there and take a walk:) I’m going to wait until dusk though 🙂 Great advice here on how to stay fit!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I must admit it was too hot to walk! The sun was beating down so hard…I will get out there today!
        Glad there was rain in CA but I saw on the news about that road collapsing in the desert because of rain?

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      2. The rain was in socal and didn’t make it up my way. The road washed out from the flash flooding. Crazy! Hope you can get your walk in and escape the heat. Supposed to “cool” down into the low 90s here today, lol!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Good advice here Terri. It is so true that if you have no energy you need exercise. I don’t know how often I feel awful, I force myself to go and exercise and I feel like a different person when I get back.
    Thanks for bringing this to our attention on Fridays Blog Booster Party

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  10. I have never gotten the fitness thing all figured out. I don’t get the exercise endorphins everyone always talks about, and I have never found exercise pleasurable. I know I need to up my game and eat well more consistently. I am swimming laps several times a week which is going well. I am a slow work in progress!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear ya…I think endorphins = sweat! Swimming laps is great exercise. Make sure to walk a couple of times of week to build your bones (weight-bearing)…swimming doesn’t provide that.


  11. Agree with it all! It is hot and humid here in NC and I have to push myself to get up and brisk walk in the mornings. As a teacher and having summers off, this is easy, but hard at the same time because I enjoy my lazy mornings of doing nothing but writing, social media, drinking tea and staying in my pjs. But, I know how important it is to keep this old body going by exercising. Nice work here!

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