Let’s just all admit that summer is a tough time to make major gains with our health and fitness. Even with the best of intentions, it’s hard to stick to a consistent routine when you’re navigating kids all day long, the summer camp taxi service, week-long vacations, mid-week barbecues, and spontaneous splurges with the ice cream truck.
Yes, of course you can certainly stay rigidly disciplined and make a lot of progress any time of year, but for most of us, summer is just not the best time to do this. We thrive better in maintenance mode during the summer months. But the danger is dipping into “digress mode” and finding ourselves so off track by the end of summer that we have 10 extra pounds to deal with when school starts.
Let’s put together a loose plan that helps us survive these summer months without feeling discouraged and frustrated this fall.
And I like to say “loose” because this plan needs to be fluid instead of strict. It needs to be able to roll with the punches and leave plenty of room for summertime fun. You need to have wide guidelines that don’t feel restrictive in any way.
Loose Workout Plans
Instead of exact workout days, plan for a total number of workouts per week. This gives you more flexibility. During the school year, it might make sense to be firm with a M/W/F workout schedule. But this time of year, that might be too challenging. Instead, commit to 3 total workouts per week and let them "float" on your schedule for the days that make the most sense, even if that means three days in a row before you head out of town.
Do you feel best with 4 or 5 workouts per week? Great! Just let these days float, too. And you need to be okay if you happen to have a week that you only get 3 workouts completed.
(FYI: While 5 workouts total will help you make the most progress, you can certainly maintain, and even see improvements with your fitness, at only 3 workouts per week.)
Choose the Right Workouts
You need workouts that give you the most bang for your buck by doing cardio, building muscle, and ramping up your metabolism all at once. You need workouts that take only 30 minutes from start to finish. And you need workouts that you can do in your living room, hotel room, or in the backyard.
I have lots of these, friend. Click here to get set up with a full month of workouts like this, totally free. If you’d rather pick and choose, play around with some of these workouts.
Be Intentionally Active in Other Ways
Enjoy being active in ways you might not be able to at other times of the year.
Last week we started going for an evening walk around the neighborhood as a family. This is serving a double purpose for our family. A sweet friend suggested this to me as she saw that I was getting frustrated with a house that lacked peace, love, and harmony. My kids were at each other’s throats all day long and making my jobs (both mothering and training) miserable. Putting the boys in their PJ’s and strolling around the neighborhood holding hands gives us an opportunity to connect, talk, and get along, while getting their wiggles out right before bed. Plus, it’s another opportunity to move.
Some other ideas are taking the kids to the park and playing frisbee, going for a bike ride around the neighborhood or on a local bike path, or exploring a kid-friendly hike. Let the summertime vibes bring out your adventurous side and find new ways to connect as a family.
Plan for one splurge daily, but no more. This gives you room to have that evening glass of Pinot Grigio on the porch while debriefing the day with your husband, or spontaneously grabbing ice cream cones with the kids. Remember, our goal is to not tip into digress mode and find ourselves so off track by September. So, it’s important that you rev up your willpower to make sure these daily splurges don’t get out of hand. The rest of your eating needs to be healthy!
Let me do the simple math for you: one splurge a day is only seven splurges total for the week, which still leaves plenty of room for maintaining your body composition, if not actually seeing a little progress. What does this mean? It means that you get one opportunity every day to eat or drink something that doesn’t fall within our healthy eating habits.
(Not sure what these easy healthy eating habits are? Go here and I’ll send you a Free Nutrition Guide for Strong Mommas.)
If you’re going on vacation, practice mindfulness. Most of us have the tendency to go all in, adapting the scarcity mindset that “we’ll never be here, in this place, with this food opportunity again!” We rarely pause long enough to ask ourselves how indulging in all these things will make us feel.
A couple months ago, we went to Palm Springs for a quick little trip, and in one day I indulged in both an In-n-Out cheeseburger/fries/shake and a Chick-fil-a Spicy Deluxe Sandwich. Zero mindfulness, just a scarcity mindset. I felt so gross for about three days. Been there, done that?
Thriving This Summer
Let’s have fun for the rest of the summer. Be flexible, create a loose routine, and stay mindful. These tips will help you survive the next month and a half without feeling like a dieting maniac or like a hot mess when September arrives.
Did you grab your free workout plan?
Click here and you'll get an exclusive link to one full month of strength training workouts that can be done anywhere and take less than 30 minutes. These are great for beginners and intermediate moms that need something quick and effective!
Megan P. Dahlman
Hi friend! I'm a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Precision Nutrition Certified Coach, Wife to Scott, and Mom to two crazy boys, Calvin & Peter. I train hard, eat well, rest just enough to keep going, and do my best to maintain a heavenly perspective. I'd love to coach you to do the same. Cheers!
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