Karl Henry's summer fitness survival guide
July can be the make-or-break month for fitness; stay in shape with my summer survival guide
Now that July is upon us, we are well and truly into summer. July can be the make-or-break month for your health and fitness during this season: consider the extra socialising that comes with the good weather, the increased eating out, the reduction in gym time, and before you know it you will have spiralled out of control, September will be here and you will have gained weight. This leaves you starting into the cycle all over again.
So here is a little summer survival guide, to help you make the most of the warmer weather but also keep your health in check. These are tips that I have learnt from clients over the years and are winners when it comes to keeping the summer body in check.
Make sure you have a routine
One of the most common mistakes I see time and time again is the lack of routine in the summertime, especially amongst college students and those who are off work for a summer holiday. They go to bed later, get up later, and establish irregular eating times.
Routine is crucial to maintaining your physical and mental health. Aim to get up at a consistent time, get your exercise done at a certain time, and eat at a certain time. Giving structure to your days is one of the best things you can do for your health at any time of the year.
Make the most of the long evenings
In the winter it's far more acceptable to go home, put your feet up and watch another episode of your latest box set, but with the longer evenings it's a shame not to enjoy the extra light in the day.
Have your runners ready at the door when you go home, so that when you get in you don't go near the kitchen or the sitting room, just put your runners on straight away and out you go for some exercise.
Why not arrange to meet a friend for a walk or cycle as opposed to going for dinner or to the pub? While it's bright, it's great to make the most of it.
Set those goals
Does this sound familiar? You set a target to get in shape for the summer and you nailed it, but now you are beginning to fall off the wagon after the holiday that you trained so hard for in the first place.
Regular readers of my column will know that I place a huge emphasis on goals and targets. Now is the time to get some targets nailed down. Don't put it on the long finger, get it done today.
Make a list of things you want to train for or achieve; what is on your bucket list? Then work that goal into a training plan to achieve it.
Watch the holiday splurge
If you haven't been on holiday yet then chances are that you are going in the coming weeks. Holidays can be detrimental to your waistline and undo all your hard work over the past few months in the space of a week or two.
I am not recommending that you don't let your hair down and treat yourself, but I definitely believe that limiting your treats on holiday to one meal every few days as opposed to every day is important too, as well as balancing out the excess with some exercise. I recommend that you get exercise done as early in the day as possible to ensure that nothing gets in the way, and it is out of the way for the rest of the day too.
Hopefully these simple tips will help keep you on track during the summer without ruining the fun.