Summer is just around the corner, which means a lot of us are gearing up for barbecues, parties, and plenty of fun to take advantage of the warmer months. And while that’s completely awesome, it can also make it a little too tempting to put your health and wellness on the backburner – which is why the gym is usually a bit emptier over summer. That said, it is important AND possible to be consistent with your exercise routine year round. With a little discipline, encouragement, and some friendly competition going to the gym (even when the sun is shining at 7PM) is actually a lot of fun. For this blog post we reached out to fellow fitness experts for creative summer programming ideas. We loved hearing what they had to say! Incorporate these tools into your summer workout to stay on track this summer and beyond.
Total Woman Gym + Spa does a lot to keep members plugged into their wellness during the busy months of summer. According to Barbara Wehrer, Fitness Program Manager, Total Woman is running a simple and fun challenge using their mobile app. “For the months of June and July we’re tracking gym check-ins, and the member with the most check-ins over the two-month period wins,” says Wehrer. And Total Woman isn’t the only gym using challenges as means of engaging members. Jen Dean, owner of Solstice Urban Retreat, says they keep their members engaged by offering a “30-day challenge in May,” while Donielle Stutland of WheelPower Studio says they “run a ‘summer camp’ challenge” to keep their members active during these busy months.
Joining local fitness challenges, or even signing up for one online, can be really effective when it comes to getting motivated and staying on track with your goals. Not only does it signal to your brain that you’re committed to your health and wellness journey, but it will connect you to others on similar journeys who can offer support and encouragement, as well as hold you accountable on those days you’re feeling extra sluggish.
Switch Things Up
Additionally, Total Woman emphasizes education, giving members plenty of new and innovative ways to keep moving so they don’t get bored or burnt out. “To encourage variety of movement – and keep members curious - we’re breaking the summer months into four two-week segments. In each 2 week period we’ll provide specific workouts using different pieces of equipment and areas of the gym.” Having a specific, time bound focus makes the weeks go by faster and fosters feelings of productivity and accomplishment.
If you feel yourself dreading the gym rather than looking forward to it, it might just be a matter of switching up your routine. Doing the same thing day in and day out can get really boring and make it hard to stay engaged. So, take a cue from Total Woman and make an effort to try different means of exercise. Maybe it’s a yoga class, maybe it’s a bootcamp, or maybe it’s trying your hand at high-intensity interval training. As long as it’s something you’re not used to, your mind and body will be stimulated.
Goal-setting is another simple tool you can use to stay on track when those summer barbecues are feeling too hard to resist. Sara Hodson, President of LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic, uses this tactic: “We ask members to set a goal of X extra minutes of exercise per week (on top of what they currently do). They write their goal on a colorful sticky note each week and post it on our clinic wall."
It’s been proven time and again that the simple act of writing out our goals on a sheet of paper can greatly increase our chances of achieving them. And sharing them with your community makes it even more compelling. So do it! Even better, write them down in a few places. We suggest putting goal reminders in places where you know you’ll see them regularly, like your refrigerator, computer, and bathroom mirror.
While it’s true that warm summer months can tempt us to veer off track, if you prioritize keeping yourself challenged and stimulated while you work toward concrete goals, we bet you’ll find resisting the temptation to quit a whole lot easier.