Workout Tips

This section of our health library is devoted to – you guessed it – workout tips! Learn about all things fitness in these articles that are designed to help you get up and get moving, regardless of your physical ability.

How to Get in Shape for Summer

Every season has its own temptations and should not dictate motivation to get in shape. Shake off the excuses and learn how to lose weight and feel great this summer.

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"There are too many holiday parties to lose weight now!" or "I will wait till summer to get in shape." 

Sound familiar? These accusing statements are commonly spoken of and heard each winter.

And before you know it, another year has passed, only to repeat yourself and continue the vicious cycle. However, every season has its own temptations and should not dictate your motivation to get in shape.

Shake off the excuses and learn how to motivate yourself to lose weight and get fit this summer!

Summer Weight Loss

Lose weight and feel great this summer by implementing these tips, including making SMART goals and tackling summer exercises.

1. Evaluate Personal Health

Before starting any sort of exercise or weight loss program, it is important to evaluate and communicate any personal health concerns.

Physical or medical conditions do not generally cause limitations. However, a primary care provider can provide a safe, custom plan for you.

2. Make SMART Goals

Though it is admirable to make big goals, being too lofty can diminish their success. Making "SMART" goals has shown to lead to boundless accomplishments, including this summer!

• Specific: Unlike generic goals, SMART and specific goals are specific and the questions of who, what, when, where, and why?

• Measurable: A measurable goal tracks progress and keeps you accountable until a projected deadline. These goals mostly by identifying "how much?" and "how many?"

• Achievable: Although goals should be challenging, they still should remain achievable and attainable. Answering, "How can I accomplish this goal?" can help identify resources and tools needed for its achievement. It likewise surfaces potential barriers that may need to be overcome.

• Realistic: While big dreams are admirable, goals should be realistic and within reason. During the evaluation process, be honest with yourself and consider all abilities and commitments needed to acquire expected goals.

• Timely: Goals need target dates and times to keep you progressively moving towards them. Timely goals also help prioritize everyday duties and keep desired goals on the forefront.

3. Create a Vision Board

Creating a vision board reminds the purpose of wanting to get in shape in the first place. It further increases motivation to progress towards those goals.

But do not fixate on material items you want. Ideally, the board should reflect on how you want to feel, including feelings of strength and happiness.

Include your biggest inspirations and supporters on your vision board. This may include being the healthiest you have ever felt for your wedding day or staying youthful for future grandkids.

4. Reward Yourself

With all the hard work you put into getting in shape for summer, remember to reward yourself.

After meeting goals, reward yourself with something you have been eager to do or buy. This may include a new pair of tennis shoes or headphones. You may also want to treat yourself to a new restaurant one evening.

No matter what the reward, allow yourself to feel good and enjoy it... You deserve it!

5. Stay Mindful of Food

With all the summer get-togethers, it may be difficult to stick to a healthful diet. The BBQ meats to the left, the desserts to the right, and chips and dips in between… Overindulging can be easy.

Instead of continuing seasonal excuses of getting in shape, make summer the time to strengthen food relationships and appreciate fresh ingredients. For instance, visit local farmer's markets and purchase in-season produce, incorporating nature's bounty into new or favorite recipes.

Also, be sure to drink plenty of water, especially in the summer heat. Sports drinks can also be beneficial for staying hydrated and replenishing lost electrolytes. However, use mostly if exercise exceeds an hour or in hot and humid conditions.

6. Sign Up for Recreational Sports

Summer calls for fun summer games! Take the chance to join summer sports teams, including kickball, sand volleyball, and others that may be in your area.

If offerings are minimal within your local community, have fun forming, organizing, and playing with family and friends.

7. Head Into the Great Outdoors

Use the warmer weather to your advantage with these eight ways to stay in shape while enjoying the great outdoors. Fun activities to enjoy outside include hiking, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

Consider a structured summer workout plan to speed up results, too.

Summer Body Workout

With a summer workout plan, combine high-intensity (HIIT) training with strength training. The combo speeds up metabolic rate, builds muscle in the lower and upper body, and burns fat.

• Tackle a full-body Tabata workout, a form of HIIT, two to three times a week. The Tabata workout can be virtually completed anywhere and done so quickly - less than 20 minutes to complete!

• Incorporate strength training two to three days a week, too. Target all major muscle groups, including the chest, back, arms, legs, and shoulders. Some example exercises include squats, lunges, lat pulldowns, chest presses, bicep curls, and tricep dips.

• With all workouts, warm-up with light exercises for five to 10 minutes. Also cool-down to normalize heart rate and body temperature.

Feel free to adjust reps and sets while keeping good form with the exercises. Really, the most importance is that heart rate elevates, major muscle groups are targeted, and the body is active.

Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on May 08, 2013. Updated on July 11, 2019.

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