When it comes to exercise, the past year was really a mixed bag for many of us. Some of us were able to maintain a solid workout routine during quarantine, and some of us really struggled to stay active. For most folks, your experience probably alternated between the two, with times of high motivation and times of sluggishness. As summer approaches, it finally seems like the world is returning back to normal. This hopefully means less stress for you and your family and more time to focus on staying fit and healthy. Whether you’re looking to improve on your already great regimen or hoping to get back into the fitness lifestyle, here are some tips for taking your workout routine to the next level this summer.
Update your gear
At first glance, this may seem like a superficial piece of advice. Why do you need new stuff to get back into an old habit? Actually, there are many reasons that updating your gear is a good idea. First, the clothes, shoes, and other workout items that you use have a huge effect on the form and feel of your workout. If you exercise frequently, it’s a good idea to replace your gear (especially your shoes) once or twice a year anyways. Buying newer or more specialized gear will allow you to take your fitness up a notch this summer. Second, buying new gear can help you invest in a new habit. It’s easier to hit the gym wearing new shoes and with a shiny new water bottle than it is to throw on older trainers in the back of your closet. If stocking up on new workout stuff motivates you to be more active, then go for it!
I don’t know about you, but summertime always makes me think of family vacations. If you’re hoping to travel this summer, consider planning an active trip for you and your loved ones. Destinations with tourism geared more towards outdoor activities like hiking or swimming offer built-in opportunities for working out. Contrary to popular belief, being intentional about incorporating fitness can be fun! Rent bikes for the boardwalk or buy an inflatable kayak and get out on the water. With so much to do, even your teenager will be excited about camping and spending time outdoors!
Find a community
It’s just a fact: Working out is easier with others than exercising alone. For many, a fitness community offers a balance of social energy and accountability that can make exercising fun. But how do you find the one that’s right for you? We recommend starting with social media. Search for local groups in your area with whom you share similar interests or specific needs. For example, swimmers might look to join a local Masters Swim Club, or new moms might look into “Mommy and Me” yoga classes. Be sure to consider the age group, skill level, and commitment level you’re interested in to find the fitness community that’s right for you.
Adopt a furry friend
While taking care of a dog is certainly not for everyone, it can help you reach your fitness goals. Dogs make great workout partners because they are living (and very cute) reminders to get out and walk around a bit. They also make great running companions because they are high energy and can offer some protection to solo joggers. Getting a dog is definitely a commitment, but one that we think is well worth it. This is especially true if you have kids; the loyal pup will win your hearts and become part of your family in no time.
Exercise is an important part of lowering your stress levels and maintaining your mental and physical health. Use these tips to improve your workout this summer, and help yourself be the best mom you can possibly be!