There’s a term well-known by professionals and platforms in the fitness industry called the “summer slump”. In a nutshell, it means that clients stop showing up to gyms and classes, and business is… well… slow. It’s hot, we have FOMO, and kids are home from school, so many of our plates feel extra full. We just don’t have the time, energy, or, honestly, the motivation to lace up our sneakers or roll out our yoga mats. Here are some ways you can maintain a habit of moving your body at least a little bit every day, without feeling guilty for not stepping foot into your gym until September.
The Absolute Best Piece of Advice I Can Give You:
Be flexible and be gentle with yourself. Humans are not built to stick to the exact same routine day in, and day out. We are adaptable, we’re smart, and we get bored easily. That’s just the way it is. And that’s not something we should feel bad about! So, throughout this summer, this year, or this decade, if you don’t feel like working out, don’t beat yourself up for it. The following are ways that you can get some movement into every day without it feeling like a sacrifice. Let’s commit to using movement as a tool to help our lives feel even fuller and more joyful!
Get Out There
One of the most exciting parts of summer is being able to go outdoors! And there’s no shortage of active things you can do outside, no matter where you live. Maybe it’s as simple as taking your dog out for a walk, running on a trail near your house, or taking your yoga practice to the backyard for a change of scenery. Take advantage of the beautiful weather (while avoiding the heat!) so that you’re making the most of your summer AND your workout.
Work with the Weather
We’ve all been there: we plan on doing some physical activity outdoors, and then we step outside and it feels like we just jumped in a hot tub. No, thank you! To avoid the heat and humidity (and to get it done so you won’t have to keep thinking about it all day), try shooting for morning movements if you’re opting to go outdoors. That way, you also won’t get stuck in one of those afternoon downpours that’s so common in the summertime!
Have a Darn Good Time
I’m a big believer that whatever you’re doing to move your body, you’ve got to have fun while doing it! Otherwise, you’re never going to stick to that routine, you’ll get burned out, and you will have just wasted another hour of your life being unhappy! I mean, seriously: with only 24 hours in a day, why waste one of them forcing yourself to do something you hate?? Instead, do something that brings out your inner goofball! Maybe it’s chasing your pet around the yard, rollerblading in the park, or even joining an adult recreational sports league. Whatever it is, fitness should be fun, enjoyable, and feel good, no questions asked.
One of the best ways to make a fitness routine fit your life: combine them! Go on a bike ride, play tag, or run through the sprinklers with your kid. Take a hike with your partner. Hit an outdoor sunset yoga class with your friend and stay for a picnic in the park. The possibilities are endless! And this way, when it’s something you love doing with someone you want to hang out with, it won’t feel like a chore. Bonus: having someone else involved in your plan definitely makes you less likely to cancel!
Pencil It In – Around Your Life
If you’re a person who thrives on routine and needs a little bit of organization during your day, join the club! During the summer, when we’re going on vacations, running kids from place to place, and outside until 9:00 pm because it’s still bright out, it’s understandable that the schedule gets thrown off. And that’s not always a bad thing! It’s a privilege to have the flexibility to change up your routine every now and then.
With that said, if you still want to make movement a priority in your day, a little planning wouldn’t hurt. You can make an “appointment” on your calendar for your workout, while working around the pool playdates, work meetings, and barbecues. You DON’T have to sacrifice the other things that are important to you in order to maintain a (mostly) consistent workout schedule. Squeezing in your workout in between other tasks will keep you from feeling like you’re giving up fun (or work, or family, or whatever else!) for fitness. You CAN have both!
Find a (Flexible) Routine
If you’re someone who needs a little accountability, joining a program is a great idea! For example, I have a 31-day yoga challenge on YouTube. You can set an intention to participate in whatever program you choose, however much you want. Maybe it’s 15 minutes of yoga every day, or maybe it’s a 10-minute walk 3 times per week. Write it down in your calendar, plan to do it, and do it when you can. And when you can’t, forgive yourself and move on! Don’t sweat it if everything doesn’t go perfectly as planned.
Summer is a time when we’re all out of our normal routines and doing our best to live these long days to the fullest. So fit your movement in where you can, make sure you’re having a fabulous time, and be patient with yourself. Soak up the sun (with SPF, obviously) and don’t let your workout kill your vibe!