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How to Stay in Shape this Summer

Summer is finally here! Are you as excited as I am? With the season in full-swing we can now take advantage of the beach, barbecues, ice cream stands and our favorite frozen cocktails.

No one really wants to workout in a stuffy gym on a beautiful summer day. After all, we have ample opportunity to take our workouts outside!

With the right strategy, you can turn the outdoors into your gym and stay fit all summer long. Here are a few tips to help you stay in shape this summer.

Exercise In the Morning

With so much going on this summer, finding the time to workout can be tricky. Set your alarm for an hour earlier and go for a walk, run or head to the gym for an early morning group fitness class. Don’t put it off for later in the day as it will be less likely to happen.

Bring Your Lunch

No matter what time of year it is, packing a healthy lunch is always a good idea. When you wait until lunchtime to decide what to have, you’ll find yourself making bad decisions. Planning ahead will help prevent you from consuming empty calories.

Create A Balanced Routine

A fantastic way to get started with a summer workout plan is through an instructor-led workout video. These videos are typically fifteen to forty-five minutes long and require little to no workout equipment, which makes it easy to get started. Most providers make them available for free, so don’t worry about the cost.

You can also run or jog for twenty to thirty minutes every other day. Mix it up with other moderate-intensity exercises such as bicycling, brisk walking and swimming. Add in three to four rounds of bodyweight exercises like squats, burpees, pushups or Russian twists after your cardio session for quicker results.

If you don’t have access to a gym, a personal trainer can help you design a strength program using bodyweight exercises, kettlebells and dumbbells that you can do at home.

Use That Grill

Barbecue season isn’t just about hot dogs, burgers and ribs. Grilled vegetables are an excellent way to fill up your plate with flavor and provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Toss your favorite veggies in a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season with a bit of sea salt and black pepper. You will be surprised at how great it tastes!

Perform High-Intensity Interval Training

Full-body strengthening workouts and high intensity interval training (HIIT) are two of the best ways to get quick results. This form of workout will build muscle and increase your aerobic capacity, allowing you to achieve fat burning and muscle sculpting all at once. High-intensity interval training alternates periods of intensive activity with periods of moderate exercise or rest.

Most trainers recommend doing HIIT three times a week, with a day off in between. Do thirty to sixty seconds of moderate activity and alternate with thirty to sixty seconds of intense activity. Repeat this cycle for a total of twenty to thirty minutes.

If you have a treadmill, HIIT is done by doing one minute “all-out” sprints followed by two minutes of walking for a total of fifteen to twenty-five minutes. If you are just starting out, you can do the same interval pattern with intense power walking. Increase the walking speed or the incline slope for the high-intensity portion of the cycle.

If you don’t have access to a treadmill, you can try intervals of burpees or high knees. This workout can be done outside on a sidewalk or track, on stairs or hills representing the incline.

Another intense workout that can be done in a short period of time, is called circuit training. This is a fast-paced blend of cardio and weights. The most important component of circuit training is the decrease in rest periods. Performance improves as the number of repetitions is increased and the rest period is shortened.

Infuse Your Sparkling Water

Stay away from sugary iced tea, lemonade, juice and soda. Artificial sweeteners and additives will do your body no good! For a refreshing drink that will hydrate you, try this Lemon, Mint, Cucumber and Strawberry Infused Water. Chop 8 strawberries (cut in half), ½ cucumber (sliced),1 lemon (thickly sliced), and place in a large 2-liter jug with 4 sprigs of fresh mint. Fill the jug up with water and chill in the fridge.

Bring Something Healthy

If you’re going to a party with a dish to pass, bring something that won’t add inches to everyone’s waistline. Here’s a healthy recipe to try:

Corn Tomato Avocado Salad from skinnytaste

1 cup corn kernels
5 ounces diced avocado
1 1/2 cup diced Persian cucumbers
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons diced red onion
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh black pepper, to taste


1. Steam corn in steamer or microwave until tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Let it cool then transfer to a large bowl.
3. Toss all the remaining ingredients together and serve immediately.

Be Active Outdoors

This is the best time of year to take advantage of the warm weather and soak up some vitamin D. Being outside is so therapeutic and has a huge impact on our mental health. Go for a hike, ride your bicycle, rollerblade, swim, kayak or grab a group of friends for a few games of volleyball.

Eat Local

There is something so satisfying about preparing a meal with fresh locally grown produce. Find your nearest farmer’s market or fruit stand and stock up. You’ll help support the local economy, consume high-quality, nutritious foods and help protect mother earth.

In Conclusion:

So, go ahead! Have that ice cream cone. I’ll have one too. Just remember that consistency is the key to reaching your health and fitness goals. A single workout will not miraculously transform your body, but committing to a summer workout will definitely help keep you in shape!

Whether you decide to try something new or take your routine outdoors, the two crucial elements to keep in mind are to move more and take precautions to stay safe during warm weather.

Remember, you are making decisions that will make you healthier and fit today, tomorrow and for seasons to come. Good luck to you!

Jennifer Nastasi Guzelak
I have been a personal trainer for over seventeen years and I absolutely love what I do. I honestly feel that I have one of the best jobs out there! The most rewarding part of my profession is helping one of my clients succeed at reaching their personal fitness goals. Making a difference in someone’s life makes it all worthwhile. I am currently certified by the National Sports Conditioning Association, Apex Fitness Group, and the International Sports Science Association.