Tips to Stay Motivated and Healthy After the Summer
As we near the end of the Summer of 2021, and the start of the Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan, many people are considering two things: First, where and how will we watch the Olympics, and second, if your summer workout and health routine is worth the time you are putting into it. Wouldn’t it just be easier to take your kids back to school, book a vacation, or just rest in the AC? Let’s use this upcoming fall as an excuse to really kick our healthy goals up a notch or two in our lives. Life is uncertain, as we’ve seen in the past few years, and you should never miss an opportunity to do something good for yourself – like staying motivated and staying healthy!
Start small, and don’t overwhelm yourself
The Department of Health and Human Services advises that most healthy adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week, or a combination of the two. Looking at it like this makes staying motivated and in shape a much easier goal to achieve.
Make it fun
Health and exercise don’t need to be a chore! Don’t treat them like they are! Try incorporating fun and new exercise into your daily routine, to keep the spark alive after summer. Consider spending an evening at a trampoline park, where you can jump, exercise and smile, all at the same time. Or take a hike on a Sunday, and see a new part of your natural area. Many people are joining clubs, or even enrolling in an at-home, app-based exercise routine – something fun and new to try out this fall!
Make physical activity part of your daily routine
Sitting for long periods of time is proven to both have a negative effect on your health, but also saps your happiness and motivation. Making physical activity part of your routine is as easy as walking down or up a set of stairs before taking the elevator. Or taking an extra-long walk with your dog instead of short-cutting through the neighbour’s yard.
Don’t ditch your healthy regimen over a slip
An all-or-nothing attitude is not the way to approach a healthy lifestyle. We all make mistakes, and we all slip up. It’s important for you to forgive yourself when you miss leg day or eat too much sugar. No one is perfect! "It’s important to recognize that being successful requires flexibility. All-or-nothing thinking is one of the most common pitfalls to straying the course, because one little derailment can send you spinning off into the wrong direction,” says Complete Nutrition dietitian Sarah Mattison-Berndt. “When you miss a workout or ditch your diet, simply make a plan to get back on track right away and move forward."
Choose the right outfit and great playlist music
When you look good, you feel good about yourself. A great way to stay motivated after summer is to get out and buy some slick new fall or winter themed workout clothes. Or invest in a pair of cool wireless earbuds to complete your look and eliminate swinging cords.
Increase fluid intake
Increasing your fluid intake might not sound like the kind of party that is going to keep you motivated – but the more water you drink and the more hydrated you stay, the more energy you will have for your day! If you (like many others) forget to drink water during the day, grab a refillable water bottle and keep it with you until you have met your daily fluid intake goal.
Keep the end goal in mind
What is your endgame? Are you hoping for that beach bod or just hoping to be able to keep up with your kids? No matter what your motivation, you need to keep it front-of-mind as the season shifts. It will be easy to lose track of your goals and focus, in favour of back-to-school excitement or a new job. Keep a motivating note on your fridge, or ask your partner or friends to remind you why you started this healthy lifestyle to begin with!
Getting healthy doesn’t mean all the good, delicious and unhealthy things in life need to fade into your distant, shameful past. It’s important to reward yourself for your successes, by allowing yourself a food cheat day or taking a day off exercising to relax and rejuvenate. We all love a good reward, and we all love to feel good. This is a fantastic way to keep motivated in the long term.
Heat can be so demotivating! So why are we struggling to maintain our summer fitness routines once the summer heat has faded? Make 2021 the year you get into the best shape of your life, and use the upcoming cooler air to get outside more often, try different activities, or even make some new, motivating friends. Stay well out there!