Summer is only a few weeks away and the summer body slogans are out in force. Yes, everyone wants to look good when they hit the beach. But summer bodies aren’t the be all and end all. It should be less about becoming summer-ready, and more about your overall health and wellbeing.
Fitness is for life
Firstly, fitness isn’t a seasonal thing. Your body works and feels a lot better when you build fitness into your everyday routine. Consistency is what creates results, so being in it for the long-haul is going to pay off much more than racing to get summer body ready as soon as the sun comes out.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t bother with your summer fitness routine at all. In fact, getting yourself summer-ready can be a great starting point for a long-term health routine.
The benefits of long-term exercise
There are many great benefits to working out in the long-run too. Of course, there’s decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes. But, you also cut down your risk of developing certain types of cancer, decrease depression and anxiety, and you might even age slower.
Sticking with a regular exercise program over many years doesn’t just make you slimmer or stronger. It can also give your brain a boost as well. Turns out, there’s a link between brains and brawn after all! Studies are now showing that people who exercise regularly show less cognitive decline than their fit-fearing counterparts.
But how do you stay fit all year round?
- Make it a habit
Well, you can start by making fitness a habit. If you create a regular routine and stick to it, soon enough it’ll be as essential to your day as eating. Even when you have breaks in your routine (say to enjoy that hard earned summer body on holiday!) if you get back to it as soon as you return, you’ll stand a much better chance of making it a long-term habit.
Speaking of holidays, staying active whilst out of your normal routine is also a must. Even if you don’t go as often as at home, or do the same kind of stuff, keeping your body moving stops you getting too out of whack.
- Do something you enjoy
Doing something you enjoy is much more likely to stick than slogging it doing a workout you hate. So find exercises that you love. There really are so many opportunities to get active. Apart from going to the gym, you can also try activities like boxing, bouldering, hiking, trampolining, team sports, and dancing. Try new things out from time to time too, you never know what new exercise you might discover and love.
- Find a fitfam
Get yourself a group of like-minded fitness fans. This can be done through joining and socialising in a fitness class or partnering up with somebody. A personal trainer can also give you the boost you need if your routine is feeling a bit stale or you’re not sure where to start.
- Change your mindset
Hand-in-hand with understanding that a summer body isn’t the end goal comes the understanding that fitness and health is what will keep you happy and active well into your later years. The investment that you make in yourself now, will pay off in the future. So, if you want to be running around with your children and grandchildren, you need to keep exercising and eating a good diet. An apple a day keeps the doctor away!
- Get summer body confident
A summer body is more than skin deep. Body confidence goes a long way in making you shine during the summer. That means that you accept your perceived flaws as well as your strengths. And the only person you should be comparing yourself to is, well, you.
I’ve seen many people beat themselves up because they’re not strong/slim/pretty enough and getting caught in a negative spiral. Health isn’t just about how many reps you can do – it also encompasses your mental wellbeing. Everyone’s body and fitness journey is different – understanding and accepting this is the first step of any lifelong fitness regime.
Stick to having a summer body all year round
As you can probably tell, there’s a whole lot packed into a summer body. If you’re looking to work out now in order to get ready for summer, don’t let all your hard work and effort go to waste once the sun sets. Stick to your fitness routine over time, and you won’t just look great on the beach this year, but for many years to come.