As the summer approaches, thoughts turn to leisure, days on the beach, barbecues and time spent with family. While it is important to enjoy leisure time during the warmer months of the year, it is equally important to remain fit and healthy.
The temptations of summer can leave you overweight, lethargic, and out of shape if you let them. However, you don't have to deprive yourself of the odd beer, barbecue burger or ice cream during the summer - as long as you take steps to remain active.
1. Be an early riser
Although you might have to drag yourself out of bed a little earlier than you'd like, exercising in the morning will leave you with the entire day at your disposal. Exercising in the mornings during the summer will also mean you avoid the most intense sunshine the day has to offer. Exercise might entail a long walk with the dog, a gentle jog or an arduous run. However, you can also look upon exercise as an enjoyable summer activity. Rollerblading, skateboarding and cycling before breakfast can be fun ways to stay fit in the great outdoors during the warmer months.
2. Set yourself daily activity targets
It is easy to become sidetracked during a summer of leisure and fun, which can lead to exercise becoming an afterthought. By setting yourself activity targets every day, you can ensure that summer fun doesn't get in the way of your healthy lifestyle. Your targets will very much depend on your current physical fitness, and your long-term goals. The Fitbug activity tracker can help you to set and monitor your targets on a daily basis, and it can be carried on you throughout the day. The data on your activity levels can then be accessed via a user-friendly mobile app that is included with this intuitive fitness tracker.
3. Have fun
Particularly during the summer, having fun and getting exercise aren't mutually exclusive. You can get a great workout while enjoying fun activities with your family on the beach or in the country. For instance, kicking a ball about for a couple of hours will get your heart working nicely. Trampolining in the garden or playing Frisbee on the beach are also great ways to get a great cardiovascular workout while enjoying quality time with the people you love.
4. Get involved in outdoor activities
Summer is the perfect time to get out and enjoy a range of organised activities. Join a local climbing club, take up canoeing of learn to surf. If exercise is going to be an integral part of your life in the long term, it has to be enjoyable. Cycling, hiking and running clubs are always on the look-out for new members during the summer months, so you can enjoy the sunshine, get fit and meet new friends all at the same time.
5. Moderate your alcohol consumption
There is no need to completely abstain from the odd tipple during the summer months. By moderating your consumption, you can easily enjoy beer at barbecues or wine during al fresco dining. However, it's a good idea to have a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you enjoy. And by using fresh fruit juice as a mixer, you can also ensure that you consume the essential vitamins your body needs. Cocktails such as the Cosmopolitan, the Bloody Mary and the Kale Mojito can provide you with a nutritious energy boost - counteracting some of the unwanted side-effects of drinking alcohol.
6. Stay hydrated
In order to maintain activity levels that will keep your fitness levels up, you need to be hydrated at all times. Summer is a time when people drink fizzy beverages, alcohol and fruit juice. In the case of alcohol, excess consumption will actually speed up the process of dehydration - particularly when temperatures are high. And the excessive consumption of sugary drinks will drastically increase your calorie intake. There is no substitute for drinking lots of water during the summer months.
You will know that you're dehydrated if your urine is darker than the colour of straw. To prevent this from happening, you should be drinking around two litres of water every day, and more if you're sweating a lot.
The summer is a time to have fun in the great outdoors. If you remain active, eat well and stay hydrated, you should be able to maintain your fitness levels while enjoying a few summer treats along the way.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by FitBug.