To my surprise, keeping to my workout schedule in summer became harder, not easier when I left my corporate safety position. When I worked full time outside the home, summer meant nicer weather but my weekday schedule was no different, so my workout schedule was simple to maintain.
Now, summer requires maximum flexibility. Whether it is getting the kids to a summer camp, helping them stay busy, business meetings, or trying to keep an open schedule so that we can say yes to spontaneous invites and activities - all of these put stress on my workout schedule. So here are my 4 tips for staying on track.
Workout First - It's really unlikely that anything can mess up my schedule before everyone else is awake. It is an added bonus that the temperatures are cooler too.
Be Flexible with your What - For me, a "real" workout is circuit based weight training. But in summer, I am flexible with what I "count" as my workout. Hikes, biking, water sports, push mowing the lawn all have real physical benefits and take advantage of the weather and so I grant myself a little leeway.
Keep the Schedule - I keep my calendar/to do list and I always keep my workout on the top of each day. When we go to be camping, I leave the planner at home but I will have written in workout plans each day before I go. It plants the seeds of expectation and desire in my head for activity.
Shorten the Workouts - This is probably the key reason for my long term consistency. I do not have an all or nothing mentality to exercise, frequency is critical. I would rather see myself or my clients do 15 minute workouts 5 times a week than inconsistently do hour long sessions. Right now, I am really enjoying 2 different types of shortened workouts called EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) and AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible). Besides the fact that they are short, they also give me a framework for pushing myself to make improve and can be done pretty much anywhere depending on the exercises I choose.
You can find lots of EMOM or AMRAP workouts on the internet. I find having an App on my phone that calls out the time helps. I use the free version of SmartWOD timer. I write down the exercises I plan to do and leave space to document either the number of repetitions I get done, the amount of weight used or to tally the number of rounds. I repeat this workout a couple of times in the month, working to improve the number or rounds or reps I can get. Here is one example I will be starting this month and with a cool down and stretch, its just under 25 minutes.
You can use these same exercises and turn this into an AMRAP workout too. I recommend only 4-5 exercises for an individual workout because you need to remember the order and repetitions. Here's what that might look like:
10 single leg jumps right
10 single leg jumps left
20 mountain climbers
Set your timer for 6-8 minutes. After each round make a tally mark and then begin again until the time is up. In this version, you're pushing yourself to complete more rounds with each workout.
You can have your workouts and your summer with a little creativity, compassion and flexibility for yourself. If you want assistance with creating your summer plan or the accountability and encouragement that comes with working with a personal trainer - drop me a line at jenn@lifeintegratedlift or schedule a free consultation.