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Is it time to throw in the towel at the gym?

By Jessica | In News | on May 27, 2017

It’s spring! Kids are playing sports, seasonal businesses are opening, friends and family are arriving, school will be out soon and people will be taking some time off from work to enjoy the warm weather here in Maine. We know it doesn’t last nearly long enough and we all deserve some sunshine after a cold winter and a rather gloomy spring.

Great news! Your workouts at Ocean Blue have made it easier for you to participate in summer fun. You can paddleboard, kayak, hike, garden, go for a bike ride or chase your children through the sprinkler with greater ease. We hope you are making sure to schedule some of these fun outdoor activities as well as some we haven’t thought of. We can’t wait to hear how awesome, strong, and confident you feel doing them.

With all the outdoor possibilities, summertime can be a more difficult time of year to commit to your gym fitness routine. One may even begin to wonder if they should just take some time off. Unfortunately, exercise and staying fit is kind of like keeping the weight off once you’ve taken it off. If you don’t continue to do the things that helped you achieve that level of fitness you will likely experience a decline in your fitness level. Your strength and endurance will not remain the same while you take a few months off from regular training.

So how can we take a healthy balanced approach to fitness during the summer as well as enjoy this all too brief period of sunshine in Maine? Here are some tips to help you do just that.

Make an appointment. People who are successful with keeping a fitness-routine, do not necessarily wake up every day dying to exercise. They know that regular exercise makes them feel better and move better so they make an appointment with themselves to do their workouts and they keep it. Experiment with a time of day that works for you this summer and keep that appointment. Knowing that summer routines can be different you may find your most successful time of day is not the same as it is during other times of the year. Be open to trying something new.

Be real. You may have hit the gym 6 days a week this winter when nothing else was calling your name but now a mix of good weather, social events, visitors and outdoor activities is. Establish a realistic expectation for yourself and one that will still allow time for doing what you love outdoors; maybe this means cutting down to 2 days of strength and 1 metabolic, or maybe two days of strength in the gym and getting your cardio outdoors. Even one day a week of training in the gym is valuable in maintaining strength gains and your mind and your body, will thank you for not being so all or none.

Learn from your past. One question I like to ask myself is “How is that working for you?” What is your number one fitness goal right now? If in the past you’ve found yourself losing motivation in the summer and not getting to the gym regularly, how has that worked out for you? Be honest with yourself. Did it move you closer to your goal…of feeling confident, energetic and fit, of getting that chin up, completing a Tough Mudder, losing 10 pounds or being able to play with your grandchildren on the floor with ease? If your answer is “no” then perhaps approaching summer the way you have in the past is not what you want to do this summer.

Set a goal. Talk with a coach about setting a goal. Having a goal can give us the drive to do things that are difficult. Choosing a quick morning workout over finishing that pot of coffee on the deck can be easier when you have a goal in mind. Not just any goal of course, but one that really speaks to you. Climbing a mountain, doing a chin up, balancing on one leg for 60 seconds, pushing 300 pounds on the prowler, losing 20 pounds before your anniversary beach vacation…whatever you chose, find something that lights a fire in you.

Have Fun! Probably the most important thing of all is to make fun a priority. Schedule your favorite summer activities into your weeks. Make sure you are enjoying workouts at the gym as well. Spice things up by taking a new class or trying a different workout time and meeting some new people. Connect with a friend at the gym and plan a post workout activity like breakfast, a walk or a quick swim at the Mills. Maybe you want to shake things up at the gym this summer? Perhaps you want shorter workouts or to focus on work with kettle bells or sandbags. We are completely open to anything we can do to help you keep your commitment to fitness this summer.

I hope these tips help you feel a bit more determined and confident as you work toward establishing a fitness routine this summer. We all know that getting out of a routine makes it all the more difficult to get back into one. You can save yourself from this fitness roller coaster by establishing and keeping a realistic and fun routine this summer. When fall comes you’ll be ready to jump back in and kick things up a notch without missing a beat. Your body and your mind will thank you for not throwing in the towel this summer…or leaving it wet on the bedroom floor.