Top 8 Ways To Get You and Your Body Ready for Summer So You Can Enjoy All Your PlansJun 04, 2023
Wanting to keep up with the kids or grandkids this summer? Worried that you'll be out of puff trying walking along the coastal paths?
There's nothing like the long sunny days of summer to feel motivated to get outside, being active, eating all the colourful fresh produce of the season, and spending time with friends and family, whether it's in the garden, along the coastal paths, or down at the beach.
But for some, the fear of your body not being ready to handle all that summer throws at you can lead you to feel nervous about the weeks and months ahead.
But fear not! There is still plenty of time to make sure you've got your healthy habits in order and that your fitness level is where you need it to be, to enjoy all your summer plans this year.
If you have niggles, aches and pains, or are worried about your fitness/strength, or you're worried about being too busy for self-care and getting overwhelmed and burnt out by this often busy period of the year, then read on. I have all the tips and tricks you need to get you and your wonderful body ready for summer.
I want you to enjoy everything these (hopefully) sunshine filled months have to offer. Staying as healthy and fit as you can will without doubt keep the smile coming and those good times roll in.
Look After You
The only way you'll maintain your fitness and mobility is to keep going with your awesome healthy happy habits you do for yourself!
Visitors descend heavily in the summer months, food needs buying, beds need changing, kids aren't in school, and you feel like you must change your plans to accommodate your guests. Consequently, you pause Pilates, delay physio appointments, cut down meditation, or stop strength building. But hang on a second…. wouldn’t your visitors want the best for you? Don’t classes make a huge difference to your physical and mental wellbeing?! What do you think will happen if your pause your rehab?
The phrase "put on your own life jacket first" springs to mind. How can you fully be there for others, fully enjoy the time if you sacrifice activities that make up your "life jacket”. Stopping movement, pausing your rehab, or ditching self-care will make it harder to get going again and delay reaching your goals - ultimately reducing progress could lead to added cost.
Often in September the clinic is full of comeback stories. We want progress not regression! Use the summer month to move forward and stay there! The longer days provide us a chance to do more and can boost motivation, so make the most of it, but know where the balance is. There's no point ending the summer a frazzled and exhausted mess!
So be sure to set aside some time to continue to look after you. Why not try joining in your online class rather than in studio, it saves time, but you still get the benefits. Perhaps make your appointments in the morning so the rest of the day is for loved ones. Or even get guests involved in your routines! Don't forget to take some quiet time out of your busy schedule, even if it's just five minutes of sitting in the garden alone with your cup of tea, these moments of mindfulness act as a cushion for when things get hectic.
Pause… then go
During the colder months’ activities dwindled, the early nights don’t encourage paddleboarding after work and the grandchildren are happy with tv watching by the fire. The body hasn’t been worked! So as the sunrises, before your grab your wetsuit, sprint for the tennis racket or throw yourself into various activities with the children, ask yourself is your body ready?! As fun as they are, if you haven’t done real physical activity for a while, you can tire quiet quickly and even potentially lead to injury, stiffness or soreness.
So, when getting back into moving more, take it step by step. Learn to listen to your body, when it needs pushing and when it needs to rest. Learn what intensity is right for you and your body and don't expect to be able to launch back in on Day 1 and be back at the level you were last summer. It takes time to build up this kind of strength and endurance, but as you'll read next, there's no time like the present to start building it up again.
Get fit and active NOW, don't leave it until last minute!
There is still plenty of time to start moving more, before the summer is in full swing. Building your fitness and strength over the next few weeks will mean you can take on all the activities you have planned, without having to worry that you wont be able to keep up.
Getting fit and active is something that benefits you all year round, not just the summer, so forming healthy habits now, will support your health and wellbeing in the future too.
A great way of making sure your fitness or strength improves each week is joining classes. This gives you the support and accountability you need to ensure you reach your goals, and actually progress. Plus having a community of people around you all striving to move more, makes you much more likely to stick to your habits.
Stretching with a side of toast.
Stretching is vital for maintaining good posture and helping you feel free. I know after a desk-heavy day II feel generally less agile and my muscles are tighter. A similar thing can be said for those of you that have spent some time sat in the sand or kneeling over a flower bed. Contrary to what you might see on social media or in your local yoga studio, stretching exercises aren’t just for the human pretzels among us. For anyone, regardless of activity level, stretching is going to increase the range of movement your body can do.
Opening the body up with a simple stretch routine is a beautiful way to start the day, helping you to recover from the day before and prep your body and mind for whatever is on the agenda, with a moment of calm. While waiting for the kettle to boil in the morning, grab a towel or find a broomstick to use for stretching. Holding the towel or broomstick with straight arms at either end, rotate back and forth over your head slowly. Doing this can help open your chest muscles and mobilise your back muscles. It will also help to reduce back and neck pain significantly.
If sitting on the beach feels daunting,doing some lovely hip stretches will make getting down much easier. Try lying on the edge of your bed or sun lounger. Scoot yourself so one hip is slightly off the edge. Allow your leg to hang off the edge, with knee bent. Try and draw your heel towards your bottom under the bed. Keep you back softly pressed down, so as not to arch. Hold. Repeat on the other side. I highly recommend a sun salutation to really awaking the body. A wonderful yoga flow that stretches and mobilises the whole body.
All of which can be done while you wait for the toast to be done, or the tea to brew in the morning!
If you want something with guidance and clinical support than I would highly recommend our stretch Pilates classes, a fantastic start to a Friday. The hour focuses on Pilates movements specifically link to help you feel more mobile, more capable and more free. You can find out more about joining classes here.
If you’re like mem summer easting is filled with colour. Summer fruits, olive oil and lemon dressed salads, grilled fish. It’s a wonderful time to enjoy nutrient filled ENJOYABLE foods.
Make sure to eat plenty of good, nutritious food. This will help fuel your body for any workouts, social activities and allowing you to move to your full potential. Pick foods that are satisfying, and don't leave you with glucose spikes and dips that will result in you feeling fatigued - think proteins, plants, and beneficial lipids and fats.
I cannot stress this enough… everyone has a beach body! As satisfying as some people find it is to see numbers on the scales, losing weight isn't the definition of health. Muscles are essential for ALL activity! They move and stretch to allow you to bend down and sit on a picnic blanket, and contract and hold to get that golf ball across the cross. So, ask yourself are those muscles working as they should, do you have the oomph you should? This is FAR more worthwhile to strive for, and having a positive goal will boost your confidence and allow you to feel great from day one.
Carbs are NOT the enemy.
This myth never seems to go away for long. Believe it or not, those carbohydrates such as potatoes and pasta we all love so much actually help you function at your best. From cabbage to cake, pasta to plums, all carbohydrates offer fuel for the body. Without them fatigue sets in and muscles are not grown!
Dietitians recommend eating plenty of carbs- pasta, rice, bread on days where you’re doing lots of activity. Combining carbs with natural fats such as olive oil and nuts, and proteins aids your body's recovery and reduces big blood sugar spikes that are often felt after big sugar hits.
If you're looking to keep those blood sugar levels the best they can be, try using wholegrains in place of the more refined versions.
One thing to keep in mind is that whatever meal you have first in the day, whether you're a breakfast eater, or you wait until lunch, try to get as much protein and beneficial fats into that dish. This is vital for regulating your blood sugar. If you can, try to avoid sugar or refined carbs first thing as often as possible. You don't have to (nor should you) ditch them altogether, but by looking at what and when you eat them, you can "biohack" your body into feeling even better and having all the energy you need to move and groove this summer.
Go easy on the booze
The sunshine is shining, and the light is golden, your favourite tipple is calling. You've worked hard all winter. It's the weekend. You surely deserve a few drinks in the pub, right?
As tempting as it is to indulge every time the sun pops up, when you drink, the parts of the body that usually breakdown fats spend a lot of time burning off the alcohol instead, meaning you can get a build up of excess fats and muscles can take longer to recover from exercise.
Not all social engagements need to revolve around the pub or drinking. Try socialising with friends in a different environment, such as swapping after-work drinks for a fitness class, going for a cycle together, a picnic on the beach or Dartmoor, visiting a local driving range or climbing centre for something a bit different.
Hopefully as you read this, not only are the days light but warmer! Hello Summer!!!!! With the heat comes dehydration. Alcohol is not hydrating, and to bust one myth... even with ice it will not hydrate you!
Hydration plays a huge role in physical and mental health by regulating body temperature, maintaining good body composition, ensures easy transportation of nutrients around the body and keeping organs healthy and functioning properly! This team is essential for health and fitness.
Also, if you have ANY pelvic health concerns, find your constantly looking for a bathroom or experiencing pain, alcohol is linked to exacerbating these symptoms.
You don't have to go T-Total, but being more mindful of when and how you drink can make a big difference. And the added benefit of doing something novel and different with friends and family, can build better and more meaningful bonds. Who doesn't want a summer filled with memories like that!
Remember, getting healthy doesn't mean spending all your time in the gym and eating tasteless food - make the most of the summertime! Get out into the great outdoors and spend joyful and meaningful time with friends and family, or even some quality time in nature with just yourself. There are so many wonderful things about summer to enjoy, so make sure you experience all the wonders of this season.
and the HealthHub Team
P.S. If you're interested in getting your fitness and strength better, or you're worried about not being able to do everything you'd like to this summer, you can click here to arrange a FREE Discovery Visit for our VIGOUR HealthClub.
VIGOUR is a personalised subscription to classes for maximising movement and exercise, led by clinical experts. Your solution for lasting health, through all seasons of life.
There’s no obligation to book anything with us after a Discovery visit. We simply want to help you make the right decision on how to help your health best, long term.
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