Summer is a great time to get fit. We’ve gathered these insider tips for beginners, so first-timers can shape up even faster than seasoned fitness pros!

Summer Rules For Fitness Beginners

Summer is the new January - at least when it comes to setting fitness goals and actually achieving them. This year, don’t wait for New Year! Get fit over Summer, and you’ll already be in shape by the time January rolls around!

 

What’s Your Goal?

 

If this is the first time you’ve really focused on getting fit, you need to set a goal. Giving your fitness goal a name (and a timeframe) will not only help keep you motivated, but it will set you off in the best direction.

 

   Maybe you want to lose some weight, or reshape your body by dropping body fat (which might not be the same thing as losing scale weight).

 

   Perhaps you want to build up by adding muscle, to look strong and balanced.

 

   Your goal could be getting fit, to be healthier and more athletic.

 

   Or maybe you want to focus on a specific fitness goal, like learning a sport or taking part in a fitness challenge.
earl-nightingale

 

Make sure your goal is personal to you. It’s great to be inspired by other people, but ultimately your goal needs to be meaningful so it continues to drive you all Summer long - even when your motivation dips!

Once you’ve settled on a goal, keep reminders around your house, at your desk, in your diary, or wherever works for you. You could write messages to yourself and stick them to your fridge, mirror, or laptop lid. Maybe change your phone’s lock screen to a picture or meme that keeps you focused. Stay connected to your goal throughout the Summer.

 

 

5 Reasons Summer Is The Best Time For Fitness

 

Getting started is the hardest bit of any new challenge - and that’s especially true for fitness. So kudos to you for choosing to get started in summer.

#1 Longer Daylight Hours

The days are longer, the evenings are lighter, and of course the weather is (mostly) so much nicer than in Winter. No wonder Summer feels such a great time to start a fitness journey. There are so many ways to exercise outdoors. But even if you choose to go to the gym or do classes, it all feels better in the Summer!

 

vitamin-d

#2 More Sunlight = Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the key vitamins our bodies need to function. It’s important for bone health, balance hormones, and a stronger immune system [1]. But our struggle to make Vitamin D unless we get outside in direct sunlight. So by exercising outside in Summer, you’re not just getting fit. You’re also minimising your risk of Vitamin D deficiency!

 

#3 Maximise Your Mood

Exercise is proven to boost our levels of so-called happy hormones including serotonin, norepinephrine, oxytocin, dopamine, and adrenalin [2]. But exercising in Summer, with all that daylight, fresh air, and sunshine, takes this to a whole new level. So if you struggle with low mood, fatigue, or depression, getting fit in Summer will help your body and your mind.[3]

 

#4 See The Results

We all like to see our hard work pay off. And when you first start to get fit, you will see your body changing as you add muscle, lose fat, and even change your posture. Wearing Summer clothes means you’ll see the results - and be able to show them off!

 

#5 Eat Fresh & Healthy

An important part of getting fitter and healthier is tackling your nutrition. Summer makes it so much easier to eat fresh food, adjust your portion sizes, and distract yourself from emotional eating. Get into good habits now, and they will last you all through the more challenging Winter months.

 

 

Choose Your Summer Workout Style

 

Do you love the outdoors, or want to exercise inside? Prefer to go it alone, or like the social side of group workouts? There are so many options to choose from.

Learn a sport

It’s never been a better time to learn a new sport, or revisit one you liked as a kid. Find your local club and ask about adult learning sessions. If in doubt, google the NGB (national governing body) of the sport. Most sports offer informal taster sessions, and basic skills classes. You won’t have to compete or play - unless you want to!

gym-meme

 

Muscle up

If you want to change how your body looks, your best bet is combining cardio with some kind of weights training. Hit the gym, or look for small group training involving resistance training. Or do it yourself at home (Pullup Mate turns your home into a multi-gym!)

 

Cardio explorer

If you like to work up a sweat and go on a journey, explore your local area through cardio. This can be a solo activity, or you could pair up with a partner. Ride a bike, go for long hikes, kayak, stand-up paddle board, run, or even learn to rock climb. There are so many ways to explore the world around you and get fit at the same time.

 

 

Fuel Up, Stay Cool, Dress For Success

 

A few simple practical tips will help you get more out of your Summer fitness journey, and will make you feel like a pro!

Remember to fuel your body for the workout, and to recover after. Eat a small serving of healthy carbohydrates (rice, rice cakes, potato, oats, other grains, fruit) and protein (fish, meat, eggs, low fat dairy, protein shake) before and after your workout. But don’t worry about chugging a protein shake right after your training session. It’s OK to wait for your next meal (up to 2 hours). No harm done![4]

Fun fact: Obama drinks water. Fun fact: Obama drinks water.
Drink plenty of water, sugar free squash, or other non-sugary caffeine free fluid. But not just during exercise. Make sure you are well hydrated all day long once you start to exercise in the Summer. Get used to drinking more water (top tip: carry a water bottle with you, keep a glass of water on your desk, and sip when you think you feel hungry).

Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to enjoy your sport or activity. Use breathable fabrics (not cotton) so you can sweat without feeling weighed down. Ladies, choose sport-specific sportsbras. Everyone should wear the style, fit, and fabric of sports kit that makes your choice of workout more comfortable and enjoyable. Yes some of it isn’t cheap, but it’s generally worth it, and it also helps with motivation.

 

 

3 Mistakes Beginners Make With Summer Workouts

 

Too much, too soon!

Don’t fall into this trap. Start slowly, and increase your activity levels steadily. Don’t be afraid to back off when you feel tired or sore (there’s even a fancy term for this - experts call it “a deload”). Play the long game by protecting your enthusiasm to stay motivated. Doing too much too soon (all the cardio, every day training, slashing your calories) will quickly lead to burn out, injury, or worse.

Giving up at the first hurdle

Getting fit, building muscle, losing fat - none of this is easy. If it was, everyone would do it! You have chosen to make some big changes, and that means doing things differently. So you should expect to be tired, a bit sore, and a bit hungry. You won’t always wake up 100% motivated to workout. You might wonder why you started, or feel like nothing is changing. But stick with it. One thing is for sure, if you give up then nothing will change!

crossfit

Following the trends

Fitness trends are great for getting ideas and inspiration. But just because something is the ‘2025 hot trend in fitness’, you don’t need to love it! If you want to do a niche sport, or fancy trying a fitness trend that seems old school, go for it. As long as it’s getting you fitter, healthier, and happier, it’s all good. Remember, this is your fitness journey, no one else’s!

 

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21263437
  2. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/influence-of-physical-activity-on-mental-wellbeing/3C363AEECE5C8CAC490A585BA29E6BF8
  3. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254616300576
  4. http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/post-workout-shakes