“Bees a buzzing, kids’ll blow dandelion fuzz, and I’ll be doing what tired moms do in summer!!” Sleeping in! Right?! Well, perhaps SOME mornings. Especially on those lazy mornings at the cottage or camp ground when the kids are sleeping peacefully… oh no, wait, they’re dashing around like caged animals at 6:15 because, what’s that?! the sun is up so they’re up?! Good grief, there goes my summer beauty sleep.
Along with our regular daily schedules, another thing that seems to fall to the wayside during the summer is our exercise routine. Oh yes, we figure we’ll have far more time to exercise now because the sun is up earlier and stays out later, or the kids are off at summer camps, or we can take them on our run/bike/walk to the park.
Except, for some reason, it never quite seems to happen that way.
My intentions are always very good to keep my exercise routine going through the summer. But the reality is that we all stay up later, the kids are up earlier (thank you, early morning sunshine!), and it’s plain and simply SWELTERING outdoors for most of the day. The LAST thing I want to do is step outside at 6 am for a run and melt in the heat before I’ve even made it past the front steps.
So what’s a hot, tired out and really still very busy mom to do in order to stay motivated to move in the summer? Here’s what helps me:
1. Get a goal
I’ve been running since April 2013. I never thought I’d EVER become a runner, but through prayer and determination, plus accountability, I’ve done it! Now I want to KEEP on doing it.
However, running is not my exercise of choice. I’d much rather do cardio or strength training. So in order to keep at it, I need to set a goal. For me, it’s a 10k race at the beginning and end of summer, then perhaps another one in the mid-Fall. Having those goals and dates in mind helps me keep training and running, where I might easily fall off that wagon.
2. Get accountable
Accountability, AKA POSITIVE peer pressure is one of the best motivators! Have someone you can workout with, either in person, or in a group online. Having someone else to answer to for your exercise goals, and vice versa, is a great way to stay on the health track.
3. Get the kids active!
Instead of driving to the park, get everyone on their bikes, rollerblades (they’re still cool! :D) or walk together. Find a bike park and while the kids ride in circles, take a few laps around the outside track.
Meet up with friends and take a hike on some new trails you’ve never explored before. Join in the practice or learn a sport with your kids.
4. Get inside
If it’s just too hot to be running, biking, walking or whatever else outdoors, retreat to the basement with your favourite workout program. There are plenty of good workout videos on YouTube or Fit Sugar to keep things interesting. Or, find a friend who has a treadmill or stationary bike that you can use when it’s too sweltering outside.
5. Get with the program
Along the lines of setting a goal, using a “timed” workout program is a great way to keep exercising through the hot summer months. By “timed”, I mean something that is 6, 9 or 12 weeks long. Some great program options I’ve used in the past are Slim in 6, T25, and P90X (INTENSE!). The next one on my list is 21 Day Fix, which is definitely a reachable goal and something I can continue to do throughout the rest of the year.
6. Get some sleep
Yes, this is one of the biggest challenges we can face when it comes to exercise ANY time of the year. Getting enough sleep. Or rather, NOT getting enough sleep.
When we get to bed to late or our sleep is restless, then we tend to want to linger in bed longer or find we’re lacking energy throughout the day. How do we fight it? First of all, start turning off electronic devices at LEAST an hour before bed. Your brain needs time to wind down and won’t register sleepiness if artificial light is present (read more about getting good sleep and becoming a morning person).
Now it’s your turn. What is YOUR goal for exercise this summer? How are you staying motivated to move through the hot summer months?
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