Working Out is a Challenge. Summer Makes it Worse.

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It’s officially summer. That means the bikinis are on and your rolls are out. The BBQs are fired up and the meat temperatures are being bickered over. And the sun won’t let you forget that you didn’t want to work out in the first place (you can barely drag yourself off the couch to walk when its a balmy 70 degrees and overcast, let alone lace up your running shoes to venture out into satan’s armpit of 98 degree hell fire).

Summer is arguably the toughest time to maintain your healthy lifestyle (aside from the fruit cake capturing days of December). When you break a sweat walking to the bathroom, it can be difficult to maintain the positive fitness vibes that you cultivated during the spring. So what do you do? Try these 5 tips to stay motivated during the summer months:

Start early. Even with the fan blowing you’re probably too warm to get a good night’s sleep anyways. Beat the heat and wake up early to get in an outdoor workout before the sun dominates the landscape. You’ll feel better throughout the day and be glad to avoid the harmful rays.

Hydrate often. Drink plenty of cool water throughout the day. This will curb hunger, keep you hydrated as the sun depletes your nutrient supply, and reduce headaches associated with the heat. And don’t forget to hydrate any pets that you might drag along with you on your exercise excursions.

Class Pass. When meteorologists are frying eggs on the pavement to make a point, going outside is out of the question. Summer may be the perfect time to try indoor fitness classes and see what all the fuss is about. Look for temporary options like summer passes or month-to-month packages. And air conditioning? Oh yes.

Eat seasonally. We know that fresh is best, so eating seasonally is the best way to jazz up your summer dinners while keeping your waistline trim. Chances are you aren’t interested in a heavy meal anyways, so check out a seasonal food guide to see what’s freshest in your area.

Play. Remember when you were a kid and felt amazing after a day of swimming or running amok and eating popsicles outside with juice running down your arms? Tap into your childish sensibility and play at the beach, swim in a pool or start an outdoor game. You’ll burn more calories than you think and have a ball while you do it.

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What Can I Do With My Time That Is Important?

treeforestchesterIn reading through countless articles from “experts,” “gurus,” “coaches,” “analysts” and other faux-specialists applying their shoddy/brilliant expertise on the interwebs, I came across one little sentence that splattered my mind matter in a ginormous mess all over the wall:

Ask yourself: What can I do with my time that is important?  

It probably came from an article titled “10 Ways Kim Kardashian Makes 10 Million a Day,” or “Why Cats Fall into Laundry Baskets” or “You Will Only Be Happy If You Read This So Do It” or something like that. No doubt I fell into the click trap and pursued it because I just had to know the answer. (Spoiler: there’s no explanation for why cats do anything, so don’t fall for it.)

cat laundry basket

See? Pointless.

But read it I did, and this sentence seemed groundbreaking in its simplicity. It hit home for me so much that I WROTE IT DOWN on a POST-IT (no, I didn’t invent them). This was monumental because:

a.) I have accumulated stacks of post-its with nothing to write on them since the invention of the keyboard.

b.) I recently acquired a new pen that had yet to see any action and it was hungry for a cause.

c.) I never come across words of wisdom that don’t make me roll my eyes in a “too cool for school” fashion. This time I was not, indeed, too cool for said schooling and squealed like a cheerleader when reading the sentence.

Not to make this too much like school, but let’s dissect this little sentence, shall we?

What = implies an action, something in the realm of possibility. What’s for dinner? What do cats dream about? What’s the big deal? We don’t know just yet.

can I do = it’s you, it’s all up to you. You are doing the action, and you can. Go, you! (Still in cheerleader mode.)

with my time = everyone has time. It is yours, and it is special.

that is important = we are all capable of doing something important. It may not seem important to everyone, but you shouldn’t be worrying about someone else’s version of important.

? = Isn’t that just it? It’s a question mark. I don’t know the answer, but I do know there is value in searching for it.

If you wake up eager to do something important, then you’re on the right track and your desire to succeed in something shouldn’t be trivialized. Keep going. Fitbeasts are people who want to make themselves better, and make other’s lives better in the process. Health is important, but so is finding someone to love, something to do, something to look forward to and something in which to believe. So are you moving in the right direction? Ask yourself:

What can you do with your time that is important? 

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