It can be so difficult to motivate yourself to exercise in the summertime. The sun's out, it's scorching hot and all your friends want to go down to the beach, cook up a storm on the BBQ and drink some ice-cold beers. You planned to go to the gym today and now you're in a dilemma about what to do: you're debating giving it a miss. WAIT, don't do it! This doesn't mean you have to miss out on the fun, or either on your workout! It's all about getting creative with your surroundings. Getting your workout in outdoors and in the sun, can be super fun and accompanied by a nice tan, what more could you want?
As some of you may know, I am an ambassador for CLIF Bar whose ambition is to feed your own fitness adventures and what a perfect time to mix up your workouts and get outside! For those of you who know me, but also for those of you who don't, I'm all about making fitness fun, removing barriers so it's accessible to all and most importantly, making sure that it's enjoyable, whatever your fitness goal may be. I've recently just been on holiday and managed to get my workouts in every day, in twenty minutes or less, without having to trek off to the gym on my own, miss out on the sun and not do the things I wanted to do. So, I want to share with you how I did it and give you some top tips on how to get outside in the sun and open air and get your sweat on anywhere you may be.
GRAB EVERY OPPORTUNITY
A wall, a bench, a water bottle. Anywhere you are, I can confidently say you'll find tools for your workout. For example, when I was away, I did a high-rep circuit consisting of squats, lateral raises, lunges and rows using two five litre water bottles in each hand, which weighed in at around 10 kilograms. I definitely got a sweat on and it was so handy. There are so many ways to jazz up a workout without equipment or a kitted out gym. If you don't want to just go for a run, get creative!
Hands up who just looks at a park bench as, well... just a park bench? WRONG! Benches are actually an awesome workout tool and you can work your body head to toe with nothing else other than your own bodyweight!
Here is a no-fuss full body bench workout you can take with you wherever you go (this would work well on a set of stairs too!):
Perform each exercise for 30s, no rest in between exercises and rest for 30-60s after each round - aim for anywhere between 3-6 rounds!
*make sure you perform the single leg exercises for 30s one each side
1. Alternating high knee step ups
2. Tricep dips
3. Split squat lunges (rear foot elevated on bench)
4. Incline press ups
5. Seated squat jumps
Finding yourself a workout buddy can make exercising much more fun and is great for helping motivation levels. I love doing group exercise and finding even just one person to do a workout with can make all the difference. Get creative with circuits in pairs or a group, I like to create mini HIIT competitions which always end up in rolling-on-the-floor-laughter. First one to complete gets a drink on me!
TICK SOMETHING OFF YOUR BUCKET LIST
Working out and especially if you're away doesn't always mean that you have to do a standard workout or something boring, it can also just mean making an effort to stay active. Make the most of your adventures and the weather by doing something you've never done before! This could be hiking up a mountain, diving, visiting a cultural landmark, rock-climbing, surfing. I could list for hours. Turn your exercise into an experience and make some amazing memories whilst you do it: you will feel doubly as satisfied.
Guys, if you didn't know, I love my food. I can't go anywhere without snacks and even more so when an opportunity to get a workout in may arise anywhere. It's so important to make sure that you're eating enough when exercising and especially in hot weather. I always carry portable hand-bag friendly snacks with me for either fuelling up before a workout or re-fuelling after a workout; that way, I know I'm always ready for some spontaneous exercise! Energy bars are always a good choice and the Crunchy peanut butter CLIF Bar is my current addiction! For anyone who shares my addiction with trying new snacks, go and get one now - it won't disappoint!
SAFE AND SOUND
Another mantra of mine is making sure exercise safe and sensible as well as fun. Sorry if I've gone all 'Auntie Courtney' on you, but sun-stroke, dehydration and lobster-red is not a good look, nor is it healthy. You want to effortlessly look like a sun god/ goddess lunging on the sand and everyone else wondering who the sky has blessed them with! If you're training in hot weather try and workout either in the morning when it's coolest or in the shade if you like your lie-ins on holiday like me! Another important thing to remember is that you can lose a litre of water per hour of exercising, so drink plenty of fluids and if it's hot drink a litre an hour outside of your exercise time as well.
P.S.: Don't forget your suncream!