Many people find it easier to maintain their beach bodies during summer than they do throughout the rest of the year. Summer weather encourages people to get off the couch and enjoy the great outdoors, and many people prefer to eat lighter meals during the summer to combat the heat and humidity.
But once the dog days of summer give way to autumn, the motivation to stay in beach shape tends to wane. Couple that dwindling motivation with the tendency to eat larger, heartier meals as the weather gets colder, and it’s easy to see why so many people gain weight over the last several months of the year and into the new year. But maintaining a healthy weight year-round promotes long-term health and reduces a person’s risk for various ailments and diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. The following are a handful of strategies men and women can employ as they try to turn their beach bodies into the bodies they see in the mirror all year long.
- Keep setting goals. As winter heads toward spring, many people set short-term goals to motivate them to get back into beach shape. That’s a highly effective strategy that need not be exclusive to late winter. Setting short-term fitness and dietary goals throughout the year can keep you from falling back into bad habits. Tie your goals into the season to increase your chances for success. For example, resolve to run outdoors or cycle a certain number of miles each week in autumn, when the weather is still conducive to physical activity and the scenery is idyllic. When winter arrives and exercising outdoors is no longer viable, commit to attending a few fitness classes per week at your gym.
- Switch up your workout routine every few weeks. Boredom also can affect people’s ability to maintain healthy weights year-round. Adhering to the same exercise routine for months on end can grow tedious. The body can even grow accustomed to the same workout routine, meaning you won’t be getting as much out of your exercise sessions as you might if you switch things up. If you find your daily workouts taking a turn toward the mundane, switch up your routine by changing exercises or signing up for classes that interest you.
- Find healthy seasonal foods. Many people prefer to buy locally sourced and/or in-season foods, recognizing the positive impact that such dietary habits can have on the environment. That commitment to buying healthy, locally grown foods can be tested as the seasons change and the offerings at your local market change along with them. Educate yourself about which foods are in-season in your area throughout the year, opting for the most nutritious foods you can find. Buying in-season foods saves you money, and you will also feel good about staying on a nutritious, eco-friendly track.
- Join an exercise group or sports league. The buddy system is an effective way to stay committed to a fitness regimen, but if you cannot find a friend or family member to brave cold winter treks to the gym with you, then consider joining an exercise group or competitive sports league. As summer turns to autumn, join a road runner’s club to motivate you to run. When harsh weather makes running outdoors too difficult, sign up for a winter sports league. Such groups or leagues get you off the couch and provide great opportunities to meet like-minded men and women who have made their own commitments to staying fit.
Staying fit all year long is a challenge for many people. But maintaining that beach body even after summer has come and gone need not be so difficult.