by Maria Miller, Certified Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor
In today’s world, we are fortunate to have many exercise options right at our fingertips. There are outdoor activities, group fitness classes, access to personal trainers and much more. So, why is it that during the season we want to look and feel our best – and are typically wearing the least – we are not as fit as we want to be?
My theory for summer weight gain is party to blame on the nice weather – we are all so excited to be outside! We make plans for elaborate projects in our homes and gardens, attend yet another BBQ, cool off with frozen treats, eat s’mores around the campfire, frequent happy hours, attempt to keep up our with our kids’ schedules, meet friends for breakfast, and go on vacations. Before we know it, painting the garage door takes precedence to Saturday’s workout (it was too hot anyway...), and that brunch with friends was a delicious 800 calories more than the hike ended up burning. It’s 9 p.m. and still light out and longer days mean staying up longer and late-night snacking. Suddenly, we realize all of our summer plans and spontaneity gave way to the consistent efforts we held onto the other three seasons of the year, and we’re surprised that we’ve gained weight.
My advice? First, don’t let heat be an excuse not to exercise. Work out in air-conditioned gyms or swim laps in the pool. Another barbeque? Save calories by going easy on alcohol, chips and dip, and greasy hamburgers. Instead, load up on hummus, grilled veggies and a turkey burger. Swap ice cream for lower-calorie treats like fresh fruit or sorbet. Try to eat out only once a week and cook healthy meals at home. When you’re on vacation, you deserve to live a little; just be sure to not go overboard on cocktails and keep things balanced by finding fun ways to stay active such as taking a bike tour, surfing or doing a yoga class.
Just as you look at your summer schedule and plot out your vacations, projects and parties, plot out your summer workout schedule. By following the above nutrition and fitness tips, you can avoid warm weather weight gain.