The problem with summer

The problem with summer

Gym cancellations are common when the weather heats up

I LOVE summer….and it also drives me crazy!

We see so many cancellations in summer, we see class numbers plummet and we KNOW what is happening.

It happens every summer, and it breaks our hearts. People cancel for the summer saying they will be back in fall, because they are ‘so busy’ and they will ‘be so active and work out anyway’, but the problem is, they don’t.

And we are all busy – that never changes does it? Then guess what?

Back in September (or October) having gained back all the fat they dropped with us after working so hard. Tragic.

No, I am not trying to lay a guilt trip on you, I just want to show you the folly in this flawed decision.

1) “I will be so active I won’t need the gym.” Let’s discuss this one first. Summer does bring an increase in activity, and that is great!

I love summer too, my bike rides grow to be eight hours or more and I prefer swimming in the lake way more than in the pool.

(And yes, I did just ride a stationary bike in the gym for eight hours, but that was to raise money for cancer research.

So let’s look at what most folks claim will keep them so active all summer using a 150 lb female as an example.

Let’s establish the standard to compare to: 45 minutes of high intensity Boot Camp is 512 calories burned plus the afterburn effect of the strength training, which burns calories for 48 hours after.

Golf: a fun game, true, but as a calorie burner, it is a dud!

If she walks, our sample female burns 240 calories per hour (with a power cart it’s not even worth talking about).

If she doesn’t eat or drink from the food cart (which could result in a ‘weight gain’ round) she could burn around 960 calories.

But it takes four hours and does nothing to build healthy muscle tissue.

Yardwork: gardening, mowing the lawn, all that stuff will burn around 260 calories per hour for our lady.

Bicycling: a personal favourite at around 600 calories per hour for our model. Better, but again just cardio will mean the calorie burn stops when the cycling does.

Softball: depending on the position you play and how long your team is sitting in the dugout, up to 300 calories per hour for the example person. Games run a few hours.

And again, as long as the beverage and ball park food don’t get you, at least it’s something.

2) “I am so busy in summer.”

We all are. But to answer this, I really need to tackle the ‘busy’ term.

‘Busy’ means doing the most important things because we all have the same 24 hours a day to work with. If you are too busy to do something, what you are really saying is, that it is not important or at least not as important as the other things you are doing. We all get done what is important. Always. Summer is no different.

Since I have shown that clearly none of these activities can top a 45-minute bootcamp session, what is the real deal? Why does taking care of ourselves take a back seat because of summer? Why is it suddenly not important?

If we can remember that the tiny investment of 45 minutes is important, then staying fit all summer can happen!

My thought is to do both- the sports you love and bootcamp or a workout!

Grab a 5:45 a.m. class for a quick full-on beneficial charge to the day and then go play golf or walk or garden. Your muscles are stimulated and growing and you are staying lean!

Busy all day? Cool, grab a 7 p.m. class to finish off the day. Why?

Because it is worth it.

You are worth it. And the heartache of returning to the gym, head hung low, self-esteem in the gutter in September because you are back where you were in January is not worth it.

Like Will Smith says, “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and the owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.