Top four tips to staying on track over summer

BY CATHERINE COLE

Summer. It’s time for barbeques, camping, drinks on the patio, picnics and relaxing! Such a great time to spend enjoying the weather with family and friends. Summer is always my favourite time of year! The only down fall to all the summery fun is that it is so easy to get off track. All the hotdogs, hamburgers and beer can do some heavy damage in the calorie department. Time and again I have clients come to me in the fall, when they can no longer fit into their skinny jeans. Lets not do that this year! I’m going to lay out my top four tips to staying on track through the summer.

1. Hydrate – summer brings warmer temperatures, lots of activity and sometimes alcoholic beverages. With the summer fun, please don’t forget to hydrate. Make sure you are drinking extra fluids to replace what you have lost through sweat. People often mistake the early signs of dehydration for hunger. So before you grab food, make sure it isn’t thirst that you are feeling. Down a glass or two of water. Make sure you are getting two to three litres a day and drink extra when working out. Also, add some high water content fruit and veggies to your diet. Watermelon and cucumber are great sources.

2. Plan ahead – if you know you are going to a barbeque, dinner out, a wedding, family reunion etc. – plan ahead! This is the best thing you can do for yourself. If you know you have an event coming, stick to eating clean in the week following up to the event. If you can offer to bring a healthy dish to contribute to your event, do it. This way, you will know that there will be at least one healthy option for you to choose from. Also, if you are spending the day at the park or beach, pack a cooler with fresh fruit and veggies. This way you won’t be tempted to grab the next easiest thing, which is often calorie heavy and not nearly as healthy.

3. Get outside – the weather is beautiful, now is the time to enjoy it. Get out and do some hiking, rollerblading, running, walking, swimming, the options are endless. Now is a great opportunity to possibly try something new like long boarding, soccer or golf. All the extra activity will add up to extra calories burned, and if you’ve stuck to your meal plan, all your favourite clothes should still fit in the fall.

4. Get an accountability buddy – grab a buddy or two, to keep you accountable. Set goals with each other and make a plan of how to reach them. A great example is to sign up for a race together and then get busy training for it. Set up meal plans together, share your favourite clean recipes, or set up a friendly competition of who can run the most kilometres that week. Whatever it is, support and encourage each other to stay in shape and to stay on track.

There they are – my top four tips for staying on track this summer. Stick to them and you should be able to coast into fall, feeling and looking great!

Catherine Cole is a personal trainer at 360 Fitness in Red Deer.

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