The idea of summer is fabulous. Warm summer days lazing around the swimming pool sipping champagne. Watching the sunset over the ocean. Eating chicken sandwiches peppered with the odd piece of sea sand. Long lazy BBQ's that stretch from the afternoons until the early evening. Sun kissed skin. It's simply wonderful isn't it. Isn't it?
For many women the thought of summer is all of the above but it is also fairly stressful. Feelings of poor self confidence and constant uncomfortable reminders of chafing is enough to make anyone feel anxious. So are you ready?
Preparing for summer when you aren't as fit as you would like to be is like preparing for anything else. Here are some specific tips to help you keep calm and get through the next months as best you can.
- Set realistic goals: If you have had a tough winter where keeping active has seemed impossible then be realistic about what you can achieve in the next 6 weeks. A washboard stomach is unlikely but it is possible with the extra sunlight hours to do some form of exercise at least 4 times a week .Remember you need to do at least 40 minutes to see real benefits but having said that anything is better than nothing, so even if you have 20 minutes just get out and go for a walk.
- Set multiple goals: Don't just set the first goal you want to achieve, set the next 5 goals you wan to achieve. Try ensure that the goals include a variety of areas include wellness, health, nutrition and fitness. In other words don't focus on just getting fit or losing weight. Think about all the others things that are part of this. For example set goals for how many hours of sleep you are getting. Set goals on nutrition like increasing the number of vegetables you eat in a day or including whole grains and removing sugars. The more goals you achieve the more confident you will feel so set as many as you like so you can feel like you are already making positive headway.
- Set your rewards in advance: It is very easy to achieve a fitness goal only to "treat" yourself with a naughty snack. We are all guilty of this from time to time. But try set your goals in advance and align them with the goals you have set. So if you have been getting the sleep you wanted treat yourself by going for a massage. If you have managed to get some extra vegetables in your diet buy yourself a new Mediterranean cookbook which beautiful vegetarian options. If you have managed to walk those 10,000 steps per day for the last 2 weeks then get yourself some new trainers. If you have managed 4 training sessions a week get yourself some new activewear to celebrate. It is so important to celebrate successes, its also a lot of fun :)
- Track your progress: Put a list together of how you are feeling and behaving now. Put a small paragraph together on your fitness, eating habits, sleeping habits, sleeping and general wellbeing with some specifics in there. For example how many glasses of wine you are drinking a day, how many push ups you can do in one go, how man squats? How many vegetables do you eat in a day? How many hours of sleep are you getting? Update this every week to show yourself how you are improving. It's about seeing how far you have come not about constantly looking to the future.
What are your goals for the next 6 weeks and what extra tips do you have to help other readers?