Cold weather is a workout buzz kill. New Year’s fitness resolutions only last so long. At the end of the day, it’s that good old summer weather that is always one of the best ways to find some health-focused motivation.
If you’re feeling a warm-weather itch to address your health, here are a few areas of your life to consider to help you get started.
1. Shake Up Your Commute
Finding time to exercise during the day can be tough. If you pick the morning, you’re going to hit a day before long where you’re too tired to motivate. The middle of the day is often too disruptive for a trip to the gym. And, of course, working out after a long day of work takes a special kind of commitment.
If you’re struggling to find the time for consistent exercise, consider your commute. If your commute involves a long drive to the office, this may not be an option. But for an increasing number of professionals, the “trip” to the office is less arduous. It either consists of a short trip through an urban center or even working from home.
If that’s the case, it’s easy to turn that time before and after work into a quick workout. Instead of driving through the city, walk to the office or ride your bike. If you’re concerned about showing up sweaty, get an electric bike that lets you pedal steadily, regardless of the terrain.
Even if you work from home, you can still take some time to “commute” to work. Many remote-friendly companies have championed the idea of a virtual commute. This is where work-from-home employees take the time they would have spent commuting to prepare for or debrief from their workdays. Use your virtual commute time to take your bike out for a spin, go for a jog, or even walk the dog so you’re doubling up on your productivity.
2. Set Up a Summer-Time Morning Routine
Morning routines are a critical part of a productive, healthy lifestyle. Often it’s little things like making your bed or eating breakfast that can help you set the tone for a good day. This can also be the perfect area of your day to invest in both staying in shape and maintaining your mental health.
Even if you already have a good morning routine, it’s worth taking some time to consider if it’s tailored to your summer schedule. The bright, early summer mornings offer a great opportunity to add some health-related activities into the mix.
For instance, consider a normal, year-round morning routine. It likely involves things like taking a shower, getting dressed, eating a healthy breakfast, and possibly checking the news or squeezing in a quick stretch. In the early summertime mornings, you can add several fitness or mental health activities to this list, such as:
- Going for a walk or a jog;
- Following a YouTube fitness instructor;
- Spending time meditating and praying;
- Doing a crossword puzzle.
There are many exercises and mental health activities that you can do in the summer. By adding them to your morning routine, you can capitalize on the bright mornings and warmer weather in the name of your health.
3. Learn to Balance Work and Life
When health is brought up, it usually invokes images of trips to the gym and getting on a healthy diet. And these are good first steps. However, you should look further than the basics if you want to invest in your health this summer.
One area where you can quietly cultivate your health is with your work-life balance. This has become a flashpoint for many individuals as millions have adjusted to a work-from-home lifestyle. It’s difficult to separate work and life activities when they take place in the same space.
Learning to balance your work and your personal life can have a huge impact on your mental state. Removing distractions and interruptions while you work is critical for productivity. At the same time, learning to take breaks and unplug when you’re off the clock is equally important.
Balancing work and life is often seen as a work-related activity. And it’s true that it can boost your efficiency and productivity. But it can also have a big impact on your health. The ability to focus on either aspect of your life without interference from the other reduces stress and anxiety. It also helps you find time for things like exercise, sleep, and sticking to your diet.
4. Overhaul Your Fitness Gear
Of course, one of the best ways to invest in your health is to take the phrase literally. There are many ways that you can invest in quality fitness gear. There’s nothing quite like spending some money on your health to help you make it a priority.
This isn’t a call to merely look for some fancy new health-related gadget to add to your repertoire. Instead, take a minute to consider the state of your current gear. Here are a few key areas to consider:
- A water bottle: Hydration is a key aspect of health. Having a large water bottle can encourage you to get enough water intake throughout the day.
- A pillow: It may not be at the top of your list, but a high-quality pillow can make or break the effectiveness of your sleep. If you’re interested in a holistic approach to health, make sure that you’re getting plenty of top-notch sleep.
- A fitness tracker: If you don’t have a fitness tracker, you should get one to help keep you on track. If you do have one, consider if it’s compatible with your phone, tracks the metrics that you need, and is fulfilling its function well.
- Sneakers: You may have different shoes for each activity or you may use the same pair of sneakers for all of your fitness exploits. In either case, you should replace your exercise footwear at least every 300 to 500 miles or six to eight months.
These are just a handful of the basic fitness gear items that most people have. Consider your current workout arsenal and look for areas that you should upgrade.
From shaking up your commute to finding work-life balance, upgrading your gear, and adapting your routine, there are many ways to take advantage of the upcoming summer months in the name of your health. So, before you go overhauling your lifestyle or investing in splashy fitness solutions, consider the list above. Then look for the subtle, nuanced ways that you can improve your health in the warmer months ahead.