Fitness lovers rejoice! It’s finally getting warm enough to consistently work out outside in shorts and a t-shirt. The sun is out, the temperature is slightly warm, and the breeze is slight. We’ve seen more runners, bikers, and yoga aficionados out and about these past few weeks than we have in the past few months in total.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful weather and emerging into the great outdoors for your exercise. Getting back out into the open for workouts can be challenging (we covered the best ways to safely transition from indoor to outdoor workouts here), but once you’re there, the sessions can be glorious.
After a few weeks of wonder, however, it can be easy to stagnate. Your body easily gets used to repetitive activity, and while it might be comfortable for you to run or bike a few miles at your normal pace, that comfort isn’t helping you consistently improve your health.
So how can you step up your game this summer and ensure that you’re consistently improving in your workouts?
- Change it up. If you want to keep improving, you can’t run the same distance and pace every single day. Deliberately vary the difficulty of your workouts (do a fast-paced run one day, sprints the next, and a long, slow jog after) to ensure you’re making the most of your time on the pavement. In that vein, stick to your plan: if you set out to do a fast run, don’t ease up. If today’s a restful yoga sort of day, don’t push yourself. There’s a place and time for each type of variation, and sticking with the plan will keep you on track.
- Add strength training to your routine. While elite athletes spend a lot of their time running, they also always incorporate lifting and core work during the day to keep their muscles up to par with the vigor of their workouts. Consistently working out is demanding, and you need to make sure you’re taking the time to strengthen the muscles that make them possible.
- Stay consistent in mileage. Whether you’re training for a race or not, it’s important to try and stick with the same number of miles each week to continually strengthen your body and improve your fitness. Your running, biking, kayaking, or other favorite fitness activity will constantly improve the more you do it; like many things, practice makes perfect! If you need, stick with a training plan to keep yourself on track.
- Eat well and sleep tight. Yes, this advice may seem fairly generic, but we promise – it’s essential to improving your workouts! We all know how bad it can feel when you’re out for a run after you had a less-than-stellar meal or only a few hours of sleep. Less sleep can even make your muscles lazier and make you more prone to injury. Don’t let that happen: stay consistent with your sleep schedule and nourish your body with healthy, whole foods to help in other aspects of your health regime!
With these quick tips, you’ll find yourself increasing in mileage, pace, and aerobic capacity in no time this summer.
How do you consistently improve your workouts? Let us know in the comments!