Perhaps it’s the lure of the sun lounger, or maybe the prospect of hitting the gym in the heat – whatever the reason, there’s no denying that we sometimes take our foot off the fitness pedal during the summer months. A new survey from British Military Fitness even shows that one in four of us believe that our summer holiday is responsible for weight gain. But don’t panic – we have just what you need to embrace exercise again. From smart training, to rediscovering your workout mojo, here’s everything you need to know to get back into fitness mode after months spent sipping sangria and sunbathing.
Anyone who’s been on holiday will know that some of the best memories are made abroad, but there’s no need to let the feel-good factor fade with your tan. Follow these exercise tips from Sonique Smith, Clubbercise lead master trainer, to keep the summer alive.
- 1 As soon as autumn arrives, the shops are filled with grey and black clothing, which is enough to send anyone into hibernation mode! Treat yourself to some brightly-coloured gymwear, as you don’t need to dull down just because the sun has gone in.
- 2 Been on a girls’ holiday? Reunite with your pals for a group HIIT class. Try 30-second drills of burpees, press-ups, squats and lunges taking 10 seconds of rest between sets. Mix things up by adding some dance steps and raving away before the next set.
- 3 For the ultimate Balearic vibe, stretch your muscles out to a chill-out track. The beats will instantly whisk you away to sunnier climes, and you’ll feel relaxed and accomplished after your workout.
After a holiday, it can be tempting to throw yourself back into a workout routine, but it’s important to take baby steps. “Don’t try and do things at the intensity you were doing them at before,” says Team Reebok UK’s Bex Hall. “If you do, you’re likely to be very sore for the next few days. Take the resistance of your weights down a bit and be sure to stretch out – travelling can really make your body seize up!”
If you’re struggling to get motivated, ask a personal trainer at your local gym to revamp your workout programme. “Now is the best time to reassess your fitness goals, address any specific areas that you want to change and set new targets,” says Louise Day, wellness director at Champneys. “It’s also a great time to try new classes and re-evaluate what your body needs.” Gyms and studios tend to change class timetables after the summer, so now’s the time to try something new!
It doesn’t hurt to ease back into exercise gently. Gradual progress will give your body a chance to regain strength and improve its aerobic capacity, not to mention help to get you feeling excited about activity again. Choose low intensity activities (think: 50-60 percent of maximum ability) and gradually increase the intensity over the next few weeks. Why not try one of these?
Not only is it kind on your body but it’s also a cheap way to burn calories, blitzing around 60-70 calories in 30 minutes when moving at a moderate pace.
A great way to increase strength and flexibility after a period of inactivity, hatha yoga will help you to get back into the habit of exercising. It involves a variety of seated and standing asanas, or poses, that will improve full-body strength.
Go back to basics at the gym by doing the age-old bodyweight moves like pushups, squats, lunges, inverted rows and pull-ups. Doing these moves will give your body a chance to build a foundation of strength again.
Few things boost gym motivation better than new workout togs. It’s simple – look good when you exercise and you’ll feel good when you exercise. Follow these shopping tips from Inspired by Lorna Jane Clarkson.
PICK & CHOOSE:
You don’t need to follow every trend. Find the ones that work for your style and personality and ditch the rest.
Think Audrey Hepburn with her cropped pants and ballet flats, or Kylie Minogue with her heels. Find your signature piece or accessory and wear it.
What are your best assets? Your toned arms, defined back, long legs? Choose pieces, colours and looks that play up your assets and play down your not so fabulous bits.
You’ve downloaded workout music and bought some new kit, now all you need to do is ditch holiday mode and get back to exercising. If you’re struggling to get going, try these motivation tips from Niko Algieri, owner of fitness studio Equilibrium.
If your holiday diet was pasta and cocktails, you need to get back on the health wagon. This will immediately boost your energy and ready your body for activity. Too busy to cook fresh? Invest in a healthy food delivery service.
Without a goal, you’ll procrastinate about hitting the gym. Set a new goal, whether that’s a weight target, exercise aim or to fit into an old pair of jeans that are a bit snug.
Over the holiday weeks, you’ve let your flexibility slide. Your glutes, hips and hamstrings will feel stiff, which can be very demotivating. Start a good stretching programme to loosen up and get ready for those squats!
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to return to your pre-holiday weight. Enjoy exercising again by following a routine that you love and try these feel-good workout tips from Mark Wood at British Military Fitness.
“It is much better for you to breathe in fresh air compared to air conditioning, especially if you’re stuck in a gym with loads of germs floating around. Research shows you can burn up to 30 percent more calories doing a workout outdoors compared to doing it indoors.”
Train with others
“Having a training partner or group will help you to stay on the fitness wagon. Others can help you stay motivated, and working out with friends creates a great social environment that means you can have some great fun, too.”
3 of the best dance workouts
Take your moves from the club floor to the gym floor at one of these waist-whittling dance workouts.
– With clubbing beats and glow sticks, Clubbercise is a great cardio workout that burns around 500 calories per class. Find a class near you at clubbercise.com
– From Insanity creator Shaun T, this dance-based workout is sure to make you sweat. Expect professionally choreographed dance routines. beachbody.co.uk/on-demand
– If you’re a Fitness First member, this 40-minute, spin bike party, which uses glow-in-the-dark Velobells, will bring the nightlife to your exercise regime. fitnessfirst.co.uk