DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: KICK STARTING A FITNESS PLAN by Kevin Chapman of Elite Training Systems

Nothing beats the summer months; long days, holidays, barbecues, pool parties, cottage weekends and most importantly spending time with friends and family outdoors! As the summer winds down most people are beginning to settle back into their regular routines as the summer holidays come to an end. A lot of people this time of year look to get back into a training regimen with the hopes of shedding a few pounds that were packed on over the summer months. I am going to outline five ways to get back on track and be successful moving forward.

  1. Develop a solid morning routine: This is crucial for having success in anything in life as the morning is the first and only opportunity you have to set the tone for your day. Every persons morning routine will look a little different and that’s okay because no two people are the same! Here are some key things that you should look to begin your day with 1) Wake up at least 2-3 hours prior to when you need to be at work or school 2) Quiet time; upon waking try and dedicate five minutes to be still and clear your thoughts before the chaos of the day starts 3) Write down a short “to do” list as to what needs to be accomplished that day 4) Have a good breakfast (coffee and a muffin doesn’t cut it!) 5) Do something active (even if its walking the dog, its better than nothing!)
  2. Be realistic in how much time you can dedicate to a training program: I often see people over committing to a training program only to find themselves frustrated because they can not handle the volume. At first thought its great to be ambitious and want to train like a pro athlete however, for the pros training is their 9-5 job while the rest of us have to juggle work, kids, home life all the while trying to find time to train. Schedule in training sessions or activity as if it were an appointment and stick to it! For me and my schedule I know that I can commit to 4-5 one-hour training sessions weekly
  3. Get your nutrition back on track by starting a food journal: Summer is the time of year where a lot of people over indulge in food and beverages that aren’t as healthy as what they would normally eat. It’s important to live a little from time to time but like anything else balance is key to leading a healthy life. September is a perfect time to refocus nutrition habits, the best way to do this is begin a detailed food journal and review it daily so that good habits are reinforced.
  4. Meal Prep twice per week: It is better to be over prepared than under prepared. Pick two days each week where you cut up fruits and vegetables and prepare salads, meat, and other easy to access snacks so that you are not left having to take the easy way out and eat on the run. I usually dedicate Sunday and Wednesday as my meal prep days so that I always have homemade healthy foods at my fingertips.
  5. Get a better sleep every night: Nothing beats summer nights! Eating outdoors and being able to sit on your patio until 10 pm because of the warm weather is a great feeling. Now that we begin to transition into the fall its important to re-establish better sleeping patterns. Try and set a consistent bed and wake up time so that you are well rested and ready to tackle your day! As a rule of thumb 8 hours of sleep is what you should be aiming for each night so if that means being settled in bed by 9-10 pm and getting up between 5-6 am you will be in a good spot!

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