The time of year most often associated with getting healthy is January 1st. People love a good New Year’s resolution, no matter how likely–or more typically, unlikely–they are to stick to it. There’s just something about the beginning of the year that people think, “New calendar, new me!”
Setting goals is always a good thing, no matter what time of year. However, what makes January 1st tricky is the season. The period right after the holidays is a difficult time. Not only have you potentially snacked a little too heavily and fallen off of your normal routine thanks to holiday parties and gift shopping but also the days are shorter making it difficult to stay motivated all day long. Add to that the weather. For many parts of the country it’s cold out–very cold, as in, there’s-no-way-in-hell-I-want-to-leave-my-house-and-do-anything cold. Feeling such can make a jaunt to the gym very implausible, which adds to the challenge of making new healthy habits stick.
When it comes down to it, it would make a lot more sense if people started making Summer Resolutions instead of doing New Year’s. Here’s why:
Weather: Higher temps makes it easier to get outside and start working on your fitness faster. No need for lots of layers to protect you from the elements. With the mercury rising, all you need is some sunscreen and your basic wears, and you’re ready to get your sweat on. And speaking of sweating, sure summer can get hot and sticky, but you can always beat the heat with laps in a pool or selecting a shaded bike route. The same can’t be said for working out in winter. When it’s cold out, it’s cold out.
Produce: Eating healthy is a must for achieving the body of your dreams, and summer is the perfect time of year for foods that are both fresh and local. Farmers’ markets are filled with a rainbow of veggies and fruits that are sure to entice the pickiest of palates. Warmer weather means you’re also likely to eat less, whereas winter, you might tend to eat hearty foods that fill you up but also weigh you down.
Motivation: Let’s face it: It’s easy to hide the extra body fat when you’re buried beneath layers of thermal and fleece in winter. But come summertime, lightweight clothing, sleeveless tops, shorts and skirts, and of course, swimsuits means more of you is on display. While you should love your body no matter what it looks like, summer clothing might be the motivation you need if you’d like to get on a healthier path leading to a more confident you.
Outdoor Options: While winter offers skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating if you live in an area that offers such, the variety of summer sweat options seems endless. Hiking, paddle boarding, surfing, swimming, biking, rock climbing, skateboarding, canoeing, kayaking, sailing…need we go on? Because we certainly could. Summer is packed with opportunities–try one!
Day Length: While winter may make you feel like slipping into hibernation mode, summer’s longer days filled with more hours of sunshine can make is that much easier to get out of bed and workout in the morning. Even the evening is a good choice if you need some exercise to expel the stress of the day.
Group Activities: Gathering with friends in winter is often centered around food and drinking. However, in summer, get-togethers feel more active. A backyard barbecue can turn into a bocce tournament. And a day at the beach can include Frisbee throwing and a sand volleyball match, in addition to swimming and body boarding.
If you let your New Year’s resolution slip, don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone. Now that summer is here, revisit your beginning-of-year goals and see if you can’t make them stick this summer. Give it a try and you just might be surprised how easily they feel when sunshine is on your side. And the bonus: Forming the habits now means no more winter resolutions since you’ll already be a healthier you!
What summer resolution suits you? Share with us in the comments!