With more and more gyms and studios opening up, exercise enthusiasts have a renewed motivation and a fresh set of fitness goals heading into the season. That said, not everyone is ready to be back to working out in the traditional ways — and that’s OK. Many trainers will tell you that there are plenty of ways to improve your workouts outside the gym. In fact, some of the best and most expert-approved summer fitness tips require no equipment and don’t even involve leaving your home if that’s what works for you. Still, they’re probably not what you’re expecting.
Regardless of whether or not you rely on a trainer to keep you sticking to a schedule or to coach you through more challenging moves, your workout habits are inherently tied to your mentality first and foremost. “The most powerful fitness tool you have is your mind,” says Emily Skye, fitness mogul and founder of Emily Skye FIT. “By having a positive mindset you'll start to realize that the number on the scale won’t shift your confidence and perspective — your mindset needs to be strong enough to love your body no matter what.”
Aside from cultivating a positive outlook towards working out — which is arguably the hardest part — there are a few other less obvious things that can boost your fitness regimen, from carefully sourcing your virtual inspiration (and tuning out ones that aren’t serving you) to recovery tips that will have you physically ready to keep your habit going in a healthy way. Ahead, find out what experts say you should be doing to upgrade your summer routine — whether you’ll be heading into the gym or not.
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Creating a healthy mentality is essential for a fitness habit that’s actually sustainable. And no better place to start than focusing on yourself instead of comparing your progress or results to others — particularly on social media. “It’s pretty hard to start your day without checking your phone, but if you can, try and avoid browsing Instagram and other social apps,” Skye says. “This way you won’t get stuck in the comparison trap first thing in the morning, and you’ll start your day focused on yourself. Enjoy your time in the moment and avoid getting caught up in what others are doing.”
Dress The Part
According to celebrity trainer Lacey Stone, the old adage of “dress for the job you want” may have a point. “Don’t underestimate the power of a cute new outfit,” she says. “Studies show that when you like your outfit, it increases your confidence and your performance.” As if you needed an excuse to pick out some chic new activewear!
Set The Mood With Music
Another way to get your mind right even before you hit the mat? Curate a list of tunes that begs you to move. “Before working out, make a playlist you enjoy to help motivate you,” Stone suggests. Need some ideas? Try some expert-approved songs to get started.
You’ll power through your workout better when your body is getting what it needs on the inside — and that means plenty of water. “Our bodies are 80% water, so being hydrated makes all the difference,” Skye says. “By drinking enough water each day, you'll feel more energetic and alert, so you can put more into your workouts. Plus, your skin will look and feel better too!”
Choose Your Trainer Wisely
If you know you stay on task better when you’re working with a trainer, take care to find one who’s approachable and encouraging about your goals. “Find an instructor that you like to help get through the down days,” says Stone, who founded her own digital platform in addition to privately coaching celebrity clients. “It’s a fitness professional’s job to help motivate you when you’re feeling unmotivated, use us!”
Start Off The Week With A Bang
For obé fitness instructor Alex Scolari, you can set the tone for the week by getting in your workout first thing. “I personally think it's so important to get a great sweat in on a Monday,” she says. “It totally sets the vibe for the week and you go into the rest of your week feeling physically stronger and mentally lighter. Continue this routine throughout summer and it'll keep you on track!”
Take It Outside
Scolari recommends taking advantage of the beautiful weather by working out in the open air when you can. “Summer workouts are amazing,” she says. “Nothing like a good workout paired with fresh air and sunshine to make your sweat sesh fly by.”
Employ The Buddy System
If you’re in need of some extra support, don’t hesitate to ask a friend or partner to tag along with your workout. “Invite a friend, a significant other, a situationship, or whoever, and make it a date,” Scolari suggests.
Make It Sustainable
Sometimes a lack of time in your schedule can make you think you can’t prioritize a workout, but according to Scolari, you don’t have to set aside an entire hour — if a shorter routine is more realistic, start there. obé workouts are often under 30 minutes, and some trainers even suggest a series you can do in just 10 minutes if that’s all you have to spare.
Don’t Skip Out On Recovery Mode
Your workout doesn’t stop with your last stretch, pose, or move. As Stone explains, giving your body some love with recovery will also help you bounce back quicker and be ready to tackle the next workout. “Post workout, use a percussion tool for recovery and your sore muscles,” she says. “Two of my favorites are the Theragun and Hypervolt.”