summer fitness

Some people get carried away with exercise in the summer. Many sedentary people take up sports or decide to start jogging because summer is almost universally accepted as everybody’s favorite season – and then the heat can take its toll and your client’s motivation may turn to mush. Summer inspires activity and motivates people to expand their horizons, so it’s important to go into it purposefully as to not get ‘burned’ out.

Having a summertime action plan for clients to follow is a good way to keep them on track. Make a punch list of the things that they should do to get the most out of their summer activities in a smart and safe way.

Know any Weekend Warriors?

Summer heat starts a fire in the very heart of the weekend warrior. On a warm summer morning with “Eye of the Tiger” blaring on the iPod he pulls his faded old jockstrap or her dusty old sports bra out of the bottom left hand dresser drawer. You know that drawer, everybody has one. It is only opened when you have misplaced something and have looked everywhere else in a four state radius to find it.


Having lost all hope of ever finding your valued possession you get desperate and crack the seal on the mummy’s tomb known as the bottom left hand drawer. Everything in that drawer smells like musty old wood and broken dreams. It contains all of the clothing that went out of style last decade, the workout videos from failed resolutions past and clothes so ragged that the Salvation Army would kick them to the curb.

Even as you are reading this a few of your clients are most likely getting sports apparel from that notorious bottom left hand drawer. Aside from advising them to launder their aforementioned unmentionables there are some good tips and sound advice that may help them on their summertime journey.

Preparing for physical activity

Let’s face it we all want our moment in the sun. What better time to relive the glory of your youth than in the warm days of summer. You may want to advise your clients to treat any physical activity in the same way as they would a workout. The game plan should be to have a proper warm up beforehand, adequate hydration during and a cool down and stretching afterward. Most people don’t think of sports and recreation as exercise until they get hurt doing it. An ounce of prevention will go a long way to keeping them in the action all summer long.

Client Reminders:
1. Bring plenty to drink and consume the water in small amounts often
2. Perform 5 minutes of light aerobic exercise as a general warm up
3. Perform light stretches and then start the activity slowly and ramp up over time
4. Slowly taper down activity and perform some stretches to end the day

Work up to heavier activity

Rome was not built in a day. Often times the people with the least experience at a given endeavor are the most likely to attack it with the greatest amount of zeal. That is because they lack the experience to know the difficulty of whatever new activity they embark upon. A person who is new to fitness or sports is more likely to injure themselves because of over exertion. Moderation and common sense must be used when determining how quickly to ramp up an activity.

If you are familiar with the SAID principle than you know that the body will adapt to whatever stress it is exposed to over a period of time. When a poorly conditioned person decides to become a weekend warrior they are exposing their bodies to a much higher level of stress than it is used to. This can lead to injury. When taking on a new activity it is best to start out small and work your way up to being a full on warrior over several weeks. That will give a person time to let their body adapt.

Action List:
1. Encourage clients to work up to challenging activities over several weeks
2. Discuss the importance of rest and recovery
3. Advise clients to have a long term perspective regarding improvements

Vacations and exercise

There are a lot of ways that clients can stay on top of their training while traveling for vacation. Many hotels have a pool or a gym where guests can grab a quick workout. Even if there is no gym available there are many body weight exercises and training devices that can be packed into a small bag. Resistance bands or suspension trainers are portable and a person can exercise right in their room.

A person looking to grab a quick aerobic boost can jog on the beach, swim in the pool or even jump rope outdoors. There are numerous ways to get in a workout while on the road. Many people will engage in field sports or biking, hiking and even mountain biking with friends as part of their vacation activities.

Vacation exercise tips:
1. Make it fun and include active friends in your activities
2. Bring a TRX, resistance bands or use your body weight
3. Alternate leisure activities and relaxation with sporting and physical activities

Summer eating tips

How about that diet? Yes summer vacation season is a festival of never ending picnics and parties and dinners out with friends. The best way to keep on a diet and still enjoy life to its fullest is to plan ahead. Everybody has a list of foods that they love to eat. Some are better for the waistline than others.

When looking at a menu or a picnic spread a little forethought goes a long way. Suppose your client loves lasagna but also loves broiled haddock but not quite as much. A reasonable solution is to eat the haddock. They still get to eat an enjoyable meal out and also stay on a calorie budget that won’t bust their belt. It is the aggregate effect of smart choices over a long period of time that adds up to success or failure.

Healthy summer eating tips:
1. Prepare and bring enough healthy food to last all day
2. Hunt out the more nutritious restaurant fair on the menu
3. Fill up on vegetables before you serve yourself pasta salads and chips
4. Drink plenty of water

With a good plan in place your clients can continue to make improvements while also enjoying summer fun.

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John Rutnik

John Rutnik

John Rutnik is a NFPT Certified Personal Trainer. He holds an AAS in Electrical Technology and has been a certified personal trainer since 2008. John has been involved in physical fitness and weight training since the late 70’s and is an avid outdoors man. He became a personal trainer after rehabilitating himself from a spinal injury he sustained in a car accident and losing 70 pounds. John later obtained ISSA Certifications as both a Fitness Trainer and Specialist in Sports Nutrition and became Lead Fitness Trainer at Anytime Fitness in Schenectady NY. His training philosophy is “no man left behind,” everyone deserves a chance to succeed.