I know what you're thinking: Why waste your precious summer months stuck indoors at a crowded gym when you could be soaking up the sun at the beach?
During the long, slogging summer months of outdoor movies, weekend getaways and vacations, it can be hard to even think of getting to the gym -- let alone lift a few weights or go for a run in the humidity.
We're all "busy" with more fun activities, but keeping your heart healthy is just as important as eating fruits and vegetables -- and besides, don't you want the satisfaction of feeling great in that new bikini you spent $100 on? Sure you do.
Here are six ways you can beat the heat and keep a solid workout routine during the summer months.
Go in the morning.
Don't give me that face. The first time is incredibly hard, but heading straight to work after a solid workout and shower will leave you feeling like the world is yours to conquer.
The 6:30 alarm can be dreadful, but 90 minutes later, you'll be glad you set it. Your co-workers will be jealous, and a side bonus? They'll see you as motivated and a go-getter.
Download a new album.
Listening to the same old music or Pandora station can get boring. Go back 30 years, find an old school artist you love and download the whole album. It'll be a refreshing change from the norm and will probably keep you motivated for at least three workouts if you're listening on repeat.
Run on the beach.
Or hike in the Poconos or swim in the hotel pool -- anything to keep yourself moving on vacation. Set aside 30 minutes at the end of the day or in the morning when your travel buddies won't miss you.
Some alone time to discover places for yourself, at your own pace, is wonderfully fun and enjoyable, especially when much of the day can be spent compromising on group activities.
Freeze strawberries or grapes, put them in a baggie and bring them to the gym. You can start popping them after your workout. It'll cool you off, curb your hunger and make sure you get those vitamins. Who can resist those frozen treats?
Have a contest.
Is your BFF also a gym rat but has lost her motivation in the heat? Gamify, girl.
Set up a contest. The lovely lady who gets to the gym the most during August gets treated to a $20 reward. Whether it's an iTunes gift card, salad or expensive coffee, anything goes -- as long as it's healthy.
Turn off the AC in your room.
The bedroom AC can be a lifeline... and a gym killer. If the draw of your TV is too strong on the weekends, turn off the AC and let the gym lure you with its air conditioning.
Finally, don't kick yourself or give up if you miss a workout. It happens, and the summer is meant for fun and easy livin'. Pick yourself up and keep on fighting. Go the next time, and make it count.
Once you start, it only gets easier from there. The first time can be tough, but your body will start to need the workouts like a drug. Believe it or not, you may even get withdrawal if you stop.
It sounds hard to believe, but exercise can actually be fun when you're done. Your body and mind will thank you; trust me.