Creating a successful summertime fitness plan

Only a few more days until school lets out around here.

While I love having my kids home for the summer, their schedules can sometimes impinge on my rest-of-the-year fitness routine.

Workouts need to be juggled with family outings and kids’ camps.

Not to mention the challenges that vacations present.

Be honest. Which one would you rather be hanging from?

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, failing to make a plan is akin to planning for failure.

So what can you do to ensure that all of your September to June successes continue through the summer?

Three steps to creating a successful summertime fitness plan
  • Make a schedule. Grab your calendar and box out days you know you’ll either be away from your usual workout space or too busy juggling work, kids and life to squeeze some exercise in.

successful midlife exercise program

Take a look at what remains and pencil your workouts in (it’s actually better if you use pen, pencil is too easy to erase….).

Tally them up.

If you’ve scheduled at least 3 workouts a week for 3 out of the 4 weeks in each of July and August you’re good. Even if this is less than you’re currently doing.

More exercise isn’t always better, especially when it’s keeping you from participating in other activities that energize and fill you up. (Even better when those other activities are physical 😉 ).

Go and enjoy your summer knowing that you’ll be maintaining the fitness status quo and will arrive in September without any noticeable loss of strength or endurance.

 If your schedule is looking a bit sparse, read on.

  • Expand your horizons. We all have our preferred place to exercise. Mine is the gym. Others prefer their basement exercise space. It’s easy to think that if we’re not able to access our ‘happy place’, we won’t be able to work out.

While it’s true that there’s ‘no place like home’, there are certainly lots of places that are just about as good.

Most hotels have fitness centres.

While they many not have as much equipment as you’re used to working with, even the most basic hotel gyms tend to have cardio machines and a modest range of dumbbells. (If you’re lucky, they’ll be a stability ball and a bench too.)

My favourite thing about hotel gyms? I usually have the place to myself 🙂

And of course, there are always body weight workouts in a pinch. Here’s a list of body weight exercises that I like to string together on vacation (especially if I’m not at a hotel and don’t have any equipment to work with) >> Use your own body weight to get strong and lean

  •  Adopt a ‘shades of grey’ mindset. Many of us take a ‘black and white’ approach to fitness and health. If our workouts aren’t long, frequent and exhausting we think “what’s the point”.

If you’ve ever skipped a gym session because you didn’t have an hour and a half free or abandoned a program because you missed the first week your ‘all or nothing’ mindset might be holding you back.

Short workouts are always better than nothing. In some cases, they may actually help you reach your goals more quickly than those which consume the better part of your morning.

You can easily shorten your current workouts by eliminating an exercise or two, cutting back on a set or doubling up on isolation moves.

Find ways to exercise at home, thereby saving travel time (and the ever-present temptation to chat with fellow gym-goers) and money.

Go back to your calendar and pencil in a few more short workouts. Twenty to 30 minute pockets of time are all you need for a whole-body, compound exercise workout, like the one below.

For more short, whole-body workouts you can do at home, check out my free Workout Library >> Fitknitchick’s Workout Library




  1. Start with workable workout routine and don’t surprise your body with super intense schedule right away or you’ll end up getting lazy in the long run. Make it always feasible (e.g. once a week for the for the first 2 months, then up your game with 2 in a week, and so on, until it gets really comfortable in your schedule.

    Followed your blog! 🙂

  2. It’ s good tips how to make active summer plan. But I have one problem. It’s so hard for me to keep exercising when I have rest. May you write some tips “How to motivate yourself when you have rest not at home”?

    • Ah, the old ‘motivation’ problem. Sounds like it’s time to sit down and have a good long think about what you want from life. Longevity? Good health? Improved sleep? More energy? A healthy weight? Once you know what you want, you need to create some shorter term behaviour changes that will help you realize these goals. Make sure they have an emotional component; emotions are what will help you make good decisions on a daily basis. And lots of good decision add up to change, over time!