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Member guest blog: Summer fitness - three things you should do and one thing you shouldn’t

As summer (hopefully!) approaches, Co-Women Co-Founder and resident personal trainer, Becky Hughes, shares the top three fitness trends to try this season…

First Do: get outdoors Is it me or are UK winters getting increasingly miserable? It could be climate change, it could be my age, but wow, those long dark, damp days are not it for me! Whilst not everyone is a sun-worshipper and that’s totally fine, there are many practical positives to better weather conditions and longer daylight hours.

There’s a limit when it comes to hot weather, but many people find it easier to be outside in warmer conditions than colder ones. It’s safer to train on surfaces which are dry versus wet. And it’s good for your health – fresh air and sunlight are things that our bodies need, so this is the time of year to make the most of our changeable climate and venture outside for a walk, run, cycle, swim, strength workout, or even a yoga flow.

Second Do: try something new Leading on from my first point, the improved conditions make it a good time to be a little more adventurous. Outdoor spots are safer when it’s light and the conditions are more favourable. Some things are flat out closed in the winter months, so it’s great to get out and enjoy them whilst they are there!

Equally, there may be indoor activities you’ve been meaning to try, and that’s cool too. This time last year, I took a course of pole fitness sessions, something I’d wanted to have a go at for ages. The studio I went to runs series of classes year-round, and I knew I had time in my schedule so booked on to one when I could commit to it. Whilst many of us think that we have the magical motivation in January, we’re also at that point juggling a post-Christmas tidy, tax returns and goodness knows what else. With our heads above the administrative water in spring and summer, it’s a better time to find something that we can have a play with, even if (like my foray into pole) it’s a trial rather than a lasting experience.

Third Do: use the daylight hours to help establish a routine I’ve saved my favourite for last, and it again leads on from my previous point. Why anyone thinks that the darkness of January is a good time to start hauling yourself out of bed earlier to go and do an activity that you don’t enjoy yet in pursuit of a body you’re a long way off from inhabiting is beyond me. Double down with the fact that everyone does it, and so fitness spaces are super busy, and is it any wonder that people give up by February? I think not.

I’m another example of this: I started out with running in January, and first joined a gym in May. I now never run, and train myself four times per week in the gym.

So – use these longer hours. For a lot of us, it is so much easier to get up when it doesn’t still feel like the middle of the night at 6am. One of my favourite days of the year is always the first time I exit the gym post-morning training and notice that it’s light – I know then that a daylight journey to the gym is not far away.

Establish the habits you want to maintain in the lighter months, and you’ll find them easier to continue in the darker ones.

And The Don’t: fall for a short-term fix or fad I get it. It’s prime wedding season. And holiday season. And going to the park with your gorgeous friends season. So stop right there.

Because none of those are The Reason. Being skinnier than your friends will not make you fall asleep with a happy sigh. Going to a wedding this year in a flimsy dress is not something that you will give a shit about in two years time. Dieting and training like a beast is not the thing that will stop you from wanting to hold your breath in bikini photos. So don’t do any of it for any of those reasons.

Train because you want to. Because you like to feel like a badass. Because you want to be able to lug bags of shopping around. Because you want to run across the park after your dog. Because you want to throw yourself around all night at a concert. Because you want to protect the health of your bones as you age. Not because some twat on TikTok told you that you could lose a certain amount of weight in a certain amount of time by hula hooping for six minutes every Full Moon.

Want more fitness advice from Becky? Follow her on Instagram, and check out her blog. If you’d like to book a training session, she’s based in Horsham, West Sussex, and can’t wait to help you get stronger

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