Have you stopped exercising this summer? Don’t let the heat beat you. It’s time to shake things up with some fun ways to fit in the workout this summer.

Even those most dedicated to fitness struggle once summer arrive. A change in latitude with a summer vacation is sure to create a new attitude about exercise. Add in a new schedule for the kids and the blazing heat, is it any wonder that so many respond to the siren call of the pool side lounge chair, only flexing a bicep here and there to lift an ice cream cone (or cocktail) to the lips? Here are some tips to keep you honest this summer.

Summer Schedule.
Adjusting to a new schedule can really throw a monkey wrench into exercise plans. Are you entertaining kids all day long, with little time for yourself? I bet they’d love to join you in a fun summer workout. Head to your nearest playground. Pushing kids on swings, helping your little one climb across the monkey bars, and getting that merry-go-round spinning are all great forms of exercise. But why should the kids have all fun? Get on that swing yourself! An hour of swinging can burn 200-calories. Or, sit on the swing, holding the chains, lean back and pull your body and legs in at the same time for an abdominal workout. Do you find yourself at sports practices and camps this summer? Check out my recent blog about exercise for parents on the sidelines. (http://barbspersonaltraining.com/2013/04/functional-fitness-on-the-sidelines/)

Don’t leave your family behind when you do your favorite group exercise classes. I’ve had numerous families create mini TRX classes. Mom, dad and all the kids can easily workout together. Small group classes like TRX, Zumba, or Boot Camp style workouts can be a very fun way to “kill two birds with one stone” – everyone gets their own customized workout while being part of the family.

Exercise is No Obstacle.
A fitness instructor and mom who I know gets her kids involved in another way. She sets up an obstacle course around a local park, and she and her kids get exercising. She mixes running with burpees, push ups, and jumping jacks. Everyone moves at their own ability and speed for a fun hour of fitness. You might find that you have some built-in exercise partners with your kids. But exercise doesn’t have to be a formal thing. Playing catch, riding bikes, and even weeding the garden are forms of exercise.

Try Something New.
This new season can be the time to broaden your exercise horizons. Adding something new to your exercise routine is always a great idea—you often work new muscles and add intensity and excitement to your exercise routine. One of my clients who heads to the shore adds stand-up paddleboarding to her fitness schedule, a great core workout. And because she can only regularly paddle board in the summer, it is an exercise she really looks forward to. If your find yourself closer to a swimming pool than the ocean, take advantage of adult swim at your local pool. Lap swimming may not be your thing, but you can still try a brisk walk through the water or kicking your legs while holding onto the side of the pool. If you travel, enjoy a run or a walk through a different locale. Many hotels and resorts provide running routes and bottles of water.

Hit the Gym.
If all else fails, check out the schedule at your local fitness center. Many group exercise classes offer modified schedules in the summer season. Summer might be a perfect time to try out a new class, like sunrise yoga or a late night TRX.

Beat the Heat.
It takes our bodies time to adjust to the higher temperatures. Heat-related illnesses are a reality this time of year, so be aware of how you feel and how much you are sweating if you’re exercising outside. Take care to hydrate before, during and after exercise. Avoid exercising outside in the heat of the day. As your body adjusts to summer heat, you may need to lower your intensity. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen before exercising (and reapplying if you are outside for an extended period of time, or really sweating).

A Little Help From My Friends.
Does the arrival of summer make you worry about your waistline? You’re not alone! Involve some friends and create a support network to maintain fitness throughout the summer season. Trips to the playground, the gym, and the pool can be even more fun and fitness-friendly if you involve some friends. They can help you stay accountable and consistent with your exercise.

Summertime Blues
Exercise can be a cure for the summertime blues. You’ll be pleased with the results if you keep a fitness schedule this summer. Need more motivation? How about treating yourself to a cold, yummy treat once you meet a goal of consistent exercise. Or, how about a new, summer exercise outfit to make you excited about trying a new class or getting out there for an early morning run. Most of all, plan, plan, plan. Even in the busyness of a summer schedule, you can find the time to exercise. I’d love to hear from you. What is your best summer workout tip?