As you shed your layers and seasonal depression, you may be wondering how to capitalize on the warm weather and your renewed commitment to being active. The best place to start is by setting some summer fitness goals to help keep you on track. To help get you going, we’ve compiled a few challenging, yet attainable goals for you to consider this summer.

6 fitness goals to achieve this summer

While the following isn’t a comprehensive list, it’s a great way to get you thinking about what your personal goals are. Choose the goals that resonate with you, so you’re more likely to stick to them and achieve them. A great way to do this is to set SMART fitness goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound. This framework will improve your chances of meeting the goals you set.

Attend a group fitness class

Attending group fitness classes isn’t exclusive to summer, but the summer season is a great time to try out a new class you’ve been thinking about. Not only does the summer bring about a sense of motivation to leave the house and spend more time outside, but there’s also a variety of outdoor group fitness classes available to join, and walking to your nearby fitness boutique isn’t as daunting in the summer as during the dead of winter.

The advantages of these classes are numerous.

First, they cater to all fitness levels—especially if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey and require some guidance. The fitness instructor of the class will help show you proper form and take you through the exercises step-by-step. You can increase or decrease weight and intensity to cater to your own abilities and preferences.

Going to a workout class will also help hold you accountable. Once you’ve signed up, you’ve committed to attending, so you’ll be less likely to back out at the last minute because you’re feeling lazy Finally, they can be a great place to make friends and hopefully find other like-minded people that you can work out with in the future.

You don’t have to leave your home to attend a group fitness class. MIRROR has over 10,000 classes across 50 fitness categories with new live classes running daily.
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Increase flexibility

When you’re younger, you run, jump, and move your muscles every which way. As you get older, you tend to be more stationary and, as a result, your muscle elasticity decreases. For most people, this means you’re less able to move with the same ease.

This is a fact of getting older, but the warmer weather is a great incentive to work on your flexibility since you’re finally coming out of hibernation and likely already engaging in other outdoor activities. Maybe you’re taking walks or playing sports—whatever the case may be, working on your flexibility will help you regardless of your choice of activity.

Don’t think you have to start off attempting the splits. Flexibility is all about consistency and practice. The best way to improve your flexibility is by stretching for 10 minutes before and after your exercise routine. Not only will this help reduce injury by improving your range of motion, it’ll help relax your body, reduce your heart rate and, of course, improve your flexibility.  

MIRROR can help you work your way up to your desired level of flexibility with their stretch class. Try it before or after your workout to help loosen your muscles and prevent injury.
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Build strength

Rather than striving for a “beach body” or “summer body,” aim for building strength. When you focus on getting stronger, you’re more likely to feel better during and after your workouts because you won’t be hung up on every pound you did or didn’t lose in a specific area of your body. Rather, you’ll start to notice that you can perform daily movements and tasks with ease, like carrying your groceries, running for the train, and doing chores.

You’ll also notice that your performance during workouts will improve, and you’ll be able to lift heavier with consistent effort. Your sense of accomplishment will no longer be tied to how you look, but instead, how you feel. Even if you’re new to strength training, you can begin by using your own body weight. Body weight exercises like push ups or bodyweight squats can help improve your upper body strength and your core. Once you’ve gotten started, you can begin using fitness bands for added resistance.  

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Sign up for a goal race

This may sound overly ambitious, especially if you’re at a beginner level and just starting to work out. But hear us out–it’s not as daunting as it sounds. As a start, you don’t have to jump right into signing up for a full marathon. A goal race could look like a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or yes, a full marathon.

Should you choose a 5 or 10K, you’ll feel much less pressure and it’ll be less intimidating. Also, you should remember that you don’t need to be sprinting the length of an entire race—that’s an impossible task for even the most seasoned runners! You can run, jog, or walk at your own pace.

If you sign up for a race ahead of time, which you typically should and need to, you will have several months to prepare. Training will be your best friend, and starting off at a comfortable pace is key. Remember that the key with training is consistency and increasing speed and distance very gradually. You want to avoid injury while training yourself to run a little faster for longer.

If you’re planning on training for a race outdoors, a good tip is to reserve your sessions for the morning or evening when the weather is slightly cooler. Be sure to follow a training program specifically created for the race you’ll be running, created by seasoned professionals. For example, if your goal is to run a 5K, check out MIRROR’s 5K training program to hit race day strong.  

Strength training can also drastically improve your running performance and can provide you with some much needed relief from the toll that running consistently can have on your body.

Learn a new sport

It can be easy to neglect your cardio in the summer, when you’d rather be outside interacting with other people. Who wants to be on a treadmill for half an hour when the sun is shining and people are finally coming out of hiding? A fun way to include cardio in your fitness routine is to learn or incorporate a sport in the summer season, like tennis, soccer, golf, basketball, or football.

Any game of your choosing typically lasts at least an hour and flies by. So, without even realizing it, you’ll benefit from an hour-long workout that feels like you’re just playing outdoors. Not to mention, playing a sport can be another great way to meet some friends and get a little competitive.  

There’s no need for expensive equipment and memberships, with MIRROR you can learn a new sport like kickboxing from the ease and comfort of your home.

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Eat well and stay hydrated

We’ve all heard it before—one of the most important factors to overall health and wellness is what you put in your body. Exercising is crucial, but it can’t do the job alone. Although forming healthy eating habits is a difficult undertaking, it’s not impossible. It doesn’t have to mean going on expensive, and sometimes dangerous, diets. Nor does it mean that you have to cut out all of the foods that you enjoy. Rather, it means forming a healthy relationship with food. Moderation is the first step in the process.

This means learning to eat reasonable portions and controlling your impulse to snack, while instead reaching for food with high nutritional value. Drinking water, especially if you’re exercising outdoors, is incredibly important because it will help prevent dehydration. Not only does water help your body keep a normal temperature, but it could also help prevent a number of issues, including mood fluctuations, unclear thinking and, potentially, kidney stones.

What are fitness goal examples?

A simple, yet rewarding fitness goal can be as simple as taking a walk once a day, or going on a bike ride. Your goals don’t need to be extreme or extravagant. They’ll also depend on your fitness level and your objective. For instance, like we mentioned above, if you’re planning to run a marathon and need to train somewhat frequently, your workouts may look different than someone who is looking to casually include physical activity into their lifestyle.

Whatever your aim is, setting reasonable summer fitness goals is key. You don’t want to set your sights so high that your fitness goals are unattainable and you end your summer in disappointment. You can challenge yourself while still affording yourself the kindness and space to develop in time.

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What is the best exercise for summer?

This may seem like an unsatisfactory answer, but it’s the most accurate one: the best exercise you can do in the summer is the one that meets your objectives and helps you feel good. There’s no one-size-fits-all response or approach to this question. In the end, it'll depend on what you're looking to gain from exercising.

Achieve your summer fitness goals from the comfort of your home

As you incorporate some of these tips, remember that the most important aim of fitness goals and exercise is to strive for a healthy lifestyle. Whether you’re a fitness pro or a newbie, finding the time to work out and take care of yourself is the ultimate win.

MIRROR can help you reach these goals by offering over 10,000 classes across 50+ workout genres. Whether you’re looking to build strength, increase flexibility, try a new class, or learn how to play golf, MIRROR has you covered this summer.

Try the Mirror app free for 30-days right in your home and start smashing your summer fitness goals.