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Feb 11, 2022

Summer Bodies are Made in the Winter

Whoever first said summer bodies are made in the winter must have lived where 70ish degrees reside all year round. It’s no secret that my run life revolves around the heat and humidity of Southern summers. But as I contemplate my fitness (and vanity) goals for 2022, which BTW includes running two marathons, completing my first century (cycling 100 miles), pursuing that sprint triathlon I’ve been jonesing for and shredding unwanted fat, one very important question keeps playing in my head like a video on loop: Ma’am, when are you going to start training?

This wintry weather has manifested itself into excuse after excuse of why’s—why I shouldn’t run today, why I can’t go to the gym today, why I need to skip boot camp today, why not start just to tomorrow. Why? Because these goals aren’t going to achieve themselves, that’s why. Which brings me back to that other burning question: Are summer bodies really made in the winter?

As a did a little research, the long and short of it is that healthy bodies are made through consistency—slow and steady. Shocker, right?! Starting the work in the winter gives us the benefit of time. Waiting until the temps warm to get ‘beach body’ ready, pushes us to quick-fix tactics including excessive exercise or extreme dieting, which isn’t sustainable or sensible and will only set us up for a vicious cycle of failure.

So here’s the not so gentle reminder to us all—START NOW! And here’s how.

Determine Your Goals. Fitting back into your favorite jeans or finally feeling confident enough to wear a swimsuit without a coverup may be enough motivation and the mental boost needed to jumpstart your journey, but it probably won’t be enough to carry you through longterm. Getting clear about your ‘why’ and what works best for your body type and health risks ensures your goals aren’t shallow and short-sighted, and it will push you to make permanent change versus a temporary pursuit.

Dont Sweat the Small Stuff. Living a healthy lifestyle is a choice we must make every day. But reaching for chocolate instead of an apple or having a second glass of wine is not detrimental. Living is not about deprivation but moderation and maintenance. Skipping a workout or opting for an extra hour of snooze time is not the end of the world. In fact, it may be just what the doctor ordered to keep us on track. So, don’t beat yourself up.

Ditch the Routine. Mixing up your workouts alleviates boredom and has positive impacts on your results. Cross training conditions our bodies to be better runners and athletes by allowing us to build strength, speed and stamina through working different muscle groups that maximize the burn. It also protects us against injuries by preventing us from overworking the same muscles. Tap into your sense of adventure and incorporate new fitness avenues, such as cycling, hiking or rowing.

Whatever the reason, focusing on achieving your ‘summer’ body could be just the thing you need to start getting healthier and happier and dropping a few bad habits and adopting alternative ones. But remember, establishing new behavioral patterns takes time and sustained effort. Real change is often a marathon and not a sprint (pun intended:).

By: Joy Harrell @joyrunsrealestate

Joy Harrell is a licensed real estate agent and co-owner of The Sift Sisters bakery based in Houston, Texas. She is a native Houstonian and graduate of the University of Houston—go Coogs! When she is not helping people buy, sell or invest in real estate, she can be found hanging or traveling with her hubby, running or biking the streets and trails in and around Houston, mentoring girls or testing new food and cocktail recipes.