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While summer’s warm temperatures, sunshine, and lighter schedules should mean prime time for outdoor workouts, these sultry days propel many of us toward the hammock with a glass of lemonade instead of toward the pavement or the gym.

Certainly, on these hot days, working up even more of a sweat isn’t an attractive proposition. But exercise is necessary no matter how languid you might feel.

Try these five out-of-the box ideas to help motivate your workouts this summer.

1. Take a self-portrait in a bikini

My mother, for reasons passing understanding, has displayed in her kitchen a photo of all of us in the water at the beach last year. Yes, folks, I let my guard down and allowed myself to be photographed in my swimsuit, and now she won’t take it down no matter how I beg. In the ensuing year, when I’ve felt my desire to work out flag a little, I think of that photo and off to the gym I go. And even if you have a bikini body after having your kids, you’ll be even happier with how you look if you tone up a little before that beach trip.

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2. Try a coveted class

If you have to be on a bike 15 minutes before spin class even starts, or if the very best yoga instructor’s mats are full mere minutes after registration opens, summer can offer you an opportunity to get into those coveted slots as people go on vacation or just slack off a little. The best part? If you show up faithfully, those prime teachers are often pretty willing to let you into their more crowded fall or winter sessions.


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