Fit Summer Fun: 15 Tips For A Healthier Summer

It's not easy to stay healthy when you're surrounded by chips, beer and beach chairs. These 15 tips can help you get through the summer with your fitness unscathed.

Blue skies, burgers, beers, blended drinks and a brilliant sun make getting your butt in the gym a job fit for a forklift. Instead of abandoning the gym and giving your diet a pink slip, use your will power and creativity to maintain your fit life!

If you develop a good plan to stay on track - allowing for some wiggle room! -- you can maintain the physique you've worked so hard to develop over the winter "transformation season."

These 15 tips will help you enjoy the weather while eating well, training hard, and having a ball. Bring on the sunshine, the summer fun, and the fit life!

1 /
Swim For Cardio

Plugging away on the treadmill or elliptical when the weather is nice feels like living in the sixth circle of the Inferno. Instead, jump in the pool, lake, or ocean for some serious calorie-incinerating cardio.

Swimming laps, doing water aerobics, or just playing around are great ways to cool off and get your heart pumping.

2 /
Eat Fruit, Not Sugar

Oh, I know: Those brownies and cupcakes at the neighborhood barbecue can be sorely tempting. Instead of getting a hit of chocolate, try a little bit of fruit. If you've been selected to bring a dessert, experiment with fresh fruit, sugar-free Jell-O, and angel food cake instead of butter, sugar and caramel.

3 /
Rise and Train!

Work out first thing in the morning and you'll have the rest of the day to enjoy summer activities with your friends and family. If you're an outdoor trainer, cool mornings are excellent times to get your sweat on.

4 /
Trip Actively

Summer is great for taking trips. Whether you hit the river for kayaking, the mountains for hiking, or the highway for a long bike ride, getting active away from home is perfect for summer fitness.

5 /
Supp, Don't Snack

Maintain your energy with smart snacks rather than chips, chocolate bars, or sugar-packed granola. A bag of Ruffles might be within arm's reach, but grabbing protein pretzels, bars and cereals is a much smarter choice. Protein-rich food provides better, longer-lasting energy and is easy to pack along for adventures.

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6 /
Game On!

When it comes to meat, go wild. Venison is a much leaner source of protein than beef. It supplies that ultra-important iron and helps ensure that you fuel your muscles with lean protein after a hard training or playing session.

7 /
Play Beach Volleyball

Beach volleyball tests your balance, agility, and will work your core. Running, jumping and balancing on sand is a fantastic workout. Plus, you'll be having so much fun you'll forget you're actually working out.

8 /
Work Harder, Not Longer

Spending an hour in the gym might get tricky as the weather warms. Instead of giving it up completely, try upping the intensity. You can slash minutes off your workout if you're willing to push yourself to the limit. Instead of doing 45 minutes on the elliptical, try 20 minutes of interval training. Getting in great shape doesn't have to take hours.

9 /
The Boot!

Boot camps are great because they combine strength and cardiovascular conditioning in one ultra-effective workout that's only 45-to-60 minutes. Do this three times per week and you'll see bodacious benefits.

10 /
Protein Pops

Combine two scoops of fruit-flavored protein powder with some water or sparkling diet soda, then add a tablespoon or two of sugar-free Jell-O. Pour the mixture into popsicle moulds, freeze, and enjoy!

11 /

Need some extra workout inspiration? Sign up for a race. If you have a specific goal or event in mind, you'll be more inclined to hit the gym with intensity. Sign up with a buddy or a team so you have a community of fellow exercise nuts.

12 /
Hydrate Wisely

Hydrating with sugar-packed 'energy drinks' is a bad idea. They don't do much to help you manage your weight and they can cause your blood sugar to skyrocket. Instead, have a meal replacement shake.

If you're out being active, feed your body with a good ratio of carbs, protein and fats. A shake will keep you feeling active and energized without the caffeine crash.

13 /
Beach Bomber

Running through sand is going to further stimulate your lower body and core muscles because you're constantly trying to keep your balance. This extra work will burn lots of extra calories, plus pack on the balance benefits and secondary muscle stimulation.

14 /
Dress Appropriately

Soaking up the sun is great, but beware of getting "too much of a good thing." If you're suddenly overwhelmed with fatigue or feel light-headed or dizzy, it's vital you seek shade immediately and possibly get medical attention. Heat stroke is scary. Keep your body temperature regulated by wearing light, breathable clothing and a hat.

15 /
Low-Sugar Sauce

While the label of your sauce may only contain 30 or so calories per serving, it's unlikely that you'll actually use the recommended serving size. Also, those calories are primarily from sugar, which won't do your body any good. Use a low-sugar sauce: It'll still have that summer barbecue flavor, without the extra sugar.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.