Men's Lifestyle Guide to the Summer
Summer is upon us. This is the time many of us look forward to all year, and yet, once it’s here, we often take it for granted. How many times have you had big plans for the summer only to do none of it? Those days are you behind you. You’re going to make this a great summer, and you’re going to do with by hitting the season on multiple fronts. This lifestyle guide will help you make some solid goals and find specific ways to tackle your summer and make the most of it.
Summer is a time of energy and activity. Every man should have some solid fitness goals to make the most of it. These goals aren’t a checklist. They’re just some basic ideas to get you started.
Run a 5k
Some of you will read this and scoff. You’re doing a better job at maintaining basic fitness than most of us. Others need a goal to get things going. You can go from not having exercised in many months to completing a 5k in a single summer. Two keys will help you succeed. Stay consistent and work out every single week. Don’t go too hard too fast. It will take more than a month to build your fitness back up. As long as you stay patient, you’ll be fine.
Run a 10k
For those of you who scoffed at the 5k, you need to set a higher goal. A 10k is more of a challenge, but it requires the same attitude and discipline. If that’s still not tough enough, you can trade your 10k for a Spartan Sprint, a half marathon or any other appropriately challenging race. The idea is to commit to something that will force you to train and follow through.
Work on Consistency
Races and fleeting motivation aside, summer is a great time to build good habits. When it comes to fitness, your off season is often more important than the few months a year you manage to stay on top of diet and exercise. Some of your fitness goals this summer should be aimed at consistency. Take a workout challenge that forces you to do some level of exercise every single day. The 100 pushup challenge and the One Punch Man challenge are not the best, but they do help with consistency.
By that same token, you want to apply consistency to your diet. Commit to cooking one more lean meal a week or eliminating a cheat day from your week. You’ll be glad you did.
Advance Your Mind
If you’re ready to go hard for a few months, don’t limit it to exercise and fitness. The long days of summer inspire us to do more on many fronts, and you can use that to learn some new things.
If nothing else, you should make time to read one of the books on your list. If you don’t have a list, start by making one. There’s plenty of help on the internet to get you going. What matters is that you do some reading to learn things you didn’t know before.
Learn a New Skill
This is a wide-open opportunity. If you learn how to do something that has escaped your knowledge banks, you’ll feel like your summer was put to good use. Your new skill can be anything. Maybe you need to know how to do basic sewing. You could take a welding class. It could be something as simple as car maintenance that you feel like you should know but haven’t tackled yet. As long as you end the summer with a skill you didn’t have before, you’re doing it right.
Summer is also the season of love. Whether you’re playing the game and loving it or completely settled into a permanent romance, a great summer involves good times with a romantic partner.
Work on Your Fashion Game
This is the only tip in this section that equally applies to single and taken men. No matter your status, looking good helps your love life. Summer fashion is a huge topic, so we’re going to briefly focus on the one area that gives most guys trouble in the hot months: shorts. Shorts are acceptable in a lot of situations, but you have to do it right.
First off, athletic shorts are in right now. This does not make them the primary attire for all settings. It just means that they work when you’re being casual or actually doing something athletic. Make the most of this trend because it’s rare that fashion and comfort truly collide.
When you aren’t in an extremely casual setting, shorts are trickier. Only middle-aged dads can get away with cargo shorts anymore. The standard replacement is chinos. Pastels are the best colors, but when in doubt, the old standby of khakis still works. As for jean shorts, you better be 100-percent sure you can pull them off before you try to play that game. Here’s a hint: you probably can’t pull of jean shorts.
Go on Some Dates
This is aimed at the single fellas. By all means, if you have a girl, take her out sometimes, but the summer goal for a single guy should be to go on some dates. You slightly improved fashion game can help a little, but you should get out there and take some chances. You don’t have to commit to anything this summer. Just try to have a little fun.
Do That Thing You Always Talk About
If you’re not single, you should stop beating around the bush this summer. You and your other half have things you talk about doing but never actually get to. Pick a date right now. Commit to doing one of those things, and make a great memory this summer. It can be as ambitious as your dream vacation or as simple as watching a movie you always discuss but never see. Just do something at all. Also, remember the "dating" part of being in a relationship.
More than anything else, summer is the time of fun. Don’t let another one slip by without doing anything awesome. When it comes to fun, there are easy things and ambitious things. Do some of both.
Take a Trip
This could be your great ambition. You could go somewhere awesome, but this can also be easy fun. Just take a day trip out of town. Go camping. Do anything to make sure that you break up any ruts ailing you as you start the summer. And, by all means, take more than one trip if that’s what gets you going.
Participate in Events
Everyone packs their big events into the summer. They’re trying to accommodate the masses. That’s just a bunch of opportunities for you. Go to the concert in the park. Attend a beer or wine festival. Do the nerdy thing you don’t always admit to doing on a first date. Meet wome crazy women at a few music festivals. Watch some live sports. The carefree atmosphere doesn’t last all year.
Probably close to half of you can skip this. For the rest of you, don’t let the summer heat be your excuse to remain a shut-in. Go on a hike or to the park. Get outside for a few hours straight at least once a month this summer. If at all possible, push yourself to do this every week. Even if the best you can do is a couple of hours of yard work, it’s better than hiding from the sun for the next three months.
Try a New Hobby
There is something you think would be fun to try that you haven’t engaged in yet. Let this be the summer where you change that. Your new hobby could be a sport, a craft or a game. Maybe you could build something with your own two hands. It doesn’t matter. Try something new and have fun with it. That’s what summer is really about.
If you do at least one thing from each of these four parts, you’ll have a pretty full summer. Once you get into a good pace and have some fun, you might be able to get even more out of your summer. It’s all about diving in with both feet. However you end up living life this summer, make sure you can look back on it fondly. Until next time, live it up out there.