The Beginners Guide to Building a Workout Habit and Getting Fit for Summer

The Beginners Guide to Building a Workout Habit and Getting Fit for Summer

Most people want to get fit for summer. You dream of showing up on the beach looking toned and trim in your swimsuit, to the admiration of all your friends. It’s an understandable desire.

But you can’t get fit for summer overnight. Building a strong body requires time, commitment, and a healthy lifestyle.

First, you’ll need to create a workout habit and stick to it. Then you’ll need several essential ingredients to make your summer body pop. You’ll find both in this post, plus valuable tips to guide you every step of the way.

Building an exercise habit
What’s the best way to begin exercising? Just start!

How to Create a Workout Habit

The only way to see results with exercise is to make it a habit. Inconsistent workouts without a goal in mind won’t get you anywhere. So let’s look at the steps to building a consistent workout habit.

Make a Goal

What is your current fitness goal? Getting a six-pack? Reducing your body fat? Working out five days a week? Whatever it is, get a notebook and write it down, remembering to make it a SMART goal.

Next, write down exactly where you’ll workout, at what time, and for how long. For example, “I’ll do fifteen minutes of Pilates in my bedroom at 8 am”. Being specific reduces decisions later, removing the friction holding you back when you start a new habit.

Pro Tip: Put your workouts in your calendar. This way, you’re less likely to forget them, which helps hold you accountable.

Make a Plan

Goals are great, but you need a plan to achieve them. You can do this by writing down the steps to reach your goal or following a workout plan designed to help you reduce fat or get a six-pack.

If you need more help or accountability, try hiring a personal trainer. They’ll create a personalized workout plan to help you achieve your goals and then work with you to reach them.

Pro Tip: Start small. If you want to run 10 miles a day, start with one. If it’s working out five times a week, you could start by walking twice weekly for ten minutes.

Stick To It

Building a habit requires repetition to engrain it in your brain. According to studies, it takes most people 59 days to make a repeated action automatic. If you want to build a workout habit, you need to do it for at least sixty days in a row before it becomes second nature.

Of course, to get fit you’ll need longer than 59 days. Building a strong body and a healthy lifestyle takes time. But if you keep showing up, you’ll see results.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss more than one day in a row. If you miss a workout, don’t miss the next day too. Skipping even twice disrupts your habit-forming and makes it easier to skip in the future.

Keys to a summer body
There are four ingredients to a sculpted summer body

The Four Keys to a Summer Body

Now that you know how to build a workout habit, let’s look at the keys to a fit summer body. Most people think exercise is all they need, but you have to use all four of these to reach your goals.


What you eat significantly affects your body. If you workout for an hour seven days a week but don’t eat well, you won’t see results. You need to eat proper portions of healthy foods and cut or reduce foods like sugar and refined carbs.

Meal planning is key here. Eating junk food is much easier if you don’t know what to make. Planning out and even prepping healthy meals reduces the friction we discussed earlier. [include link to a meal plan for beginners]

Pro Tip: Include a cheat meal. One meal where you can eat some sugary foods won’t hurt and helps reduce cravings.


Drinking enough water is vital for your overall health. It helps you lose weight, improves your mood, and increases your energy levels.

How much water should you drink? It depends on many factors, like weight, activity, and age. Use a water calculator to help you figure it out.

Pro Tip: If you aren’t used to drinking only water, get an infuser bottle. Put fruit in your drink for some natural flavor and keep it from being boring.


Sleep is crucial when getting fit. If you don’t sleep enough, it can lead to weight gain and increased hunger. It also doesn’t give your body enough time to recover from your workouts.

Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep to stay healthy. Calculate when you need to get up in the morning, then count backward to see when you need to go to bed to get enough sleep. Then gradually work your way to going to bed by that time.

Pro Tip: Create a bedtime routine. If you’re having trouble sleeping earlier, try creating a ritual to help signal your body it’s time for bed. This can include turning off your phone, reading for twenty minutes, meditation, and more.


The final key to getting in shape for summer is exercise. You’ll want to do a mix of cardio and strength training to reduce fat. You’ll also want to avoid targeted workouts, which don’t help you see real results.

Also, try switching up your workouts so you don’t do the same thing all the time. That’s boring for your mind and your body. Try combining your HIIT with a weekly yoga session, or run three days a week and do weight training the other two.

Pro Tip: Take a recovery day. Your body needs time to rest and recover from all the hard work you’re putting in. If you skip this, it can lead to injury and exhaustion.

Getting fit for summer is a great goal. But don’t limit yourself to exercising and healthy diets for three months a year. Make it a lifestyle and truly transform your body and life.

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