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You spent the winter working hard. You exercised consistently. You ate healthy foods and watched your portion sizes. You greeted summer with energy and a toned, healthy body. Don’t give in to temptation!

Summer brings relaxation and fun, but it can be cruel when it comes to fitness. Summer is an easy time to overindulge—ice cream, icy cold beer, grilled burgers and steaks—and pick up extra pounds quickly.

Do you really want to undo all you have accomplished?

Bad habits creep up on us without warning: Skip workouts a couple of days each week and hit the beach or one get together after another, or overindulged in dips and chips, frozen margaritas, grilled hot dogs with friends.

Change happen one choice at a time, but those choices pack on the pounds quickly.

There is a lot of summer left, particularly in the Deep South where we live, so grab your commitment and regain any ground you may have lost.

Get back to awesome!

1. Disrupted sleep cycle. Summer brings longer days and more daylight. The extra sunshine influences our circadian rhythms, so we sleep less. Lack of adequate sleep will pack on extra pounds. When we’re tired, our resistance to bad habits weakens. We need to get at least seven hours of sleep each night to stay on track and keep our bodies healthy.

2. It’s hot out there. We move around less when it’s hot and humid. Our energy is depleted and who wants to sweat like crazy? The less we move, the slower our metabolism and the fewer calories we burn. It’s important to continue to exercise to maintain your health and look great! Try alternatives with indoor exercise like boot camp classes or take up swimming. Keep moving. CAUTION If you exercise outside, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate or you will damage your body and might pass out.

3. On the road. Summer means travel. Travel means healthy eating is harder. For those who eat clean, being on the road can present new challenges. Planning is the key to maintaining! Brainstorm ways to avoid a lot of fast food. Pack a cooler with lean proteins like veggies, chicken, low- fat cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit, hummus, and nuts.

4. Cookouts. Parties, friends, reunions. They all spell DANGER! Most festive foods are unhealthy. It seems the menus are planned to help us gain weight.Pass on the oily salad dressing, hot dogs, chips, potato salad, and ice cream. Head to the fresh fruit, grilled veggies, lean meats, and light dressings for salads.

Avoid the Summer Creepers!

Think before you eat.

Finish the summer looking and feeling good!

Fight the urge to splurge.

Your fall wardrobe will thank you!

T.J. McCord is a fitness trainer and performance enhancement specialist based out of Mobile, AL. He believes that there are no limitations on the human body when creating innovative programs for his clients. Be sure to visit www.quikfits.com for more information, programs, and tips.