The promise of warmer weather often means emerging from your winter hibernation and getting out in the sun. For many, it also means a dramatic rise in activity levels, which can increase your risk for injury or heat-related illness. But there are several fitness prep steps you can take now to get ready for a fun-filled summer.

Prioritize your fitness goals

You can’t do everything all at once, especially if your goals are physiologically at odds with each other. For example, it’s nearly impossible to lose fat and build visible muscle simultaneously. It can also be hard to increase your strength and endurance while trying to lose significant amounts of weight. Decide what’s most important to you, whether training for a summer hiking trip or building your ability to withstand the heat and focus your fitness plan accordingly.

Be realistic

Getting a sculpted body can take years and may not even be possible with your unique genetics. Likewise, you probably won’t be ready to run a marathon this summer if you currently have trouble walking more than a few blocks. Drastic weight loss plans or training regimens can be dangerous and are certainly not sustainable long-term. Focus on building new, healthy habits you can stick with all year. Set realistic goals that fit your current fitness and overall health level, and celebrate each win.

Work smarter, not harder

When working out, focus on what experts call compound exercises, to work multiple body systems at once, as well as functional exercises, to support your everyday movements. This lets you maximize each minute of your routine for the most benefits. If you’re new to physical fitness, consider a session or two with a personal trainer, who can help you optimize your routine for your specific body, goals, and starting fitness level. Talk to your doctor or a physical therapist about the best approach if you have any underlying medical conditions.

Focus on good nutrition

Exercise is only part of the equation. To maximize your fitness, you will also need to improve your diet. This means eating a rainbow of fresh produce and the protein and other nutrients you will need to support your fitness goals. Remember your priorities, as you will need fewer calories to lose weight and more calories to build muscle.

Take time for rest and recovery

Going too hard on your pre-summer fitness prep can cause more harm than good. Rest and recovery are essential to improving your fitness and meeting your summer goals. Sleep is when your body repairs microtrauma and releases stress. And it’s incredibly normal to need more sleep when you start a new fitness routine. You’ll also want to avoid overtraining by building rest days into your schedule and stretching regularly. Continuing to push through pain or exhaustion, or trying to do too much too soon, can lead to a summer spent recovering from injuries rather than having fun in the sun.

Physical fitness is a complicated subject, and no one can do it all. Prioritize your goals, incorporate nutrition and rest, and follow a sensible plan. Summer will be here before you know it; with this fitness prep, you can be ready to make the most of it.