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How to Keep the Weekend from Ruining Your Fitness PlanHow to Keep the Weekend from Ruining Your Fitness Plan


weekend fitness plan

The structure of our weekday schedules can make it easier to stick to our fitness plans, but on weekends, many of us relax our rules and spend too much time on the couch. These tips can help you stick to your goals on weekends.

Be a weekend warrior.

Reserve the weekend to do activities that are more challenging. Take advantage of the extra free time. Play in sports tournaments or sign up for tennis lessons. Team sports, hiking, indoor rock climbing, biking, organized races, and racquetball are perfect activities for an active weekend.

Stay out of your chair.

If your weekend is full of seated activities, get moving! Are you a spectator at the sports complex? Walk around the field during the game, or climb the bleachers during halftime. Ask your friend to walk with you before or after you meet for coffee. Catch up on your favorite television shows while on the treadmill, or do a set of push-ups, squats, and crunches during each commercial break.

Complete a project on your to-do list.

You can torch hundreds of calories while doing household chores. If you have to choose between a long workout and checking something off your to-do list, pick an active project and get it done. Rearrange the living room furniture, wash the windows, or organize the boxes in the garage. We often don’t think of these as workouts, but as long as you are moving, you are burning more calories than sitting on the couch.

Stretch and relax.

A break from high-intensity exercise is a good thing. Quiet activities such as stretching, progressive relaxation, and meditation benefit health. Get the break you need, but use the weekend downtime for a stress-relieving activity that gets you ready to start a productive week.

Get seven to nine hours of sleep.

It is tempting to stay up late or sleep late on the weekends, but the more closely you stick to your regular sleep schedule, the better you will feel. Late nights disrupt sleep cycles and leave you too tired to exercise. If you feel like you need more sleep, incorporate a nap. The National Sleep Foundation states that a 20-30 minute nap improves alertness and performance without interfering with normal sleep patterns.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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