How to Stay on Track with Healthy Habits on the Weekend

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For many people, weekends are a respite from the daily demands of our work lives. So, when Friday afternoon comes, we’re tempted to either party or do absolutely nothing productive! Instead, learn to look at weekends as an asset to take advantage of. Ultimately, by eating healthy, focusing on your health, and balancing your responsibilities, you’ll be able to stay on track with healthy habits on the weekend.

Steps

Method 1 Method 1 of 3:Healthy Habits

Start your weekend with a good night’s sleep. If you’re exhausted and stressed at the end of the week, it can be hard to fully enjoy your time off. Get your weekend started on Friday night with a relaxing bedtime routine. Start getting ready for bed even earlier than you normally do so you have time to fully unwind. Before you hop into bed, try some stress-relieving activities to relax your mind and body. For example, you can:

  • Do gentle, restorative yoga
  • Take a warm bath with soothing Epsom salts
  • Give yourself a gentle massage with relaxing essential oils, like lavender or bergamot
  • Have a warm, relaxing drink, like chamomile tea with milk and honey
  • Listen to a guided meditation
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How to Stay on Track with Healthy Habits on the Weekend

Devote some time to exercise. One of the best habits you can form during the weekend is exercise. Strive for a good balance of cardiovascular exercise, weight training, and stretching. Ultimately, the weekend will allow you spare time to get exercise you don’t normally get during the week.

  • Set aside some time on Saturday and Sunday to exercise.
  • Consider activities such as power walking, running, swimming, or cycling.
  • Try to exercise at least 30 minutes per day.
  • Think about melding recreation with cardiovascular exercise. For instance, consider taking up cycling. You may find that you have time to enjoy cycling on Saturday or Sunday mornings.
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How to Stay on Track with Healthy Habits on the Weekend

Put aside time for rest and relaxation. Make sure you have some downtime so you can recharge during the weekend. This is important, as overcommitting to demanding activities will wear you out and may impact your health.

  • Build some downtime at home into your schedule. Plan to spend a couple hours watching TV, reading a book, or just sitting around the house.
  • Meditation and yoga are also great for relaxation.
  • Spend time with friends and family.
  • Spend time with your pet, if you have one. The weekend is a great time to relax and take your dog for a walk.
  • Relax outside. Consider going to the beach, to the lake, or for a hike in the mountains.
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How to Stay on Track with Healthy Habits on the Weekend

Stick to your regular sleep schedule. While it may be difficult, sticking to a good sleep schedule is one of the best habits for your weekend. While a work-free weekend offers you the option of staying up late and sleeping in, it’s better for your health to go to bed and get up at the same times each night if you can. Aim to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep, or 8-10 if you’re a teen.

  • Stick as close as you can to your normal schedule, but allow for deviations. For instance, if you usually go to sleep at 9PM and wakeup at 6AM, stay close to it. Consider going to sleep at 10PM and waking at 7AM or 7:30AM, if you want to deviate.
  • Avoid oversleeping. Studies have shown that oversleeping on weekends may result in weight gain and disease risk.
  • Make sure to get enough sleep. Resist the temptation to stay up all night. Losing sleep on the weekend will negatively impact your health and tire you out for the work week ahead.
  • Try not to sleep in an erratic way. Staying up all night and sleeping all day will throw your body’s sleep cycle off.
  • If you do end up staying up too late, rather than sleeping in really late the next morning, consider taking a short 20 minute nap during the day.

How to Stay on Track with Healthy Habits on the Weekend

Consume alcohol responsibly. Partying, socializing, and drinking alcohol are important aspects of many people’s weekends. However, it’s important to embrace safe and healthy party habits so you don’t put your health at risk. Binge drinking is defined as more than 4 drinks within 2 hours for women and more than 5 drinks for men, and it is unhealthy and unsafe.

  • Eat before drinking. Have something that is a good source of protein. It will help to slow down alcohol absorption.
  • Drink plenty of water before and after you drink alcohol.
  • Don’t drink too much, too quickly. Try to drink no more than 1 drink an hour.
  • Limit the number of drinks you consume and avoid drinking and driving.
  • Alcohol makes it harder for your body to absorb and use certain vitamins, such as vitamin B, zinc, and folic acid. It also interferes with the absorption of vitamins A, E, and D. If you drink regularly, you may need to take supplements to offset these effects.

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Method 2 Method 2 of 3:Work-Life Balance

How to Stay on Track with Healthy Habits on the Weekend

Avoid work related activities, if possible. A great healthy habit—both physically and psychologically—is to stay away from work related activities during the weekend. This is important, as work will take time away from other aspects of a positive, balanced weekend. Without exercise, relaxation, and social activities, you won’t be able to recharge so you can be happy and healthy for the week ahead.

  • Consider staying an hour or so after work on Friday to tie up any loose ends so you don’t have to worry about work over the weekend.
  • Let your coworkers know that you’re not available for overtime or extra projects over the weekend.
  • If you can’t avoid work altogether during the weekend, carve out a specific slot for it.

How to Stay on Track with Healthy Habits on the Weekend

Avoid overcommitting to social activities. You might be tempted to overcommit to a variety of social activities over the weekend since you have a substantial amount of free time. However, overcommitting may stress you out and undermine your ability to enjoy whatever activities you do commit to.

  • Use a day planner to plan your weekend activities.
  • Avoid booking activities back-to-back. Instead, think about the day as 3 parts: morning, afternoon, and evening.
  • Allow enough time in between activities. For instance, if you have a morning commitment, make sure your afternoon is free. This will provide you with enough time in case your morning activity runs late.
  • Overcommitting has been shown to produce anxiety and decrease quality of life.

How to Stay on Track with Healthy Habits on the Weekend

Reserve time for family. Central to maintaining a healthy life is making sure you have time to spend with your family. Thus, you need to make sure you put some time aside specifically to spend with your family. This will help reinforce your relationships and will likely help you feel more connected to the people around you.

  • Plan a family picnic.
  • Play games with your family.
  • Go to a fair, a festival, or some similar activity with your family.

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Method 3 Method 3 of 3:Good Dietary Choices

How to Stay on Track with Healthy Habits on the Weekend

Go food shopping. For many people, the weekend allows time to get some desperately needed grocery shopping done. By having groceries, you’ll make sure that you can prepare meals during the weekend and have healthy foods available at your home during the week.

  • Pick a time during the weekend to shop.
  • Prepare a grocery list that includes foods or things you’ll need to prepare meals during the week.
  • Think about a food budget, and try to stay on it when you shop for groceries.

How to Stay on Track with Healthy Habits on the Weekend

Set aside time for cooking. Extra time on the weekend will provide you with extra time to cook and eat things you don’t normally have the time to cook. Cooking will save you money, help you eat healthy, and may be relaxing. You can even take time to cook extra meals that you can eat later in the week!

  • Plan to cook at least 3 to 4 meals (or more) if possible.
  • Cook healthy. Try to use lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid prepared frozen meals, boxed meals, or other popular but less-healthy shortcuts. For instance, try cooking an Asian stir fry meal on Saturday night or a fresh eggplant parmesan on Sunday night.
  • Consider cooking extra food on Sunday so you’ll have food prepared during first couple days of the week.

How to Stay on Track with Healthy Habits on the Weekend

Avoid junk food. While you may be tempted to enjoy your weekend by eating junk food or fast food, overindulging can leave you feeling icky and tired and make it harder to enjoy your time off. Ultimately, indulging in junk food during the weekend is counterproductive to your overall health and well-being.

  • Try not to eat lots of snack foods, like chips or pastries.
  • Stay away from fast food entirely during the weekend.
  • Focus on eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
  • If you feel like snacking, swap out junk food for healthy options, like nuts, berries, or smoothies.
  • Drink lots of water, juice without added sugar, or smoothies.

How to Stay on Track with Healthy Habits on the Weekend

Eat healthy if you dine out. While eating out with your friends is especially enjoyable on the weekend, it’s easy to slip up and blow your healthy habits. As a result, you need to choose wisely when picking meals you don’t prepare yourself.

  • Avoid foods with lots of carbs.
  • Stay away from fried foods or oily foods.
  • Focus on lean protein.
  • Pick foods with fresh vegetables. For example, when picking an appetizer, try a vegetable plate with hummus instead of fried mushrooms or French fries.
  • Stick to healthy habits when you get takeout, too.

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