Weekends are for letting your hair down, relaxing and taking some time to recover from the stressful week before. You stay out later, have a cocktail (or 2..or 5), sleep in till’ noon, and loosen the reins on your exercise regimen.
It feels great at the time, but as soon as Monday rolls around, you carry the baggage of your fun-filled weekend into the new week…You notice the numbers are higher on the scale, you’re gulping down shots of espresso just to survive and you just feel lousy in general.
So instead of completely letting your health and fitness goals fly out the window this weekend, try implementing these 5 things and enjoy a more energized, happier and healthier week to follow!
Here are 4 Easy Ways to Maximize your Wellness on the Weekend!
#1: Keep Your Alarm Set!
Although sleeping in until noon on Saturday is tempting, it can really mess up your body’s internal clock.
Researchers at the University of Arizona-Tuscon found that “social jet lag” — the inconsistency that occurs between our body’s biological clock and the sleeping schedule we keep on weekends — ends up making you more tired, and inevitably, in a worse mood than if you maintained a consistent sleep schedule all seven days.
So keep your alarm set, or if you NEED more sleep, simply give yourself an extra hour of instead of an extra 3 or 4.
#2: Stay Active!
A lack of movement is partly to blame for that weight gain that happens over the weekend, so it’s super important to keep your body moving on Saturday and Sunday too!
No one can blame you for not wanting to drive to a jam-packed gym on a Saturday afternoon, so mix things up and take your workout outdoors or try a group fitness class!
Being outside has a great impact on health, such as better focus, a boost in happiness and lower anxiety and stress levels.
And let’s be honest, going for a hike in the gorgeous sun, or trying yoga in the park sounds a lot better than spending an hour in the stuffy gym.
Instead of heading to your favorite brunch spot to get a pile of maple pancakes and pitcher of sangria, try making a healthier version at home!
Try these Healthy Banana Oatmeal Pancakes and enjoy that warm sweet breakfast you crave without piles of white sugar, flour and other ingredients that will only weigh you down.
#4: Have a Cheat Meal, Not a Cheat Weekend
You may think that letting loose on Saturday and Sunday and then tightening the reins on your diet again come Monday is a good plan of attack for your weight-loss goals, but it’s not.
A study conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine found that people who stuck with a strict diet all week, then overindulged on the weekends, not only lost weight slower but actually gained an average of .17 pounds per week (which, over the course of a year, would leave them 9 pounds heavier!). Yikes!!
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t allow yourself to indulge at all — it’s actually important to incorporate cheat meals into your otherwise healthy diet — but keep it to one delicious meal, not an entire weekend.