Health / Expert Advice

How to (Realistically) Stay Healthy on the Weekends

A healthy weekend doesn’t have to be so hard, after all.

Weekends are a time to unwind, but you don’t want to go overboard and forget about your usual habits. It’s easy to struggle with how to fit healthy eating into busy days or how to work out between brunch plans and parties. But to have a healthy weekend, you don’t want to restrict yourself too much. However, you also don’t want to do the opposite and throw all caution to the wind. These tips can help you create a balance that allows you to enjoy a healthy weekend without giving up your fun. 

Make healthy swaps, rather than cutting out food altogether.

For most people, weekends involve going out to eat with friends or family. Rather than depriving yourself of a tasty meal or skipping out on socializing, make a few swaps. This can help make your choices a little healthier. “Drink vodka with club soda during a night out, rather than a sugary cocktail. Or if you’re craving chocolate, perhaps opt for 100 percent cacao instead,” says Certified Health and Wellness Coach Kaitlin Bitting. “One meal, day, or weekend will not make or break your overall health, so do the best you can, and don’t beat yourself up.”

Get outside.

Spending time outside is an easy way to have a healthy weekend. “We all spend way too much time Monday to Friday cooped up in our offices,” says Certified Holistic Health Coach Alexandra Napoli. “Use the weekend to get as much nature as you can.” Make time for some outdoor activities, whether it’s hiking, playing sports, or even just taking a walk. “Soak in some vitamin D and deeply inhale that fresh air,” she adds.

Pre-plan a morning workout with friends.

If you’re looking to keep yourself dedicated to your exercise routine, plan a morning workout with friends. Plan out a series of Aaptiv classes you want to try. Get friends involved to hold you accountable and keep it fun. “This will motivate you to get out of bed and get to the gym,” says Napoli. “It might also subconsciously help keep you a bit more tame the night before, knowing [that] you have to be up early the next day.” Follow it up with a healthy brunch to turn your workout into a social engagement.

Stick with one type of drink.

We all know that drinking too much can quickly ruin a weekend. To avoid this, stick to one type of alcohol. “For example, if you’re drinking wine, stick with wine,” says Napoli. “If you’re drinking vodka soda, stick with vodka soda. Don’t go jumping from one cocktail to the next with a beer, wine, and a Fireball chaser. The more thoughtful you are about your booze consumption, the more likely you are to make healthy weekend choices when it comes to food and activity levels.”

Meal prep.

Overdoing it with comfort food on the weekend might be one of the reasons why your diet isn’t working. Getting some weekend meals together ahead of time can help make healthy eating easier. “Not only will meal prepping help you have a healthy week ahead but being surrounded by all that healthy food on the weekend will inspire you to eat more of it and skip the junk,” notes Napoli.

Try to meditate.

A healthy weekend usually involves some physical activity. But it can also consist of working on your mental health, as well. “Taking the time to calm your mind will have lasting, positive effects on your body,” says Bitting. Even if you have a packed weekend, you can take just five minutes to do a quick meditation. This simple practice can help reduce stress and anxiety and even improve your sleep.

Having a perfectly healthy weekend isn’t always possible (or fun!), so stick to these realistic habits, and you can enjoy yourself while still feeling good.

Expert Advice Health

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