For most of us, the weekdays are easy because we have a routine: get up, hit the gym, shower and head to work. But on the weekends, the change-up in your routine can either mean a great fitness opportunity or a chance to drink and eat a little too much. If you choose to skip your standard gym workout this weekend, don’t sabotage your long-term goals. Here are five great ways to pump up the fitness in your weekend while also spending time with your friends and family, helping out in the community and taking care of chores.
Go the distance
If you have a little free time on the weekends, go for a long walk or a hike. If you like to run, make Saturday your long-run day, and do double the distance you would run during the week. If you have kids, take them with you. Depending on their age and terrain, they may prefer to ride their bike or trike. Since winter is approaching, try strapping on your cross-country skis! Or give something completely new a try, like yoga or spinning.
Do a race
Weekends tend to be packed-full of community 5k runs, charity walks, and longer events. When you sign up for a local run, you can help a charity, meet people in your local area, and (usually) get a free T-shirt or other gear. Racing is great for your training, as well!
Coach a sport
If you have kids in sports, you may feel like your weekends are cram-packed with football/volleyball/soccer games and you never have a chance to exercise because you spend all your time driving your child from field to field. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, volunteer to be a coach or assistant coach. If these posts are already filled, offer to help run drills or haul equipment before and after games. You’ll be able to help someone else and get a little exercise yourself.
Our kids don’t have to hog the Xbox Kinect all weekend. Try a new active game like Nike+ Kinect Training or Dance Central. Any of these games will get you up and moving. Play with your family for more competition.
Attack the yard
Raking leaves, cleaning gutters, planting bulbs, shoveling snow, and putting your garden to bed for the winter not only make your house look good; these activities burn lots of calories and build muscle strength. An hour of digging in the garden burns 340 calories an hour for a person who weighs 150 lbs., and raking leaves burns 292.
It doesn’t matter if you are a skilled ballroom dancer or a simply a master of the bob-and-weave. Dancing burns the same calories and an aerobic dance class (250-500 per hour for a 150-lb person, depending on the speed of the music and how much jumping you do) and you can do it in a social environment while wearing attractive outfits.
During your weekend break from the routine, keep your long-term goals in mind. Eat reasonable meals and if you drink, do so conservatively. It’s okay to have fun, but don’t undo all the great work you’ve done all week.