Make TGIF Workouts Work for You

Weekends can spell double trouble for your diet. If you’ve been sitting behind a desk Monday through Friday, you may try to overcompensate on your days off by running long distances or playing basketball for hours. It’s also common to eat more calories on weekends as you graze at the food court or go out to dinner.

Turn your weekends around with a TGIF workout that keeps you on track with reaching your fitness goals. Try these steps to guide you from one week to the next.

Steps to Take on Weekends

Transform happy hour. Maybe you’re used to grabbing pizza and beer with your co-workers before heading home on Fridays. Try suggesting a visit to a gym or ice skating rink instead.

Take a class. Some exercise studios offer special classes on Friday evenings. Browse online to see what’s available in your neighborhood. Drop by a yoga center and ask if you can receive a discount for bringing in a group from work.

Pace yourself. One hour of chair exercises can be more effective than running a marathon depending on your condition. Overtraining weakens your muscles and immune system. Respect your limits.

Branch out. Weekends are a great time for trying new things. Give your treadmill a rest and spend Friday night swimming at a public pool. Take the family out for rock climbing or kayaking the next day.

Use zero-calorie incentives. You may feel like you deserve a treat for dealing with meetings and customer complaints. Reward yourself for working out with theater tickets instead of bacon.

Schedule activities with loved ones. If you usually gather for pancakes on Sunday morning, gather the family for yard work instead. Celebrate with a hearty breakfast afterwards. If you usually go out for Italian food and a movie on Saturday nights, spend the afternoon horseback riding. You may enjoy your pasta even more when you work up an appetite.

Go to bed on time. You’ll be more motivated to work out when you give your body the rest it needs. Aim for 8 hours sleep instead of watching TV until the wee hours.

Steps to Take During the Week

  1. Exercise regularly. A half hour of exercise a day beats one long session on weekends. Your body will have more time to adapt and recover. Find a convenient time each day whether it’s early morning or your lunch hour.

Keep moving. Any physical activity is helpful. Stand up and stretch at least once an hour. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Manage stress. Chronic stress could be the reason you catch colds and struggle to maintain a healthy weight. Find relaxation practices that work for you. Take warm baths or read a novel before bed each evening. Book a massage or listen to soft music when you arrive home from work.

Adjust your commute. Travelling to and from work can be just as demanding as any tasks you perform at the office. Maybe you can ride your bike to work instead of driving through rush hour traffic. Wherever you live, you can walk a few laps around the parking lot.

Plan ahead. It’s easier to make healthy lifestyle choices when you figure out your obstacles and develop strategies for dealing with them. Bringing snacks to work can help you avoid the vending machines. Setting out your clothes in the evening can free up time to take a Tai Chi class in the morning.

You’ll thank goodness for Fridays when your weekends are restful and slimming. Make TGIF workouts part of your regular routine.