Did you know that even really really fit people have weekends? It’s crazy, right? I mean, how can they possibly stay in such good shape while enjoying their weekends, too?
I’m glad you asked because you’re about to learn five things that most fit people do over their weekends. Obviously, everyone does this stuff differently. We all have unique needs, goals, preferences, and life circumstances. But I’ve found that these are some of the common denominators among fit people.
And hey, if you work weekends or just have a crazy schedule, these tips can still help you for your “other” days – whenever those might be.
Note: Keep in mind that this is all in addition to their normal weekend activities like doing chores, seeing friends, going to church, etc. Boy, fit people sure are busy!
1) They eat well.
Most fit people eat well over their weekends. Notice that I didn’t say that they eat “healthy.” No, they don’t binge on food or alcohol, but they do often enjoy some special indulgences. So, they probably wouldn’t give a second thought to having a beer or a dessert because they’re eating good, nutritious food most of the time. And in the grand scheme of things, a little treat here and there isn’t going to rock the boat. The important point is that they don’t try to be perfect when it comes to their diet.
Personally, my diet doesn’t change much over the weekend except when visiting with friends and family. That’s when I eat what some might call a “cheat meal.” Except that I just call it good food, and I don’t think of it as cheating. Nor do I feel any guilt for enjoying it once in awhile. It could be a root beer, ice cream, pizza, or any other number of “unhealthy” things. My rule of thumb is that I try to eat well at least 90% of the time. That is, 90% of what I eat is healthy, nutritious, and will help me achieve my goals. And I don’t worry about it if the other 10% isn’t optimal nutrition.
Remember, “one meal doesn’t make or break you. Your habits make or break you. It’s what you do every day, over and over, week after week, that matters most.” That’s Tom Venuto, from his excellent book, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. Just make sure that you’re so-called “cheat meal” doesn’t turn into a free-for-all “cheat weekend” and you’ll probably be fine.
2) They exercise.
Most fit people still exercise over the weekend. And usually, it’s in one of two ways. Either they stick with their normal routine over the weekend (because that’s how it’s been programmed and scheduled). Or, they spend a little extra time on much-needed training that they didn’t get to during the week (e.g. a nice long walk or a deep yoga session). The message is that they don’t just rest over the weekend. They train – even if it’s only a little bit.
Always training, always recovering.
For me, I’ll often do some more formal exercise most Saturdays. It could be a walk or run, a deep yoga session, some strength training or MovNat, among other things. Saturday is just another day of training for me, and the actual activities will vary depending on what that specific training cycle involves. I rarely do any exercise on Sundays (i.e. I take one day per week to rest). Although, there are times that I do perform some light exercise usually for recovery purposes (e.g. joint mobility, yoga, going on a walk, etc.).
Note: you can Click Here for a great weekend exercise program. Ageless Mobility is a great resource for getting in that end-of-week deep yoga session to work out some of the kinks.
And other than that, my weekends are often chock-full of non-exercise physical activity…like chasing my kids, or climbing mountains, among other things. Speaking of which…
3) They do something fun that is physically active.
Many people schedule their physical recreation for the weekends when they have more free time. These weekend warriors will play a sport, spend time in the great outdoors, get a group together for an outing, or just be open to trying something new. For some, they have big plans practically every weekend. It may even seem like they’ve always got something in the works and that their whole week revolves around these special plans. Of course, many people just do something special every once in awhile. But the point is that most fit people don’t just sit around all weekend catching up on chores. They go out and do things, and they’re always on the lookout for opportunities on the horizon.
I’m an outdoorsy guy. So, I’ll often spend my time on the weekends hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, shooting, going to the park or playground, or playing Frisbee or soccer, among other things. And usually, it’s with family and friends, too. It just depends on the season, and what’s going on that week, among other things. Not to mention that I’ve got some very active kids that are vying for my attention whenever it’s not a “work day.” And yes, you guessed it. They keep me plenty active!
4) They don’t wake up feeling trashed on Monday morning.
Fit people can’t afford to start every single week on a bad note. They need a head start, not a rough start. So, they don’t go out and party into the early morning hours on Friday or Saturday night. They do something much more exciting. They go to bed. And they take care of themselves all weekend because they know that it will be easier to keep going than it would be to restart.
So, they get the rest that they need, and they prioritize their recovery. They also don’t do dumb things like eating themselves into a coma or drinking themselves into a hangover.
In other words, they take care of themselves. And they still have fun! I certainly do.
Note: if you do wake up feeling trashed on Monday morning, drink a tall glass of water and eat a banana or two. A brisk walk and a yoga session may also help. And if that doesn’t do it, this may help.
Even though the methods may vary, most fit people make sure that they aren’t sabotaged by Monday morning. They want to set themselves up for success so that they can coast smoothly into their next week. Speaking of which…
5) They review their goals and plan, and then prepare for the upcoming week.
I’ve found that most super-achievers review their goals and plans daily. They know that they need to be switched “on” and in the zone all the time for optimal results. And that’s the same reason why many fit people use the weekend to review their results from the past week and also to plan for the week ahead. They know that a couple of “off days” will slow them down significantly, especially if it happens every week. So, they make sure that they’re prepared for the upcoming week and don’t have to recover from their weekend or play “catch-up” on Monday.
Are you noticing a theme develop?
In a practical sense, this may mean planning their meals, doing their grocery shopping, and perhaps some food prep (e.g. slicing vegetables or making a big salad). It could mean reviewing and perhaps rewriting their goals, their plan, and their workout program. It could be doing their laundry, getting a new pair of running shoes, or looking up an exercise that they’re struggling with. It could be taking measurements, charting their progress, or researching a question they have about their plan.
In other words, they’re intentional about preparing themselves for what lies ahead. And they do that by ending the week on a good note, and starting each week on a good note.
The Bottom Line
Some people work hard at their health and fitness during the week and then relax a little bit on the weekend. They eat clean and train hard Monday through Friday, and then let things slide a bit starting Friday night. And hey, this 5 days “on” and 2 days “off” schedule absolutely works for certain people. And honestly, as long as you don’t completely let yourself go for 2 out of every 7 days (i.e. 28% of the time, which is statistically significant), you’ll probably be just fine. Of course, if you relax a lot and let things slide a bit too far, you can run into problems.
That’s why I’m a big proponent of training daily (or almost daily). But I’m also a big proponent of balance…and having a life. We all have the same 24 hours a day. And while health and fitness should be a priority of everyone, it’s not the most important thing in the world for most of us (and rightly so).
And in the end, it all comes down to this: everyone makes the time for what’s important to them. And if your health and fitness is important enough to you, you will, too.
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Health-First Fitness Coach
P.P.S. It’s important to keep in mind that there are many people who don’t follow this kind of regime, or anything like it. For instance, I’d imagine that most professional athletes are much more regimented and strict about their diet and training over the weekend than most others. Different strokes for different folks. So, how do you handle your weekends? Do you make any changes when the work week ends?
P.P.P.S. Food for thought: So, will the next two days be “business as usual” with minimal changes to your fitness habits? Are you going to sail into next week with a strong start? Or, are you going to crash and burn for a couple of days before resuming your normal routine again on Monday?