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6 Wonderful Weekend Activities That Cost No Money

6 Wonderful Weekend Activities That Cost No Money

We’re bombarded with advertisements and commercials trying to get us to open our wallets in exchange for entertainment so often that we sometimes forget it’s possible to have a good time without spending any of our hard-earned cash. But it can be done. Not only can it be done, but the weekend activities you can do for free in your home or around town can end up being much more enjoyable, and definitely more memorable, than the ones that costs you an arm and a leg.

1. Take a walk

When was the last time you took a nice leisurely stroll around your neighborhood or through your local park? Luckily, there’s not a price tag on the great outdoors (yet). Getting some fresh air allows you to get some exercise while taking advantage of the surroundings you’ve taken for granted throughout the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Bring your kids out and remind them they don’t need an iPad to be entertained for their weekend activities.

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2. Window shop

Just because you can’t buy anything doesn’t mean you can’t plan to buy something in the future! Take a trip to your local mall or village and take a look around. Pretend you’re rich and famous and can afford that expensive watch or piece of jewelry that always catches your eye, knowing you won’t even be spending a single penny. Better yet, use this time to look for gifts for friends and family, and make a mental note of places to check out when someone’s birthday is coming up. Of course, you can also make a mental note of anything that you want, as well!

3. Go for a drive

Don’t try to get me on the technicality that it costs gas to get anywhere! As long as you have a full tank, you have a few free hours to spend driving aimlessly with the windows down and the stereo blaring. Turn your GPS off and just go without worrying how to get back (then you can turn your GPS back on!). Explore the areas you never got a chance to. And stay off the highway; there’s so much more to see when you take the back roads.

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4. Go to the library

I know, I know: you probably haven’t been to a library since your sophomore year of college. Spend a couple hours browsing through the books you always said you’d read if you had the time. Check out some do-it-yourself texts and pick up a new hobby, read up on some interesting non-fiction, or spend the afternoon lost in a fantasy world. And do it without once having to reach in your pocket!

5. Volunteer

Instead of giving your money away, give away your time. It’s much more valuable, and will help those in need instead of the businesses looking to fatten their own wallets. Visit a local church and see if any soup kitchens or shelters need an extra hand for the day. Not only will you be doing something worthwhile, but you’ll feel better than you would if you went to the mall and spent the day thinking of only yourself.

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6. Play games with your family

The words “family game night” are usually met with groans. That is, until everyone gets involved in a heated game of Trivial Pursuit or Pictionary. All it takes is a few kid-friendly “fighting words,” and pretty soon you’ll all be vying for the title of board game champion. Heck, you could even meet your kids halfway: load up the Wii and get some Mario Party going. You’ll end up having an unforgettable night with the people you cherish the most, and it won’t cost you a single dollar. Sounds absolutely priceless to me!

Featured photo credit: Family Game Night / West Islip Public Library via farm7.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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