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5 Ways to Make Your Weekends Happier

5 Ways to Make Your Weekends Happier

Weekends are a brief, magical period where anything goes. How you spend all of those 48 hours is completely up to you. However, some people feel paralyzed by a total lack of structure and end up lounging away all weekend, binge-watching entire TV seasons on Netflix or watching their dog drag its butt across the carpet. Don’t be a bump on a log! Consider one of these five ways to make your weekends happier.

Exercise Your Body (and Imagination) Outdoors

You’ve probably heard this all before: Go outside, experience nature, get some sunshine, and work out. Let’s take it to another level and give your mind a healthy stretch, too. Grab a portable music player and make a playlist of some of the most epic music you have. Think movie and video game soundtracks, orchestral masterpieces, or whatever else inspires motivation and vigor. The idea here is to make physical outdoor exercise more accessible and interesting.

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You could be a hero sprinting to glory through a war-torn battlefield, a puma hunting in a dense jungle, or the lone survivor escaping a horde of zombies. Whatever your fantasy, live it. You’re allowing your mind to escape the rigors of the weekdays while simultaneously strengthening your body and spirit.

Have Some Extra Time in Bed

Your bed is your very own sacred place for meditation, reflection, and relaxation. When you wake up in the morning, swim through the sheets and realize the entire vicinity of your mattress is yours and yours alone. No one is going to bother you here; no one can take that space of private isolation from you (unless you’re with a lover).

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Allow your thoughts to wander as you sort out the week’s events consciously and subconsciously. The peace of mind and lack of distractions can help you recharge your mental batteries.You could also escape into your own little world and watch some TV on your laptop or tablet thanks to FiOS tv service from Verizon. Don’t waste your day lying in bed, however; just spend a little extra time enjoying the comfort, like you want to do all week but aren’t able to.

Spend Time with Family and Friends

What is happiness? What is success? Can these things be measured by material matters such as the size of your house or price of your car? Or are you more likely to find the feeling of life satisfaction knowing you’re part of a community of people who love and care for one another? “A successful person is usually one who has achieved a measure of happiness and fulfillment in their work, family, and spiritual life (however that is defined for the individual),” executive coach Dale Kurrow says, “most successful people need to feel a sense of accomplishment and are self-motivated to tackle the next challenge.” Leave your weekday life behind and focus on friends and family.

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Pursue a Hobby

Day in and day out, day in and day out—weekdays are a drag. Routines can start to wear on even the most fortuitous minds. Having some sort of hobby, no matter how obscure, can be a great way for you to shake off the dust of monotony that settles on your brain five days a week. Hobbies, whether they’re based in logic or creativity, allow your brain to wander leisurely down curious avenues of thought while flexing your ability to think critically and perceive patterns.

Playing Sudoku, the piano, or volleyball are some pretty good options. Hobbies are like yoga for your brain; they help create more “flexible” thought patterns than can be used to solve complex problems in the future. Plus they’re an excellent outlet for stress.

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Plan For the Week Ahead

Your work week is probably going to be full of assignments, deadlines, and a million people hounding you to get something done. Be proactive during the weekend and schedule a list of things you know you’ll need to tackle in the days ahead. It’ll save you a world of headaches down the road.

Weekends are a great time to get things done, escape the world around you, or spend time with friends and family. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t waste them

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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.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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