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How to Stay in Good Shape During Black Friday

How to Stay in Good Shape During Black Friday

Could Black Friday be the end to your optimal health? It would be hard to not think of this being a possibility. Staying up all night in a store filled with high stressed holiday shoppers can certainly raise your anxiety. Coupled with the fact that you are still digesting your heavy Thanksgiving dinner, Black Friday can certainly throw you out of shape for a few days if you don’t plan well in advance. Here are a couple of tips I will be using this Black Friday to ensure that I’m alert, healthy, and well rested.

Wednesday Afternoon: Plan Your Attack

This is the time when you should be focusing on planning your Black Friday. It’s highly recommended at this stage to have a list of stores you are wishing to visit during Black Friday. Your plan of action should include times, Black Friday ads, and what you plan to purchase at each store. This will allow you to know whether there are any conflicting sales, requiring you to add some additional shoppers to your arsenal.

Wednesday Night: Rest, Cook, Repeat

Your Black Friday is planned out, missions are now assigned, now it’s time to actually work on what’s actually important – Thanksgiving cooking. If you are hosting this year, Wednesday evening should be reserved for cooking and resting. Begin cooking refrigerated foods (potato salads, etc) Wednesday afternoon, along with the turkey, and saving hot foods for the next morning. Be sure to have a person or alarm to periodically wake you to check on the turkey and other foods cooking.

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Thursday Morning: All Set and Ready

Now is crunch time. This is the point when all Thanksgiving cooking should come to a finish. Aside from desserts and a few side dishes, your main focus should be on prepping the home and yourself for the meal. If you are able to sneak in a late morning (11AM or noon) nap, that would do your body a huge favor. Depending on your family, guests usually arrive around 2PM or 3PM, so plan your nap accordingly.

Thursday Evening: On Your Mark

Hopefully your Thanksgiving dinner went off without a hitch! Now it’s time for war in the stores. This year, most stores are starting their sales Thanksgiving evening at 8PM. If you want to ensure your item is still in stock before midnight, it’s crucial to at least take a look at these sales. As always, ensure you are well rested, dressed, and prepared. If needed, recruit a couple of family members to man each store you can’t be at.

Friday: Shop ‘Till You Almost Drop

With many sales starting Thursday, you should be well into your shopping by Friday morning. However, between Thursday and Friday, there is a possibility for some rest or at least sit-down time. After the midnight sales have come and gone, you have a nice grace period between 12:30AM and 4:00AM, before the second round of sales occur. Use this time wisely to drop off the first load of your purchases.

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During Friday, it’s crucial to continue to make these frequent home visits. You don’t have to take a nap each time, but unloading every so often will allow you to have less to carry when you are officially done. From Friday afternoon on, use this time to truly enjoy your weekend off work or classes. You won’thave another one of these for a couple of weeks, so make the most of it and marvel at your new haul of gifts.

The Snack Pack:

The most important thing to remember during Black Friday is to not only eat, but to eat well. It is just as easy to forget to eat as it is to eat unhealthy. You are on the run and fast food is very appealing. This can be curved by having these four important meals for the duration of your shopping (a nice breakfast, quick snacks, a smart lunch, and a light late afternoon meal). Why, might you ask?

A hearty breakfast is key because chances are, you weren’t in the mood to eat Thursday evening after that large Thanksgiving dinner. This makes it much easier to skimp on breakfast Friday morning. Quick snacks throughout the day preserves that satisfied feeling while shopping, while also providing much needed energy. The most ignored meal is lunch on Friday, this is key for getting a good chunk of Friday’s nutrients, with a light afternoon meal allowing for an easily digestible meal, just in case you crash and sleep Friday evening)

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Mixed nuts, protein filled, and smart energy sources are nice to have with you. Don’t go for the coffee, but go rather for natural drinks. If you find yourself with a killer headache without your coffee, opt for the least amount of additions as possible (no to lattes, yes to black coffee with light creme and sugar).

The Dress Code:

Black Friday is an awkward time in terms of how to dress. You are out in the cold, very early in the morning, while still trying to look your best after slaving over a huge dinner for a ton of guests. No one will look like they are going to the Oscars on this day, go for more athletic clothing (jeans, no – sweatpants – yes). Have a hat and gloves, with an extra pair of socks in the car, along with your coat, to ensure you’re always warm in the early morning chill.

How are you spending Black Friday? Let us know in the comments, also don’t forget to check out Lifehack’s 8 Tips for Surviving Black Friday(Ed: or if you need help in planning out your holiday activities check out the Lifehack Lesson that will help you organize your day)

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Featured photo credit: Portrait of big family sitting at festive tablevia Shutterstock

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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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