How to transform a weekend warrior!

2013October08_FitnessGeneral-BAre you still partying like it’s 1999? If you “get” this song reference then perhaps it’s a sign that you’ve been enjoying the overindulgent side of life for quite some time now! Are you a graduate of the Class of ’99, and still reserving your weekends for drinks and socialising?  Is the last of your youthful energy being spent on dancefloors rather than in gyms? Then perhaps it’s time for a bit of a lifestyle change. This doesn’t mean curing your Saturday Night Fever completely, but maybe spending a few more hours catching up on your rest too, or totally re energizing with a new form of exercise and a different way of eating. You may find you have just as much fun while suffering a lot fewer headaches.

The first task for any weekend warrior looking to change their ways is to recognise if their lifestyle is becoming a health issue. So ask yourself these questions:

  • When did you last stay home on a Saturday night?

  • Do you wake early on Saturday or Sunday?

  • Do you often have hangovers at the weekend?

  • When’s the last time you saw the sun come up and what were you doing?

  • How much of your income is spent on socializing?

  • If someone was to look at your lifestyle how would they sum it up in five words?

If you’ve recognized that you need to tone it down a little on the merriment, then the next step is to take practical steps to achieve this.

  • Pick a weekend in your calendar that’s free. Make sure it’s not too far in the future and that you don’t already have social engagements or commitments.

  • Mark this weekend as ‘me time’. You need to actually write this down in you have a diary or pin the dates up where you can see them.

  • Don’t make any arrangements. This weekend has to be plan-free. This includes plans of your own to do things and also invites from other people.

  • Create an alcohol and smoke free zone. This doesn’t just mean refraining from bad habits but eliminating temptation and all the accompanying accoutrement, such as ashtrays and wine glasses. Store them away for one weekend at least.

  • Restock your food: Often an unhealthy lifestyle equals an unhealthy diet. Buy some foods and ingredients to cook a meal that you enjoy but that is also healthy. You don’t have to go down the organic, brown rice vegan route, but just cut out heavily saturated fats.

  • Clean your living space. Get the areas you relax in clean and comfortable for your special weekend of non-partying. You want to create an inviting environment.

  • Make sure you’re not going to feel bored. Not going out for a late night doesn’t mean that you have to be home with nothing to do. What about watching some positive, feel-good movies or a comedy. Forget action, thrillers or horror which get the adrenaline going. These can trigger negative behavior. The same goes for music. Only play tunes that make you want to sing along rather than tracks that remind you of big nights out or the days of your youth.

  • Get ready for bed early with a bath. Get cozy in lounge clothes and take a soothing bath so that you feel warm and settled.

  • Go for a morning stroll. Each morning don’t rush but don’t hang around inside too long either. Take a determined walk. You can have a purpose, such as picking up some provisions but there’s nothing wrong with getting some fresh air for the sake of it.

  • Disconnect from technology. You are off-radar and you don’t exist in the digital world this weekend. You may find you like being uncontactable.

Once you have spent a weekend breaking your patterns, see how your mind and thoughts turn naturally to your lifestyle. You might find that you want to be more active or exercise more and make some real changes to your life that last beyond the weekend.

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