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It can often feel like an impossible task to squeeze exercise and preparing healthy meals into an already hectic schedule. And the more you let it slip, the harder it is to get back into a routine.
A long bank holiday offers the opportunity for you to get back into good habits and establish a healthy weekend routine. Plus, it’ll remind you how great it feels to start the day right and eat well, encouraging you to continue with it.
So, take an hour out here and there at the weekend to be active and eat well (with a day of guilt-free rest on Monday!), and you’ll feel refreshed and raring to go for the week ahead.
1. Start with a swim
Go for a refreshing swim on both Saturday and Sunday morning to get into the habit of weekend exercise. Just a few laps can prove to be a great feel-good booster and will help wake you up.
Swimming is a great way of improving your fitness, so try to continue with this each week and increase by a lap each time.
If running is more convenient for you but you’re letting your novice status put you off, the weekend is a great time to get off that start line. See our article on learning to run for tips.
2. Swap your snacksIt’s easy to gorge on sweet treats as you switch into “weekend mode”, but if you start the day right with a healthy breakfast and mid-morning snack, it will give you the motivation to continue eating well throughout the day. Plus, eating certain nutrient packed foods will give you all-day energy, helping you to stay active throughout the day, so make them a part of your usual weekend routine.
3. Maximise your exerciseWhen you do have the time to play sport, make the most of it by improving your technique. Seeing a real improvement in your fitness and the way you exercise can be all the motivation you need to keep going at it.
If it’s easier for you to work out at home, set reminders on your phone to grab 10 minutes of exercise per hour. Start with a warm up then try star jumps, skipping and squats to get the heart rate going before stretching out.
N.B. Consult your GP before changing your exercise routines if you have any health problems.
4. Make your own soupMake a batch of delicious, healthy soup at the start of the weekend and heat it up for hearty lunches or light dinners.
Soup keeps you feeling full as the stomach holds water and food in your stomach for longer when they are mixed together, thus putting off hunger pangs.
To prevent food boredom, simply add a squeeze of lemon, a few drops of Tabasco sauce or a sprinkling of coriander to give it a new twist.
5. Get a good night’s sleep
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: a good night’s sleep is integral to a healthy lifestyle.
If the stresses of work usually stop you from shutting down, use the long weekend to get yourself into a bedtime routine, such as having a bath before bed, reading a few pages of your book, and having a drink to help you sleep.
Certain scents can also help you drift into a peaceful sleep. Try the Febreze Sleep Serenity range in Moonlit Lavender to transform your bedroom into a relaxed, sweet-smelling haven.
6. Relax and unwind
Try not to waste away your Monday off sat on the sofa with box sets (although of course this is a fine indulgence now and again). Instead, use the opportunity to combat stress with gentle exercise, such as Pilates, yoga or tai chi.
Then why not indulge in a pampering session by turning your bathtime into a mini spa session?
For more tips on how to make the most of every weekend, see our article, ‘Make this weekend your best ever'.
How do you make the most of a bank holiday weekend?
Let us know in the comments section below.