Fitness Articles

Weekend-Proof Your Workout Plan

A No-Excuse Guide to Fitting in Exercise Every Weekend

Most of us follow a set schedule during the weekdays. If you're like me, you know exactly what time you'll get up, go to the gym, shower, go to work, eat your meals, and hit the sack. But on the weekends? That schedule usually goes from nailed down to nonexistent.

On the weekends, I usually stay up longer, sleep in longer, eat at random times and—I'll admit—skip a workout or two. Ack! While taking a rest day can be good for you, falling into a pattern of always skipping workouts on the weekends can impede your progress, slow your fitness gains and even throw you off your workout mojo. (Ever notice how much more difficult that Monday morning workout can be after a weekend of not-so-healthy eats and leisure activity?) Follow the seven tips below to make exercise a priority all week long—not just during the work week!

7 Tips for Fitting in Weekend Workouts
  1. Turn workout time into play time. Think working out on the weekend has to be at the gym? Think again! The weekend is the perfect time to take your workout outdoors for a hike, a bootcamp at the park, a bike ride at a nearby trail or even a session of skiing (on water or snow, depending on your climate). If the weather in your area is less than ideal, why not gather some buds for an indoor basketball game, a workout DVD or even a visit to that indoor rock climbing wall you've been dying to try? The sky is really the limit, so get outside—or stay indoors—and have fun!
  2. Schedule some "me" time. The best part about weekdays is that our schedule is consistent and more or less on autopilot. Make your weekend more like a weekday by setting a schedule for Saturday and Sunday. Not every second has to be laid out (where's the fun in that?), but schedule an hour or two that's just for you. Use the time to be active doing something you really enjoy like Zumba, running or Spinning class, followed by some relaxation time. Meditate, read a magazine, take a long bath—do something that's good for you.
  3. Make housework a workout. Most of us have to do at least a few chores over the weekend, so if you're short on time, transform your housework into a workout! Put on some tunes and see how quickly you can do more physical chores like vacuuming, scrubbing the bathtub, mopping the floors, mowing the grass or washing the windows. Here are more ways you can turn housework and yard work into a calorie-torching exercise routine!
  4. Try something new. The best part of working out on the weekend: You have more time (hopefully!). Take advantage of your open schedule by trying something new or going somewhere different for your usual workouts. Whether it's a new group fitness class, running at a new park or even joining a game of softball with some pals from work, trying something new can work your muscles and brain in new ways thereby helping to prevent boredom and those dreaded plateaus. You may even find a new activity that you love or make some new friends who also like to get active on the weekends.
  5. Set a goal (or two). The best way to achieve any goal starts with setting one! If you really want to be more active on the weekends, set a goal to do so. It can be as simple as saying you want to walk every Saturday for a month. Set a smart goal and then reward yourself when you succeed.
  6. Grab a buddy. We all know how important it is to have support when trying to lose weight and get healthy. So be sure to include your friends and loved ones in your weekend workout plans. Ask a bud to try that new trail with you or turn your usual movie date night into something more active like bowling. Make it fun! Not only will you be burning calories, you'll be making way more memories than just sitting around watching television.
  7. Fuel your body right. It's hard to want to work out if you're not fueling your body for success. Studies show that people tend to make poorer food choices—and eat more—on the weekends. Sure, the occasional late night out, cocktail or order of chicken wings won't really hurt you, but if these weekend habits become the norm—or turn into a weekend splurge-fest—they could get in the way of your fitness goals. Who really feels like working out after eating too much, sleeping too little or drinking one too many? Make it a priority to get adequate sleep, drink plenty of water and eat healthy meals and snacks.

So there you have it. Seven tips to turn your weekends into more active days. Follow these tricks and weekend workouts will be second nature to you in no time!

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Member Comments

  • Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.
    - Abraham Lincoln
    Thank you for the information.
  • I get my workouts in doing things with my family, dyi projects at home and running errands. That is exercise enough for the weekend.
  • good info in this article
  • good info in this article
    Working out on weekends has been my favorite because one is not in hurry to leave the gym.
    Thanks for the good read.
    I don't think you should say "Ack" if you don't work out so much on a weekend, you have to LIVE too! Don't be so anal about it, for heaven's sakes. Life is short, enjoy the weekends more, you are active enough during the week. No one cares if your gravestone says "I worked out every single day" on
  • I usually don't work out on weekends. I use that time for working around the house, running errands, and generally doing things I don't have time for during the week. Also, on Sundays, I play for two services. Sitting on a hard piano bench for 45 min. is a workout as well.
  • Good reminder. Thanks for sharing
  • I wouldn't trade weekend gym workouts for the world; everyone else blows off the gym on Saturdays and Sundays. Empty parking lot, free reign of the equipment, the stuff is clean because none of the none-wiping dirty birds are there, no giggly, chatty girls playing at exercising so they can show off their spandex, no one breaking the "no phone calls" rule - it's awesome!
  • I also like to plan my weekend active adventure in advance- it gives me something to look forward to during the weekday, I can get prepared in case I need special gear or travel time, and I don't waste time on Sat trying to figure out what I want to do that can inevitably lead to not doing anything but lounging around. I also check the local paper for special events that aren't normally around to try.
    So true. When I used to go to the gym around where I work (a two hour commute from home) I wouldn't work out on the weekends but I did make sure to make time 3-4 days a week either during the work day or at 5 pm. Now that I go to a gym near home, it's way too easy to just drive by after work without stopping. Also, I haven't gotten in the habit yet of going on the weekends! I have been a few times and it's actually nice and empty. I think what I need to do is make it a "date" activity with my husband. Because we both travel for work, we only see each other on the weekends and then it's too easy to stay in bed late and make excuses not to go to the gym!
  • This really hit home for me. After reading this I decided to follow it and today is the first Saturday I'm not beating myself up for eating too much and not working out. Thank you.
  • This is perfect for me - Thank you!

About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites, and A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.