7 Ways to Weekend-Proof Your Workout Plan

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. 
  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.
Follow these tricks and weekend workouts will be second nature to you in no time!
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Member Comments

I always schedule me time, that's when I go for my bike rides! Report
Good tips. Thanks. Report
Go dancing

I have loving memories when my late wife and I would spend so much time just dancing together.
And it didn't take any coaching. The needle dropped and we were on our feet.

In the living room we would be watching a movie musical on TV. The music would start and we would be in each others arms.

In the kitchen, cooking or washing dishes, it was like THE BIG CHILL LIVE.

But always get out of the house, away from the kids, turn on the radio and turn on the two step. It didn't matter where. The yard. In the pool. The park. The sidewalk. The shopping center. Of course Clubbing. SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER seven days a week. And sometimes EIGHT DAYS A WEEK. (CAUTION: If you break into a dance during and Aerobics Class at the Gym, the others in the class may start following you and not the instructor. Cool for them. P.O.'d for the instructor.

At first the kids would giggle and make "Lovie dovie" impressions. As they got older it became "OHHHH! Mom. PLEASE Dad? You guys are to old for that kind of stuff." We never were.

Just thinking about these Movement in the Moment experience it recalls fond loving memories. As we Shim Shamed in the Shopping Mall the kids would get mortified. While other adults would share a slight smirk and a loving glance at their other.

During one Christmas Shopping rush we were dancing in the aisles to the Holiday Music, while picking out presents. We had made such an impact on other shoppers that later there were a number of couples dancing along the Malls Concourse. Enjoying an unexpected Cardio w/o. Enjoying their loved one in their arms. ACTUALLY enjoying Christmas Shopping.

Think about it. Waltzing through Wal*Mart. A Tango in Target.
A Fandango in Friendly's. The Macarena in McDonalds.
An Adagio in AutoPlus. Jitterbug in J.C.Penny. A Pas de Deux in Pier1. (You broke it, you bought it.)
A Bugga-Lo in Brentano's. The Lindy Hop in Lindy's (a bit redundant).
Raving in Rave. A Rumba in Rent-a-Center. Salsa in Sear's. Foxtrot in Family Dollar.
Merengue in Micro... Report
Great ideas. Thank you. Report
Great tips . . . whatever it takes to stay on track. Report
Thanks. Report
Thank you for sharing. Report
interesting article. Report
Good info thanks Report
Thanks good ideas Report
Gotta do the hard work Report
Great tips! Report
Thanks for the info! Report
Great! Report


About The Author

Jennipher Walters
Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomeGirls.com, FitBottomedMamas.com and FitBottomedEats.com. 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.