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On Having a Healthier Weekend


FLASH: Many of us live for the weekends. A glorious reprieve from the daily grind, I am not 1 of them being in the News business is 365 24/7.

The weekend a detour from the health goals you put so much effort in to during the work week. You stay out later and allow yourself to sleep in.

And if in LA have a Real pizza and Italian beer Saturday night, and lighten the reigns on your exercise routine.

It feels great, but what happens during the weekend most definitely does not stay there. In fact, letting loose for two days leaves us with baggage that we carry into the new week. Meaning all that hard work you put in can be completely derailed by the short span of time between happy hour on Friday and Sunday brunch.

study from Cornell University found that people tend to weigh a little bit more on Mondays than they do Fridays. And your weight is not the only piece of your overall wellness that suffers on the weekends. From your sleep schedule to your stress levels, here are some simple ways to give your weekend a health boost that will keep your weekday goals intact.

We know, it feels good to turn off the alarm clock and sleep until Noon.

But researchers at the University of Arizona-Tuscon found that “social jet lag” the discrepancy that occurs between our body’s biological clock and the sleeping schedule we keep on weekends due to social activities ends up making you more tired, and inevitably, in a worse mood than if you maintained a consistent sleep schedule all 7 days.

Sleeping in on the weekends leaves some people more tired, and in a worse mood, than if they maintained a consistent sleep schedule all 7 days.

Plus, they found that it can have some more serious health consequences. With every one hour that sleep is shifted, you increase your risk of heart disease by 11% Each 1-hour shift was also linked with a 28% higher likelihood of people reporting their health as poor or fair compared to excellent.

Waking up at a consistent time is earlier said than done, as your bed is very appealing on a lazy Sunday morning. So make getting up a little less painful by scheduling something you can look forward to earlier in the day — whether that is a haircut, manicure or a coffee date with a friend.

A report released by Jawbone found that workouts peak Monday. Not so surprising, they decline throughout the week, bottoming out on the weekend.

Which makes sense

When you are on a specific schedule during the workweek it’s easier to keep exercise on the calendar. But once you hit Friday afternoon, you are easily convinced to trade the sneakers for a pitcher of sangria.

But the lack of movement is partly to blame for the weight gain that happens over the weekend, so it’s important to schedule it in Saturday and Sunday, too.

Research shows that people log the least amount of exercise Friday through Sunday, while Junk Food consumption spikes.

And do not hole up in the gym Saturday afternoon. So, mix things up and take your workouts outdoors in Nature.

Being outside has some added health benefits, like improved focus, a boost in happiness and lower levels of anxiety. And be honest, Nature is better than a treadmill.

The Jawbone report also revealed that diet patterns follow suit. As tracked workouts decline over the course of the week, bacon, bee rand French fry consumption spike, hitting a peak between Saturday and Sunday.

You may think that letting loose for 2 days and then tightening the reigns on your diet again come Monday is a good plan of attack for your weight-loss goals.

Think again.

study conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine found that people who stuck with a strict diet all week, then overindulged on the weekends, not only lost weight slowly, but actually gained an average of .17 lbs per week, that’s 9 lbs a year.

That is not to say that you shouldn’t allow yourself to indulge at all. It iss actually important to incorporate cheat meals into your otherwise healthy diet, but keep it to just 1 meal, not an entire weekend.

“There is a psychological component to the cheat day. Without rewards, it can become mundane to keep a healthy lifestyle day in and day out. Oftentimes, it may take several weeks to see the scale budge, so knowing that a cheat day is coming can help keep up motivation,” Jillian Guinta, professor in the Health and Physical Education Department at Seton Hall University, told Medical Daily.

So, pick your poison, be it beer with the guys Friday or Saturday night or an indulgent Sunday brunch, and then get healthier fare back on your menu.

Be Social

Between work and family obligations during the week, finding time for social events is near impossible. But the lack of socialization may be hurting your health.

Social isolation and loneliness can have effects on our health similar to obesity.

It is a no brainer that socializing is good for our mental and emotional health, but it’s also literally good for our brains. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that older women who maintained large social networks reduced their risk of dementia and delayed or prevented cognitive impairment. And another study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that people who had an active social life in their 50s and 60s had slower rates of memory decline compared to those who were more isolated.

Plus, a study conducted at Brigham Young University compared the effects of social isolation and loneliness to obesity.

We know the dangers of chronic stress well.

But as hard as we try to manage it, sometimes it is out of our control. Train delays during a commute, juggling children’s Summer activities and last-minute deadlines at work can take a toll on our mental health over the course of the week, so it is important to take advantage of the downtime on the weekend for a little self-care.

Spending time with friends and squeezing in exercise will help, is another super simple way to de-stress that will not take a lot of time out of your weekend schedule

Trade your shower for a bath.

When you take a hot bath your body temperature rises, and then quickly cools down, which relaxes your body and primes it for sleep. A pre-snooze bath also helps induce higher quality sleep. Making baths a habit can also lower blood pressure, which spikes when we are chronically stressed.

Plus, you can burn some calories while you’re soaking: Researchers at Loughborough University found that relaxing in a hot bath and doing absolutely nothing burned 130 calories, the same amount you will burn on a 30 min walk.

If you have of age children and dogs, have the kids walk the dog, while you soak in the bathtub, a workout of choice at the weekends

Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live Lively

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