Don’t let weekends and public holidays ruin your fitness routine

We are well into 2018, and have become accustomed to our routines and (hopefully) put effort into incorporating our fitness resolutions into our daily life. Perhaps the results have even begun to pay off. Alas, now is the time when things can start to take a wrong turn.

March is drawing to a close. Easter weekend is on the horizon (the long weekend that consists of Good Friday on the 30th and Family Day on Monday the 2nd), and then Family Day on Friday the 27th comes next, followed by Labour Day on May the 2nd.

School pupils and students take their first break of the year. Feeling fatigued after the first three months of being back in the workplace, employees take overtime or even annual leave to stretch one (or both!) long weekends.

“Unfortunately, a disruption in your workout routine will lead to lost gains, and you’ll feel the effects of overindulging on your off days when you try to hit the weights or the treadmill again,” says Pierre Louw, owner of online business My Health and Fitness.

So how can you enjoy some time off without causing too much damage and completely disrupting your fit lifestyle? Read on to find out.

Plan ahead

The first step is to decide the days you are going to be taking off from work and, subsequently, going to the gym. “This gives you a window during which you can plan when you’ll be taking it easy, and on which days you can return to the gym,” Louw says.

At the very least, you should be going to the gym twice a week when you take some time off.

Work out your replacement routine with a personal trainer

If you exercise a different muscle group at the gym five days a week and need to figure out a temporary workout schedule that is going to be effective in ensuring that you don’t lose all your gains at the very least, it’s going to get tricky. Luckily, there is a solution (and perhaps even an upside).

“If you haven’t invested in the services of a personal trainer, now is the time to do so. They will assess your activity levels accordingly in order to design a gym routine for you that ensures that you stay in your current shape,” says Louw.

“Also remember that your body needs to be stimulated with new challenges in order for it to get stronger, fitter and leaner. If you’ve been working out different muscle groups every day over the past three months, changing things up to, say, three full body workouts for one or two weeks can really give your body the challenge it needs in order to progress.

Plan when to indulge

If you aren’t going to visit the gym often, do yourself and your abs the favour of sticking to your eating plan, and setting aside one or two days where you allow yourself to indulge.

“If you have been sticking to a healthy meal plan, you’ll find that it’s quite hard for your body to be deprived of regular, nutritious meals all of a sudden. You won’t need as much protein when you aren’t exercising your muscles, so take it easy on the shakes. Also, don’t consume carbs after lunch,” says Pierre. “If possible, it’s also best that you try to stick to your sleeping routine for dieting purposes.”

Enjoy your body

You don’t work hard in the gym just to enjoy looking at yourself in the mirror every morning, do you?

“Summer is drawing to a close, so make the most of your off time by going out and enjoying activities like hiking, swimming, surfing, rock climbing or cycling; anything that makes your heart beat faster and puts a smile on your face!” Pierre says. “You’ve put effort into your physique, now go out and reap the real benefits.”


About My Health and Fitness


Welcome to My Health and Fitness, a rich source of articles to help you become the best version of yourself. From diet to exercise and general health, our content contributors (including Biokineticists, Physiotherapists, and Fitness Professionals) will cover all your frequently asked questions and more!

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Disclaimer: Our articles are not meant to replace any medical advice as given to you by your doctor or healthcare specialist. Always consult your doctor before embarking on a new exercise routine or drastic changes in your diet, especially where pre-existing conditions are applicable.

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