Are you excited for the long weekend ahead, mes dumplings?? 😀 Some of you have today and President’s Day off (don’t worry, PD will be here per usual!). And, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day!
A long weekend like this is such a great chance to have a fitness weekend: a time to do some at-home R&R with plenty of fresh, feel-good foods, fitness sessions and some extra tune-ups in between that you wouldn’t normally do. This is how I would spend my ideal fitness weekend.
1:30 p.m. Hey it’s the holiday weekend–*actually* take your lunch hour and go for a walk outside. Even if it’s cold out, the fresh air and sunshine will lift up your spirits. Plus, taking a walk during lunch is scientifically proven to reduce stress, lower anxieties, and help you feel more enthusiastic at work afterwards.
4:30 p.m. Got off work early (or earlyish)? Start off the weekend on a high note with a high intensity cardio session that will get your energy up for later in the evening and make you feel lean. Push yourself to do High Intensity Interval Training routine if you usually only have enough physical and emotional energy left for steady, plodding run. (Been there!) Plus, we have more energy in the afternoon, so high impact exercises feel easier to do now.
6:00 p.m. After showering, treat yourself to a weekend kickstarter mocktail. I love a simple cucumber ginger spritzer–just cucumber slices, raw peeled ginger pieces, a bit of agave, and seltzer with ice. Now you’re ready to enjoy your pre-Valentine’s Day night out with your girl friends. Woot!
9:00 a.m. Don’t you love waking up and not having to rush your workout because of work? I like to workout on an empty stomach on Saturday mornings. According to studies, working out on a fasted state burns more fat and helps maintain weight. You still have plenty of energy from a Friday night dinner (re: usually more indulgent and social meal), and you should have gotten as much sleep as you needed, so you can really focus on pushing yourself. Try a strength and toning workout: my favorite is a barre class, which uses small, isometric movements to tone and shape, while also burning calories.
Another alternative? A Valentine’s Day-inspired couples workout, whether that means hitting the weight room together and taking turns training each other, or running outside together. All that competitive fire might spark other fires. 😉
10:15 a.m. Time for healthy breakfast to nourish and re-fuel your body! This anti-inflammatory blueberry protein smoothie hits all the marks–reducing soreness and inflammation from the exercise, and providing protein for building lean muscle.
5:00 p.m. Now you’re back at home, getting ready for your big night out! To look your best in that slinky outfit, and to reduce soreness and inflammation for two hard workouts you got in, try an Epsom salt bath: just fill the tub with hot water and add 2 cups, which releases excess fluids and also purifies your skin. For soft skin in said revealing outfit, use a natural body scrub (purchased or DIY) to exfoliate. Moisturize with body oil or whipped coconut body butter and *actually* take the time for it to absorb, before jumping into clothes. Ah time is the greatest luxury!! 🙂
10:00 p.m. Chances are you dined out–surprise your S.O. with a homemade, healthy Valentine’s Day treat before hitting the hay.
10:00 a.m It’s brunch time! If your S.O. treated you to an elegant dinner last night, how about returning the favor with breakfast in bed? Make these Wild Strawberry Protein Pancakes from Strength and Sunshine, or Baked Apple Pecan Oatmeal from Fettle Vegan. My Breakfast Hash with Shiitake Bacon is hearty, full of protein, and man-approved. Done!
12:30 p.m. A yoga session will stretch out your muscles and add a dose of calm to your Sunday. Instead of rushing through your asanas as you normally do, really take the time to get into it with pranayama and meditation at the beginning and at the end.
2:00 p.m. After yoga class, drop by your local farmer’s market (I’m lucky to have one that’s open all year round!) or natural health food store to pick up healthy groceries for the rest of the week. Since it’s a long weekend, how about also buying a few ingredients you haven’t tried before, and making a new recipe out of it? Vanilla Lucuma Powder Pudding for instance, or how about Paleo Choco Chip Cookie Dough Balls using tigernut powder?
8:00 p.m. Have some time before Downton Abbey? Re-make your gym bag/tote! Take stock of all your gym bag contents, (so many bobby pins, hair ties, and lip stuff!), gather all loose ends up, put all old, stretched out gear on “Donate” pile, and actually get together a little makeup bag with travel-sized bottles of cleanser, toner, cotton pads, and BB cream so you can actually take off your makeup right after a workout. So satisfying!! Your skin will thank you.
Day: Today is a freebie day, so try something new! Are you fascinated by aerial yoga? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try rock climbing, or your friend has been raving about the latest capoeira/conditioning class. With today’s workout, focus on having fun and re-gaining a sense of enthusiasm.
Night: Close off the long weekend with the most indulgent body-care routine you can stand. 😉 You can take your most luxurious bath. If showering is more your thing, do try DIY Tea Steam Facial to get the similar benefits to your skin. It opens up your pores for really deep cleaning. Follow with a mask, toner, and moisturizer. I’ve been really loving using Kaeng Raeng’s mask and hydrating serum.
Now you’re strong, fit, rejuvenated and restored from a weekend of health and fitness! 🙂 Have a good one–let me know what you are planning on doing! (Boyfriend made reservations for us at Hangawi–a vegan Korean restaurant. So basically me in restaurant form. :D)
Photo: Mary Hood; Peaceful Dumpling; Marisa DeFrancesco