After yesterday’s pilates class, a friend turned to me and asked a question I get often, “do you ever take days off”? Yes, I do! I am a firm believer in rest days (read about it here) and usually make Saturday and Sunday the days I take off. Even though I’m not in the gym or at a workout studio, I make weekends “active rest” days to give me time to move my body while also connecting with my friends and family- something that’s impossible to do in a yoga class. Below you’ll find ideas for ways to involve your community in activities that are simultaneously healthy and fun.
- Wander through a farmers market and engage the vendors in conversation. You’ll learn about seasonal produce and may walk away with some tasty items that you can transform into a fresh meal for/with your friends.
- Challenge yourself to leave the car in the driveway. Instead of hopping in the car when you need to get somewhere, figure out how you could walk, ride a bike, or take public transit to reach that destination. Doing so is good for your body (inherently more active), good for building a strong sense of community in the place you live, and good for the environment (less pollution)!
- Take a catch-up walk or hike with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. A lot of times people suggest grabbing a drink to catch up with friends, but alcohol is a depressant and not always the best way to have a meaningful connection with someone you haven’t seen in a while. Instead, we suggest moving those legs! Studies have shown that people open up more when being active, so much so that some therapists now hold their sessions with clients while running! We’re not 100% sold on that idea, but a walk with friends is definitely a good one.
- Invite friends over for a gardening party! Last year for my birthday I had a “hoe-down” party where all my friends came over and helped me plant a succulent garden. We had snacks and a total blast planting the various cacti and succulents everyone brought. And don’t be fooled by how tidy Martha Stewart always looked, gardening is serious work that can burn up to 500 calories per hour!
- Go out dancing – yes, shake that booty! A night sweating it out on the dance floor is great for the soul and counts as a serious cardio workout. In just one hour of grooving, you can burn between 300 – 500 calories.
- Volunteer. Spending a couple hours volunteering is sure to keep you on your feet and chatting with others about issues that have social and moral value to you. It’ll feel really good, we promise.
- Play games – Spikeball, cornhole, horseshoe, bocce, badminton… you name it, we love and encourage it! Whether in your backyard or a nearby public park, playing these games with your friends will elevate your mood and heartrate. In addition to having fun and keeping you active, games like this provide important mental stimuli by demanding quick problem solving (where is the best place to pass the ball?).
We believe that habits like this are the key to making a FIT lifestyle sustainable and rewarding, no sacrificing of fitness or friendships required. Give them a try and let us know what else we should add to the list! Don’t forget to post your active weekend efforts on social with the tag #honestlyfitfam!