It’s the week after Labor Day Weekend and some of us may be a little banged up from the weekend. As much as I preach the importance of health, nutrition, and fitness, it’s equally important to have a good time once in a while to decompress. Life is all about struggle and reward so if you’ve been doing well with your nutrition or fitness goals, then it’s OK to have yourself a weekend off. I always talk about having a cheat day once a week. For my clients, I recommend it be on a Sunday. Why? Because it’s typically known as a lazy day for many people. It’s also the last day before a work week where we want to get back on track to our goals. A cheat day means no, or limited, restrictions. And for many of us, this Labor Day Weekend had no restrictions. And that can be a good thing once in a blue moon. Go all out and get it out of your system so we can get back on track to our goals. For most people, including myself, having a cheat day makes me sick of whatever I decided to splurge on and only encourages me to get back on track.
So, what is the best way to get back on track after a big weekend of BBQ and booze? The first thing to remember is hydration. This is the number one priority. Why? Because hydration sets the stage for practically every other bodily function. Hydration helps with nutrient absorption which will lower risks of getting sick. We also need proper nutrient absorption to aid in adequate energy levels that in turn will give us the ability to get our work done and get to the gym. Which leads me to my next priority.
Get to the gym the first day back. It may be tough because our body may still be in vacation mode. But that’s why it’s even more crucial to get to the gym and sweat. We need to jumpstart our metabolism and re-engage our physical body. I recommend doing some sort of cardio workout like a long job or hill sprints. Sweating a lot, like during a cardio workout, is the best way to get rid of any excess toxins laying around in the body from the weekend. After Day 1 of cardio, then get back to your normal workout schedule of lifting weights. Once depleting your body of the toxins, you will want to replenish your body with the proper foods.
As far as nutrition, stay away from junk. This should be obvious. If you are recovering from a weekend of BBQ and booze, then you don’t want to refuel with similar carbs or bad fats. You want nutrient rich foods like salmon or a high quality steak. It’s important to pair this will a leafy green vegetable and another vegetable of your choice. Stay away from carbs for near future. It’s likely that you have plenty of those leftover from the weekend.
It’s OK to enjoy yourself and take a weekend off from your goals once in a while. Doing so can be a stress release for some people and can also remind us why we are on a health kick. For most people, reminding themselves of how bad they feel after a cheat weekend is motivation to get back to their normal program. After a weekend like this, make sure to take the appropriate steps to get yourself back to normal. The proper hydration, exercise, and nutrition will help you get back on track with your health goals and launch you to new heights.