8 Weekend Activities To Improve Your Life
Mondays are for meal prep, you’ll hit the gym on the way home from the office each evening etc. theres a decent amount of structure.
These days that is a non-issue, but many of my cutting phases and a decent amount of business progress was sabotaged in the early years due to going off track on the weekend – be it overeating, not scheduling in my training or not being motivated to write.
1. Float Pod
If you’re in a creativity or stress related rut the sensory deprivation tank is a fantastic tool to use.
An hour and a half without hearing, seeing or feeling anything will have your body and mind in an extremely ‘fixated’ state.
It’s just you and your mind – if you’ve got any underlying issues the float tank is a fantastic place to go to think, create and explore.
Not to mention the thought processing benefits of spending time in a float tank, but the immense relaxation after a float tank session lasts anywhere up to 72 hours from my experience.
Not convinced? There have been a number of interesting studies performed on float tanks…
A 1999 research study, during floatation there is an increase in the theta waves in our brain. Theta waves have been shown in other studies to be activated by meditation. They are also the brain waves active during REM sleep and the drowsiness immediately before and after sleeping.
As well as increasing positive theta brain waves, floating has been shown to reduce unwanted negative activity in the body. According to the same 1999 study, “Plasma and urinary cortisol, ACTH , aldosterone, renin activity, ephinephrine, heart rate, and blood pressure, all directly associated with stress, consistently decrease.”
A 2001 study found spending time in the floatation tank showed a strong ability to reduce severe pain, increase optimism, and decrease anxiety and depression. In addition, study participants fell asleep easier following floatation tank treatment and experienced a higher quality of sleep.
an analysis in 1997 of well over 1,000 descriptions of sensory deprivation indicated that more than 90% of subjects found it deeply relaxing.
In 2000, one such study found that volunteers’ visual cortexes became more active after less than an hour of visual deprivation.
. A small study of five university professors found that six 90-minute float sessions allowed them to generate more “creative” ideas, which coincided with a self-reported increase in free imagery and remote associations. Similarly, in a study with 40 university students, a single hour of flotation increased their scores on a standardized test used to measure creativity.
Being stuck in confined spaces such as an office, the gym or a small apartment day in day out can become quite frustrating after a while, I’m sure you can relate.
When I find myself experiencing an ongoing stint of writers block, struggling to overcome or deal with any hard hitting decision I have to make due to decision fatigue or lack of information, or even when I’m struggling to find the motivation to perform cardio to keep my cutting phase on track
“Research shows that hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptoms of stress and anxiety” says Gregory A. Miller, PhD, president of the American Hiking Society. “Being in nature is ingrained in our DNA, and we sometimes forget that.”
Get out of the city and detach yourself from things. You’ll clear your mind and improve your health. Get out there and reap the benefits of hiking this weekend.
3. Mud Run
Check the Spartan Race and Tough Mudder event schedules and see when there’s going to be a mud run in your town next, nothing coming up? Grab a bunch of friends and go on a road trip… I’ve done this a bunch of times and it never makes for a dull weekend!
Completing a Spartan Race provides a feeling of accomplishment unlike any personal best in the gym or weight you may see on the scales.
The Spartan Race, Tough Mudder and any other variation of mud or obstacle course race is designed to BREAK you.
Steep climbs while carrying heavy barrels, jumping over fire pits, climbing ropes, launching over A frames – in order to complete a Spartan Race or Tough Mudder with a competitive time you have to be well-rounded.
You can’t just have a ton of strength and muscle mass and neglect your cardio, you’ll gas out on the hill climbs and sprinting sections.
At the same time, you can’t just be a slender endurance athlete as you’ll struggle to conquer the ropes and frames that require a relative amount of upper body strength.
4. Go On A Road Trip
Grab some friends and go see some new sights. You’ll come back refreshed.
Hiking new mountains, training at new gyms and seeing new things while exploring regions of Western Australia 4 – 5 hours south of where I live always has me returning home motivated and refreshed after grinding away in my usual gym/office etc.
Hell, as I mentioned above if there’s a mud run in a nearby town take a trip there, consider camping out too.
5. Calculate Calories + Meal Prep
I’ll be honest this is far from the most exciting activity on the list but if you find yourself struggling to hit your goals in terms of bulking or cutting the issue is most likely going to be related to your diet. Plateaus in the gym, be it in terms of gaining size and strength or stripping down fat are resolved OUTSIDE of the gym the vast majority of the time.
Begin by working out how many calories your body requires to maintain its current state.
If you are in a bulking phase add an additional 400 – 600 calories to this number.
If you are in a cutting phase subtract 400 – 600 calories from this number.
Sign up to MyFitnessPal.com and begin to enter foods that you’d like to incorporate into your diet until you’ve hit your caloric goal for the day.
Head out to the supermarket, buy these foods and prepare them for the week!
6. Define Your Goals & Values
If there’s once piece of advice I can give you when it comes to happiness it’s that happiness and overall mental well-being comes from having goals and chipping away at them.
Small amounts of progress each and every day towards a large goal will make you happy.
Buying material possessions will not.
It took me several performance cars to figure this one out. I thought they’d make me happy.
Working on my goal each day of publishing 365 articles in 2020 makes me happy.
Spend some time with a journal and jot down the things you value and create a series of short and long term goals that align with these values.
7. Read A Book
Knowledge is power.
We learn from mistakes, but we do not need to learn from our own mistakes. It’s far cheaper and quicker to learn from the mistakes of others.
Pick up a biography this weekend and learn from Arnold and his lifting career, pick up Elon Musk’s book and find out the thought process behind his gigantic ventures…
Not a fan of biographies? I’m personally not a huge fan of fiction books but they are a fantastic tool for learning and increasing your vocabulary.
Increasing your vocabulary and learning from thr greats is sure-fire way to improve your life.
8. Declutter Your Home (And Mind!)
Clutter creates stress, open loops and distraction – whether you realize it or not.
We’re not just talking about physical objects here either….
Excessive possessions, thoughts or projects left half finished leave us feeling stressed and anxious – consciously or sub-consciously we’re (or at least I) are not able to create and span new ideas when we’re distracted by those outstanding possessions and thoughts.
Work with a clean slate, both physically and mentally.
Read GTD (Get Things Done) to learn all about closing and deciding upon open loops you’ve left in your mind, tidy your workspace and remove all unnecessary clutter, decide what you’re going to do with those other projects of yours… it doesn’t matter as to whether you’re abandoning them or finishing them as long as you make a definitive decision as to what you’re doing – instead of leaving these questions constantly ticking off in your mind.