WTF

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May 2004

I was away for the long weekend. A long standing tradition, for the last 20+ years, the May long weekend has been the start of summer training. For some in Canada the May 2-4 is the start of the summer drinking season (24 cans in a flat/case of beer) to each their own I guess. But, back to the way I like to enjoy the May long weekend, by cycling, running, sometimes swimming (weather dependent) all with some like minded friends. This weekend was no exception. It got me thinking about weekend warriors.

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May 2016

We were in the South Okanagan in BC, wine country, and there were many weekend warriors to be found. On Saturday morning, at the end of our run, we stopped for coffee. The coffee shop had all sorts of things for sale, including napkins with clever sayings and one, in particular, stuck with me.

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Doesn’t that explain everything.

The number one excuse for not exercising is “no time“. This does not need an explanation.

One of the most common reasons that people who are trying to lose weight don’t succeed,  is because of the “weekend effect”.

The weekend effect is a little more complicated. Not only do people tend to eat more on the weekends, they also tend to eat more junk food. Processed foods have more calories and are easier to absorb, requiring less effort to digest than whole foods, but junk food indulgences also change our gut bacteria. Eating junk food on the weekends only is enough to change your gut bacteria to undo any healthy changes you make through the week.

For many people this is how the week might go…

Monday. Start with great intentions, eat healthy, exercise, go to bed on time.

Tuesday. Still full of promise and good intentions.

Wednesday. Have to catch up at work/pick up kids/go to a meeting… I’ll exercise Thursday, maybe have take out for dinner.

Thursday. I am so tired. I have so much to do. I can go to the gym tomorrow.

Friday. Yeah! Survived another week. Tomorrow I am going to do an extra hard workout and have brunch with friends.

Saturday. Go for a workout. Eat too much all day long. Start thinking about eating better on Monday.

Sunday. Relax. Prepare some healthy food for Monday and Tuesday. Wash workout clothes I’ll start again Monday.

After Monday and Tuesday even the week says WTF.

Medscape, a website for health professionals, describes weekend warriors  as

” individuals who “engage in [physically] demanding recreational sporting activities on weekends despite minimal physical activity during the [work] week.”[1] The most common reason cited for this burst of activity on the weekends rather than regular workouts throughout the week is not having enough time to exercise. Consequently, weekend warriors may not be in the best physical shape, and suddenly engaging in intermittent strenuous activity can therefore increase their risk of injury—with certain types of trauma more common to these individuals.”

My best advice, based on something I read on a napkin, WTF does not stand for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. For best results be active everyday.

Change your mind, change your health,

Shayla

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