Did you know that, from weight gain to pulling a muscle and shaving a few years off your life span, weekends can put a serious dent in your health. Here’s what you need to look out for:
Being a couch potato
Fact One in two of us watch more than two hours of television – which is significantly higher than our weekday viewing habits. This promotes some unhealthy habits such as consumption of energy-dense snacks, and smoking in some, not to mention the hours of inactivity. All of which increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. but also other unhealthy activities such as smoking spending more than two hours a day. Plus, if you spend your weekend watching medical dramas, you’ll be feeling less good about yourself and unnecessarily worrying about catching every illness featured on screen, say US researchers.
How to beat it Take a bath instead of reaching for the remote. Research proves we are more likely to binge-watch TV when we are feeling lonely, and a quick fix for that is hopping into a bath. The warmth of the water is comforting when you are feeling alone.
Fact If you catch up on all of your exercising over the weekend because you didn’t have enough time and hours to spare even to go for a walk over the week, there’s a high risk of injury. the risk is higher if you are over 30 and use to be a regular exerciser, says US scientists. While the most common injury caused by exercising vigorously just once a week is muscle strain, it can also led to chronic tendonitis
How to beat it Spread your exercise sessions over a few days to build endurance and give your body recovery time. And if you are using those minimalist-style shoes, for that barefoot running feel, ditch it, says Canadian researchers, as runners who wear those kind of shoes experience to or three time as many injuries.
Fact Do it regularly when the time weekend comes around alters your body clock, which in turn affects your metabolism and therefore results in weight gain. This could lead to weight-related conditions such as diabetes. Researchers call this “social jetlag”. Plus, science has also proven that sleeping in to make up for lost sleep over the week is not 100 per cent effective in restoring brain function anyway.
How to beat it Get up at roughly the same time as you do during the week over the weekend as well. Take a nap during the day if you are tired. An hour-long nap in the afternoon is enough to boost and restore your brain’s learning capacity – which is one thing that suffers due to inadequate sleep during the week.
Fast food, fast eating
Fact We tend to consume more calories over the weekend – roughly 115 more a day compared to the average weekday. That 250 extra calories over one weekend. This could add to a considerable weight gain over a year if left unchecked. The biggest contributors to weekend weight gain are fatty foods and alcohol, says researchers.
How to beat it Spend more time eating your weekend meals. When people took more than 20 minutes to eat a meal, they ate 350 fewer calories than people who finished their meal in just nine minutes.
Fact Reading work-related emails on the weekend – which is something eight out of 10 people do regularly – means you’re more likely to lose your temper, says a US study. Not only does that anger interfere with our personal lives, we are also eight times more likely to get a heart attack in the two hours after getting worked up.
How to beat it Resist looking at your work email over the weekend. But if you have to, picture yourself as a fly on the wall when you start to get angry. Research has proven that those who go into observation mode when they are angry are better at controlling their temper than those who try to focus on and analyse their feelings.
Fact many of us start to feel low from about 4pm on a Sunday. In fact according to a survey, at least three out of four of us experience these Sunday night blues when we start thinking about returning to our weekday routine on Monday. And for almost half of us, the drop in mood is significant enough to describe the feeling as “very bad”. Four out of 10 people say they feel anxious on Sunday afternoon.
How to beat it Forget reaching for comfort food. Research confirms that eating unhealthy food just makes a bad mood worse. Instead, make a cup of lemon balm tea. Research has found that it helps lower anxiety levels.
Being a weekend-only drinker might shorten your lifespan. If you regularly drink more than four alcoholic drinks in one sitting – like over a Sunday brunch – you are twice as likely to die early compared to those who spread their alcohol intake over the week., even if your total weekly consumption is less than seven drinks.
How to beat it A 2015 Straits Times article stated that in Singapore, 18.7 per cent of men and 12.2 per cent of women aged 18 to 29 binge drink – that is, have four or more alcoholic drinks in one session. This is largely because of the misconception that you cannot have fun at social gatherings unless you drink. The various group activities at Meetup Singapore
will prove you wrong. But if you must drink, go slow, savour the moment, the scene.. Starting off with some sodas or juices is a good idea before progressing to alcohol. Also, move around – hit the dance floor, rather than being sedentary. Besides, it will help burn off some of the calories as well. And most importantly, Keep away from drinking games!
Text: Bauer / Additional Reporting: Sandhya Mahadevan / Photos: 123RF, Giphy & Pexels