When it comes to exercise and eating healthfully, routine can be your best friend.

During the week, you probably eat similar meals at similar times each day, go to sleep and wake up at a consistent hour, and exercise more or less on a schedule.

However, when the weekend hits, “being good” can sometimes go out the window. Not only are you off your routine, but you’ll probably spend more time going out and having fun with friends, and you might feel more inclined to “treat yourself” and indulge after a long week of work.

So what’s the trick to not derailing your week of hard work on diet and exercise come Friday night? How can you enjoy yourself and unwind after a busy week without getting off track with your health and fitness goals? Willpower is a skill you have to build and practice, like any other, so the key is to be patient with yourself—but here are some additional tips you might find helpful along the way.

Get outdoors.

Women who live in sunny San Diego have no excuses to not get outdoors often! The weather in our city is almost always beautiful, as much in July as in November. Use extra free time on the weekends to take advantage of our gorgeous locale. Get active with a walk on the beach, a swim or surf session in the ocean, a hike in the hills or a bike ride through your neighborhood.

Your options for outdoor recreation are nearly endless, and most activities can be enjoyed with friends or family, too! So even if you don’t fit in a full workout on Saturday or Sunday like you would during the week, make the most of the sunshine and get active outside in some way.

Catch up on your rest.

When you’re dealing with a busy schedule during the week, getting your full seven or eight hours of shut-eye is often a point that falls to the bottom of the priority list. If you got behind in your sleep during the week, treat yourself to a few extra hours throughout the course of the weekend, whether it’s sleeping in or enjoying a midday nap. It’s not just an indulgent luxury, either; after a week of being on the go, especially if you spent time working out, your body and mind need to rest, repair and recharge.

Spend time cooking healthy meals.

We get it; during the week, sometimes healthy eating requires a bit more time than you have. We’ve all fallen victim to the fast-food fix or the takeout temptation when we’re dealing with a busy schedule. So, take advantage of some extra free time on the weekends to thoughtfully shop for and prepare a delicious, healthy meal for yourself.

Make protein waffles with fresh fruit toppings or a beautiful spread of avocado on toasted wheat bread for breakfast, or hit the farmers market and select some colorful produce for a salad or side dish for your lunch or dinner. Utilize the extra time to treat yourself to a healthy meal, and enjoy the leisurely process of making it!

Meal prep for the week.

Eating healthfully and sticking to an exercise routine is all about planning. Use the weekends to set yourself up for success; if you know you’re going to be too busy, or too tired at the end of the day to cook a meal in the coming week, prepare ahead of time. Visit the farmers market or your favorite grocery store on Sunday afternoon to get what you need, and dedicate a couple of hours to preparing a few delicious, healthy meals that you can take out of the fridge or freezer whenever you’re short on time.

Sticking to a consistent, healthy lifestyle can be a challenge. It’s much easier when you have a community of supportive, like-minded women to challenge and encourage you along the way!

Contact Bootique Fitness to arrange your first trial class, and experience the motivation, enthusiasm and support you need to help you stick to your fitness goals. We offer group outdoor boot camp classes and Zumba-style cardio hip hop dance classes in various locations around San Diego: Mission Valley, La Jolla and Mission Bay. Our expert trainers can help you get (and stay) on track with the healthy lifestyle you desire!