*Taking Advantage Of Your Weekends

Was your New Year’s resolution to be more active this year? Or to start something new? If so, use those two days off at the end of your week to get started! Let’s take a look at what you could get up to, by taking advantage of your weekends.

It might feel like it flies over, but how long is your weekend really? Let’s say you wake up at 9am on the weekend (give yourself a lie-in), and go to bed at 11pm, that’s 14 hours a day that you have to play with. Take three hours each day off for meal times, and two hours per day for seeing family and friends, and you’re left with 18 hours. 

Laura stood in front of a rainbow wall at Leeds Dock

Get confident behind the wheel  

Understandably, many people choose not to drive for personal reasons. But, being able to get behind the wheel can have some benefits. You can look for jobs further afield, venture on driving holidays, and visit family and friends that don’t live close by. But with a full-time job, driving can be difficult. How long would it take if you used your weekends to pass your test? 

It should take around 45 hours of lessons before you are a fully-fledged driver, according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). With a non-intensive driving instructor, it’s likely that you’ll be able to take two-hour lessons. The DVSA also advises that you should spend 20 hours revising for your theory test to ensure that you’re fully prepared. That’s 65 hours in total before you’re a fully-fledged driver! 

Agree with your driving instructor to complete four hours of lessons each week and it could only take three months for you to be ready for a test! For ten of these weeks, you should spend an hour per weekend day revising for your theory. 

Burn some calories 

Get fit at the weekend and burn off some of those treats you had during the week. If you enjoy running, why not challenge yourself and train for a half-marathon? Experts advise that you should be training at least three times a week. So, if you can fit a training session in mid-week, you could be well on your way! Runner’s World suggests that 15 weeks is sufficient to train for the 13.1-mile race — what are you waiting for? 

If running sounds a little out of your comfort zone, did you know walking can be beneficial, too? How many calories you burn depends on your weight and distance of the walk. However, for a person who weighs 130 pounds (9.3 stone), an hour walk at a moderate pace burns 120-140 calories per hour. If you spent four of your 14 spare hours walking the dog or heading out to the countryside, you could burn 520 calories on your days off! 

If you’ve always fancied giving a winter sport a go, try learning to ski in your spare time. There are many dry slopes in the UK that offer ski lessons. UK indoor ski slope, The Snow Centre, says that to achieve a ‘good’ level of skiing (being able to venture down advanced steeps on the mountain) you need to complete five of its two-hour lessons and two of its two-hour coaching sessions. If you spend five weekends completing two-hour lessons and two weeks on the coaching sessions, you’ll be ready to hit the slopes after seven weeks! 

There can be calories burnt by relaxing, too. The Waterfront Hotel, a host of spa days in Bedfordshire, recommends that you have a swim and sauna session for an hour a day on the weekend as a way of improving your fitness. One 30-minute sauna session can lead you to burn as much as 300 calories! And a 30-minute swim can burn 295 calories. 

Playing an instrument 

We all remember learning to play an instrument at school, but you can learn to play in your adult life, too. Not only can you impress your friends with your new ability, but you can use it as a way to de-stress and improve your concentration skills. Suppliers of guitar lessons, Hub Guitar, has suggested that it takes around 312.5 hours to play at beginner level. This is where you have ‘an expanded grasp of fundamentals, and can play several pieces, albeit imperfectly’. Spending eight of your free 18 hours per week could lead you to reach this level in 40 weeks. 

Become bilingual  

Take up the task of learning a new language. Benny Lewis, author of Fluent in 3 Months and fluent speaker of seven languages, estimates that it can take around 400-600 hours to be a proficient speaker at B2 level. This is where you can express yourself on a range of topics and would have the ability to show someone around an area and give detailed descriptions in the new language. 

So, if it takes 500 hours to perfect level B2, how many weeks would you have to keep up the commitment? If you spent eight out of your free 14 hours perfecting the new skill (any more than this could be too intense), this would take you 62.5 weeks. Are you up to the challenge? 

With your free 18 hours a weekend, you can do anything you set your mind to. You could learn to cook, take up photography or even write a novel! Start being proactive and make the most of your weekends. 


*This is a collaborative post.  



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