We are well and truly in to the New Year, health and fitness has become a priority and you are feeling better than ever. It would be easy if the path had no obstacles, but nothing worth having in life ever comes easy. The Easter long weekend is often the first big challenge of the year for anyone’s health and fitness goals. When we think of Easter, most of the time, 1 thing comes to mind….CHOCOLATE, and it is very easy to get overwhelmed and lose control. Your health and fitness does not has to suffer this Easter. With the right planning it is entirely possible to make it through unscathed, here are a few hints and tips to turn Easter into an enjoyable and well-balanced long-weekend.

Plan the weekend

Long weekends are simply brilliant. They are 3-4 days of no work and a great chance to relax and refocus on life. However, they also tend to be absolute mayhem or a series of hangovers that leave you exhausted by the time work starts up again. A great way to take control of the weekend is to map out exactly what events you have on. Are there many lunches? Dinners? Drinks planned? If you can map out exactly what it is that you will be doing socially, you can then figure out exactly what you need to do exercise and food-wise to create a positive balance. Heading out on Saturday night? Wake up and go for a run on Sunday and lower the carbs for the rest of the day. Always have the aim to end the time-off feeling revitalized and ready to start work again, not tired and in need of a break.

Easter does not have to be about just eating

There are far too many occasions during the year where we use a special event as an excuse to indulge. Christmas, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, Easter – by the time we’ve taken all of these into account, we’re allowing ourselves to over eat and go out for treat meals quite regularly throughout the year – no wonder we find it hard to reach our goals! Instead of catching up with your friends for drinks, why not meet them and go for a walk? Why not organize to have a big lunch in the park with a bbq so you can run around and play footy etc, instead of just sitting and eating all day long? There are lots of different ways to make Easter an incredibly enjoyable time without having all of the food and drinking involved.

Keep your long term goals in mind

Indulging over Easter is not going to help you hit your long-term goal, it is going to help you go backwards for a few weeks, and it is very easy to do. It will not be helping you hit the health and fitness target that you have set. What ever the goal is, it is very important that you have it in the front of your mind over the long weekend. Sure, one big dinner or one night out is not going to impact it too much, I would actually recommend that, but an entire weekend of it is only going to hurt. Print out your goals, have them on the fridge, drive to events so you cannot drink. Do whatever it takes so that you can stay on target with your overall goal.

 Pick your eggs wisely

Chocolate is very tasty, it is very easy to eat a lot of and it is very addictive. It is very hard to say no to it repeatedly, and it is even harder to say no to it if it is in your house. The best advice that I can give, is to choose 1 egg, bunny or whatever you want to indulge in and get rid of the rest. There is absolutely no need to have 15 different pieces of chocolate over the long weekend, and it is very hard to try and not have it when it is in your kitchen. Any leftovers, re-gift them, throw them out, invite yourself over to your neighbours house on Monday night take every thing and give it to them. Do whatever it takes to limit yourself to 1 piece and you will have overcome a massive challenge, but also feel like you have still had some chocolate deliciousness.

Start the next week with a bang

This should be the concrete rule for all long-weekends, Tuesday morning = exercise! Make sure that you wake up early and start the week on a positive note. It is so easy to let a short week turn into a lost week and if you do that you are only putting yourself further back. Book in some extra workouts and grab the bull by the horns. Any excess that may have creeped in over the weekend certainly will disappear quickly if you are proactive.

These are just a few hints and tips to make the Easter break an enjoyable and controlled time-off, embrace them and you will be one step closer to achieving your health and fitness goals!

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