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Memorial Day weekend has become the unofficial start of summer, and it’s a great long weekend after a bit of a dry spell. It is also a time to reflect and be grateful for the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves. I believe the best way to enjoy Memorial Day weekend is to balance fun with reflection and relaxation. This way, come Tuesday morning, you won’t feel like you need another 3-day weekend to recover from your 3-day weekend.

It’s usually a little too cold in the Northeast to swim or wear a bathing suit, but it’s a reminder of what’s to come. This can be triggering for some, and I know it has been for me in the past. Don’t be hard on yourself! When I look back on pictures of past Memorial Day Weekends, I realize how hard I was on myself. Now when I look at those pictures, I think I looked great! I wish I hadn’t been so hard on myself. If you’re feeling a little fluffier than you’d like or just not feeling great in general, try to move past that emotion. Know in your heart that you’ll look back on the picture you took this Memorial Day with some fondness in years to come. But if you’re looking to stay balanced while still enjoying the weekend, here are some pro tips!

Move often!

Hopefully, the sun will be shining and the rain will stay away. Take advantage of the early morning light and get outside for a walk to enjoy the fresh air and vitamin D. By waking up early and setting the intention to take care of yourself first, you will start the day off on the right foot and feel energized. Consider scheduling a class or workout to hold yourself accountable for the next day. Moving often this weekend will leave you feeling more relaxed to enjoy time with family and friends.

Take a Beat

At it’s heart, Memorial Day is a time for reflection and remembrance of those who gave their lives for our country. Take some time to sit outside, breathe in the fresh air, and absorb the sunshine. You can journal or meditate for a bit if you feel like it. The extra time away from work can help you pick up a habit you may have been trying to develop!

Stay Hydrated

If you follow one pro-tip it is this one. Being dehydrated makes you feel like complete garage. It’s important to stay hydrated, we are roughly 60% water and even low levels of hydrating can hold you back. here are some tips to stay hydrated:

  • Slam a LARGE glass water as soon as you wake up, I fill an entire large mason jar and make myself drink it before I have my coffee.
  • Drink water throughout the day, even if you’re not thirsty.
  • Sugary drinks and alcohol can dehydrate you. I am not saying not to have them this weekend, but balance them out with water. Alternating or starting with a glass of water or sparkling water is a good start.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables, which are high in water content.
  • If you are exercising, drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workout.
  • If you’re in a hot climate, drink more fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Try my favorite electrolyte drink, this is great to drink after exercising, in place of a cocktail or before bed and cinch to make!

Use Fresh Ingredients in Drinks

Try some new cocktails or mocktails! There are many delicious cocktails out there that are made with fresh ingredients and are low in sugar. Use your extra time off to explore new recipes and ideas. You might just find a new favorite summer drink. Check out this alternative to the margarita that uses fresh citrus!

Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables and fruits are a great addition to any meal. I never feel like adding vegetables is a chore because I truly love them. Make sure to include plenty of vegetables in your meals. They’re low in calories and high in nutrients, and they’ll help you feel full and aid in hydration. Grilling vegetables or including them in a fun salad is a great idea.

Remember Protein

Cookouts often contain carb-heavy foods like chips, pasta salads, and desserts. It’s important to enjoy these in moderation, but don’t forget to include protein in your meals as well. Protein will help you feel full and satisfied, so aim for a palm-sized portion per meal if you’re female and two palm-sized portions if you’re male.


Enjoy doing the things you love, and don’t feel guilty about indulging in a few treats. Just be sure to balance it out with healthy choices. Remember the 90/10 rule: aim to eat healthy 90% of the time, and allow yourself to indulge 10% of the time. By following these tips, you can stay healthy and enjoy Memorial Day weekend without feeling guilty or drained come Tuesday morning. So relax, have fun, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

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Carrie Mayer Boston Pilates Instructor smiling

Carrie is a Massachusetts-based Pilates and Wellness professional who believes in training smart and enjoying all that life has to offer.