The 24 Hour Fitness Blog

Alternatives to "Lunch with Friends" on Your Rest Days

January 24, 2016

When it comes to spending quality time with your friends, it's easy to sink into the habit of catching up over lunch. While this can be fun, it also can get stale, as well as undermine your dedication to a healthier lifestyle on your rest days.

If you are stumped about alternative activities, here are some ways you can get together; fat-packed burger and fries not invited.



Get Some Fresh Air

Multitask by squeezing in an active recovery session and some quality time with your BFF. Whether you meet for a hike or just a walk around your local park, opt outside and enjoy your catch-up session paired with a little fresh air and exercise. Low-intensity cardio is the ideal activity, as it allows you to easily carry on a conversation without getting too winded from the physical exertion.

Learn Something New

Have you always wanted to learn how to sew? Are you interested in learning to speak another language or how to take better photos? If you have a friend who shares your interest, sign up for a series of classes on the subject. Check out your local community college for a course list or inquire at local businesses that specialize in the subject. For instance, a fabric store may offer sewing classes; a camera shop, a how-to on your new DSLR.

The weekly meeting time will guarantee that you get time to spend together regularly, and you can also help each other learn a new skill through discussion of the lessons and practicing all of the new things you are learning together. You could end up finding a new passion! At the very least, you’ll enjoy some personal growth together.

Start a Book Club

Starting a book club with your nearest and dearest friends is a great way to get everyone together regularly, with the added bonus of giving you a reason to read that hot new bestseller everyone is talking about. Monthly meetings are ideal, but quarterly may work better for you if busy schedules limit reading time.

Size is an important consideration when creating a new book club; too many people can hinder quality discussions while too few can be limiting if all parties can't make it. Aim to have a group of eight to 12 people for optimal participation and discussion.

Mix up the genre of books to keep things interesting for everyone. To make the book selection process easier, designate one member to select three to five book options and have everyone vote to make the final selection.

Host a Game Night

If a book club isn't your thing, consider a monthly game night instead. If there's one game that you all love, like Bunco or Scrabble, you can play the same game every time or you can mix it up and let the host choose the game, rotating hosting duties each month. This doesn’t have to be elaborate. Invite friends, neighbors and family, pop some popcorn and try to beat that triple word score you played last week.

Go Grocery Shopping

Turn this boring weekly chore into something you actually look forward to each week by inviting a friend to go grocery shopping with you. You can both get all of your groceries for the week, while also spending quality time together entertaining each other through the aisles and long checkout lines. Another bonus? You can hold each other accountable for making healthy food choices.

For this to work well, a little advance planning can go a long way.Plan your meals for the week and create a comprehensive list of everything you need. Doing this before you go means you’ll avoid impulse and duplicate purchases. Organize your lists according to like categories, with all of your produce, meat and dairy paired together so you don't end up criss-crossing the store to check items off of your list. If you like to do your shopping at a few different local markets, carpool for maximum efficiency. It's also helpful to bring your own bags so none of your items get mixed up during unloading.

Check Out a Local Event

Consult the event calendar of your favorite local magazine or news source to find out what community events are happening near you. Whether it's an annual arts festival or a monthly flea market, local events are a fun way to spend an afternoon checking out something new and people watching with your bestie.

Get tickets to a cultural event like a performance of your local symphony, opera or musical theater company or check out that new exhibit at your favorite art museum. This is a great excuse to dress up with your friends and indulge in a rich cultural experience together. The local arts scene is chock-full of unique and entertaining events that can spice up your time spent with friends.