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How to make the most of your spare time*



Perhaps your New Year’s resolution was to be more proactive this year, or to stop drinking and get motivated on the weekend? If so, what could you do with your new found spare time? The Waterfront Hotel, host of spa days in Bedfordshire, give us some suggestions:
 
How many hours are there in a weekend?
After a working week, how much time do you have to yourself on the weekend? 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 time, and two hours per day for seeing family and friends and you’re left with 18 hours.
Become more cultured 

Challenge yourself and learn 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.
Say that it took you 500 hours to reach B2 level, how many weeks would this take? 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?
 
Take driving lessons
There are many people that do not drive out of choice. 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. With a full-time job though, driving can be difficult. How long would it take if you used your weekends to pass your test? 

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), it takes around 45 hours to pass a driving test. With a non-intensive driving instructor, it’s likely that you’ll be able to take 2-hour lessons. The DVSA also advise 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!
Sign yourself up for four hours of lessons a week and you could be ready to take your practical test in 12 weeks! For ten of these weeks, you should spend an hour per weekend day revising for your theory.
 
Improve your physical fitness
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 suggest that 15 weeks is sufficient to train for the 13.1-mile race — what’re you waiting for?
 
To get outdoors but partake in something less strenuous, try walking for long distances. It depends on your weight and distance of the walk on how many calories you burn. 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’re quite the adventurer, you could try your hand out at skiing. There are many dry slopes in the UK that offer ski lessons. UK indoor ski slope, The Snow Centre, say that to achieve a ‘good’ level of skiing (be able to venture down advanced steeps on the mountain) you need to complete five of their two-hour lessons and two of their 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! 

You can still burn some calories from doing something more relaxing too. If you have a swim and sauna session for an hour a day on the weekend you can still improve your fitness and wellbeing levels. One 30-minute sauna session can lead you to burn as much as 300 calories! And a 30-minute swim can burn 295 calories.
 
Get musical
Despite what you think, you’re never too old to learn an instrument. 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, have suggested that it takes around 312.5 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 14 hours per week could lead you to reach this level in 40 weeks.
 
Fancy something else?
There are a range of other things that you could take up on the weekend. You could learn to cook, take up photography or even write a novel! Start being proactive and make the most of your weekends.
 
Sources
https://www.fluentin3months.com/hours-to-learn-a-language/
https://www.ingenie.com/young-drivers-guide/10-tips-on-how-to-pass-your-theory-test
http://www.bbc.co.uk/consumer/27611093
https://www.runnersworld.com/getting-started/half-marathon-training-for-beginners
https://www.thesnowcentre.com/snowsure/news/howlongdoesittaketogetgoodatskiing
https://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/how-many-calories-does-swimming-burn


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