Hanging out with your squad is always a great idea; quality time with good friends brings refreshment and builds vital social connection. And in the midst of life’s stressors, we all need to cut loose. But in our desire to unwind, it can often be too easy to make unhealthy choices. Sometimes, the stereotypes of Ladies’ Nights as out-of-control boozefests or over-indulgent dessert binges ring a little too true, and the morning after finds us with more regrets than fond memories.

Don’t let your get-togethers go off the rails! Instead, take preventative action by planning a healthier version of ladies’ night. You’ll find there’s strength in numbers: If you and your friends make healthy choices together, positive social reinforcement means you’re likely to keep on making them even when you’re apart. After all, groups of friends tend to affect each other’s lifestyle choices, for better or for worse.

In your circle of friends, be the catalyst for good with these six healthy ladies’ night ideas. 

women doing yoga

1. In-Home Yoga Session: You may be used to trekking to the gym for yoga class, but bringing the “om” to you is actually not that difficult. For a one-of-a-kind ladies’ night, inquire at a local gym or yoga studio to see if any of their instructors teach in-home sessions. If everyone in your group contributes, the cost generally evens out to about what you would pay for a drop-in class. Whether your home is large or small, if you have enough room for a few mats, you have enough room for yoga. The best part is, after your session ends, you can keep hanging out at home in your yoga pants.

2. Healthy Potluck: Here’s your excuse to dust off one of those healthy recipes you pinned ages ago. Who knows; maybe those vegan tempeh meatballs will be crazy delicious? To make coordinating food items extra easy, create a signup sheet on a website like Perfect Potluck. And when everyone gathers, make a point of having each person share one healthy goal they’re working on. Instant accountability!

3. Healthy Book Club: For an ongoing healthy ladies’ night, put out some feelers to see which of your friends would be interested in starting a self-improvement book club. The options abound for great books that will provide inspiration pertaining to diet, fitness, and mental and sexual health. Meeting monthly to discuss means you’ll actually hunker down and read some of the books you might have been meaning to for awhile.

4. Dancing: Line dancing, belly dancing, dancing at a club, or Zumba: All are excellent choices for getting your hearts pumping. Even for those who aren’t into aerobic activities like running or biking, dancing never fails as a means of relieving stress through movement. Check nearby gyms or community centers to see what kinds of classes are available in your area.

5. Roller Skating: It might sound nuts, but go with us on this one. Roller skating’s not just for kids — in fact, if you’re a parent, it’s probably a lot more enjoyable without them. Even stone-cold sober, there are sure to be tons of laughs as you and your girlfriends do your best to navigate the rink on wheels. Give the DJ some throwback song requests and you have the perfect recipe for fun.

6. Rock Climbing: If you’re a rock climbing novice, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is that you may feel pretty absurd hanging in the air by a giant harness that looks conspicuously like a diaper. But the good news is that if you do it with your besties, there’s no shame. By the end of the evening, the exertion of the climbing and the adrenalin rush of reaching multi-story heights may make you feel like a literal rock star.

What’s your favorite healthy way to spend quality time with your friends? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)