Written by Dana Brown
The holiday season is upon us and your schedule is most likely filling up with family obligations, holiday parties, cooking, traveling and shopping! We all know the importance of exercise for mental and physical health – but it’s no surprise that workouts tend to take a back burner when life gets hectic. Missing a workout here and there isn’t going to set you back too much but taking a significant period of time off from working out can dim your enthusiasm and make it harder to get back on track. The good news is that you CAN stay fit and avoid significant weight gain over the holidays by squeezing in mini workouts throughout the day. A few simple strategies can help you navigate holiday fitness obstacles with no regret come January.
- Stay active – Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a few spaces further away at the grocery store and mall. Step up the pace while shopping. 1 pound of fat is the equivalent of 3500 calories. Every little bit adds to help keep the holiday pounds off. Aim to burn off as many calories as you consume. Be mindful of all those high calorie, sugary treats that are so readily available this time of year!
- Workout at home while you’re watching tv!
- Squats – Stand with your feet hip width apart and sit back like you’re sitting in a straight back chair. *Keep your abs engaged!
- Lunges – Stand in a split stance with your back straight. Bend your knees while being mindful of keeping your front knee directly over your foot.
- Push-ups – Form is crucial when performing this exercise that works your entire upper body and core muscles! Start with your knees on the floor to avoid dropping your back or stopping short.
- Planks – Come down on the floor with your hands directly under your shoulders and your spine and legs long. Draw your naval in towards your spine and hold the position for as long as you can while maintaining perfect form. Start with 15 seconds and build your way up to a goal of 60 seconds by New Year’s!
- STRETCH – Not only does a full body stretch feel good, but it also helps to release tension and prevent injuries.
- Workout while standing in line – Don’t just stand there, work your core! Stand tall with your feet directly under your hips. Breath in deeply and as you exhale, draw your abs in and up and feel that deep core contraction.
- Work towards a goal – There are 35 days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, which is the perfect amount of time to really nail the perfect push-up or hold that 2-minute plank.
Remember, consistent, short, quality exercise sessions can create lasting change. Fitness is a lifestyle no matter what the time of year.