Holiday Exercise Do’s and Don’ts

Posted: October 22nd, 2012 under Exercise.
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You’re busier than ever. You barely have time to deck the halls and trim the tree, much less time to exercise for an hour or so. Should you just forgo your exercise routine and wait until the New Year? Is it even worth going to the gym or out for a walk if you haven’t been consistent? Won’t the calories just add up anyway?

The resounding Yule tide answer is, “don’t give up!”

Even if you can’t get to the gym, you can do in-home training. If you can get to the gym, it is still easy to get a good workout in a shorter amount of time. You just need to know what to do and how to do it effectively.

Let your normal schedule go. For the holidays, workout or exercise when you can. Just keep your clothes and shoes in the car so you can drop by the gym anytime. Also, keep a pair of athletic shoes at work so you can take walks during lunch or right after work.

Perform one-set weight training. You can get just as good a workout performing one set of 10 to 15 reps as you can with 2 to 3 sets. You just need to make sure the weight is challenging enough and that you don’t compromise form. Perform the reps in a slow and controlled manner. Also, make sure you warm-up for at least 10 minutes before lifting any weights. This type of training will help you maintain muscle mass and stay toned during the holidays.

Increase the intensity of your cardiovascular workouts and shoot for at least 20 minutes.

If you’re traveling or visiting relatives in another town, go to a local gym or “Y”. Most health clubs allow you to pay a day or drop-in fee. And what’s $5 to $10 when it comes to your health and waistline?

Exercise in your home. Warm-up by jogging, stepping in place or running up and down a set of stairs. Perform push-ups on the floor or against a kitchen cabinet. Do squats standing in front of a chair. Perform walking lunges down a hallway. Get on the floor for abdominal crunches. Be creative, fifteen to twenty minutes is all you need to work your major muscles. Every little bit counts.

Shop with spunk. Take the stairs in malls. Walk with your shoulders pulled back and abs pulled in tight. Loop around the mall a time or two without stopping in stores. Speed walk back to your car. Who says shopping doesn’t burn calories?

Get up earlier in the morning and go for a walk or jog. This is a great way to energize your body and revitalize your metabolism for the day. Plus, you’ll have finished your exercise for the day.

Plan for the weekend. Go for a long walk, jog or bike ride either Saturday or Sunday. Schedule a time to exercise along with your other activities. If you write it down, you’re more likely to do it.

So, this holiday season, don’t give up on exercise. Do what you can. Move your body. Who knows, you may have one less New Year’s resolution.

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