MOVEMENT: Beat holiday stress with exercise

MOVEMENT: Beat holiday stress with exercise

When you start to tally up all the holiday parties and dinners on your plate, it’s easy to see how you might be indulging more than normal this month. Add to that how difficult holiday schedules make it to fit in your usual gym time and you might wind up feeling a little discouraged. But, that said, squeezing in training sessions between parties or finding ways to be active while traveling to family events is a lot more accessible and easy than it may seem.

Just keep three things in mind:

  • The best and most efficient types of workouts are short and intense. You don’t need an hour-long training session. Even just 20 minutes will do.
  • Be creative and don’t think you need a gym or any type of equipment to make this work. An open space, backyard, playground, or basement will work just fine.
  • This doesn’t have to be an everyday thing. Find three 20-minute time frames a week, and you’ll find yourself coasting through the holidays.

Sample holiday training schedule

Keep your workouts to 20 minutes, three times a week, by planning your exercises for each of the following five categories, and time each section. Pressure yourself to hustle the whole time to keep these workouts short and they’ll also be more beneficial in terms of increasing your metabolic rate.

Pillar strength  (2 minutes)

  • Sample exercise: reverse crunch   Do three sets of 15 reps, resting 20 seconds between sets.

Lower body warmup  (2 minutes)

  • Sample exercise: backward lunge   Perform three sets of 10 reps with each leg, resting 20 seconds between sets.

Upper body warmup  (2 minutes)

  • Sample exercise: pushup   Do three sets of 15 reps, with 20 seconds of rest between sets.

Strength circuit  (10 minutes)

  • Sample circuit: Perform alternating lunges  10 reps with each leg) followed by pushups  15 reps) with no rest between exercises. Rest 30 seconds after you’ve completed both moves, then go again for the duration of 10 minutes.

Flexibility  (4 minutes)

  • Sample stretches: hip stretch, hamstring stretch, and shoulder stretch