Eat, drink and still shrink by making movement a habit during the season of merriment.
From Thanksgiving to New Years, likely the calendar is packed with travel, family gatherings, work functions and plenty of parties. With all those commitments, it can be all too easy to make excuses, letting your workout fall to the wayside. This year, don’t let being jolly derail all your hard work. Instead, stay active and fit with the help of two health and wellness experts.
We spoke to Dr. Robert Silverman, chiropractor, certified nutrition specialist and author of Inside Out Health, and David Kirsch, celebrity fitness trainer and wellness expert. Read on to learn how to make the most of what (little) time you do have to maintain your active, healthy lifestyle, all while enjoying all the festivities. Thanks to this advice, there’s no excuse to skip your workout this season!
1. SKIP SITTING, KEEP MOVING
“No matter how busy you are, do not skip exercise,” says Dr. Silverman. “Always keep moving. Sitting is the new smoking.” And, if there were ever the time to exercise more, it’s during the holidays, advises the pro. “It’s your best defense against holiday stress, weight gain, and seasonal depression.”
2. DO 10 MINUTE BURSTS
According to the doctor, you don’t have to do a high-intensity workout or go on a 5 mile run to reap health benefits. Instead, Dr. Silverman recommends challenging yourself to do 10 minute bouts of exercise in increments throughout the day.
3. AMP IT UP IN THE AM
Schedule your workouts in the morning, advises Kirsch. According to the expert, making movement a regular part of your morning routine is a good way to get your heart rate up before the day starts (and can be done without leaving your house). Plus, you’ll head to whatever the rest of the day has in store feeling accomplished and not have to worry about any unexpected schedule changes throughout the remainder of the day.
4. BE ACTIVE ON-THE-GO
“Even if you’re traveling during the holidays, it is still possible to stay active,” says Kirsch. He recommends combing moves that target multiple, different areas of the body for the quickest, most efficient workout. Dr. Silverman agrees, adding: “The best exercises, such as squats, planks, yoga poses, lunges and push-ups, do not require any special equipment and can literally be done anywhere.”
5. MULTI-ACTION MOVES TO TRY
According to Kirsch, the moves to do include: Sumo Lunges, Burpees, Spiderman Push-ups, Plie Squats with a medicine ball, Shadow Boxing with light weights, Reverse Crossover Lunges to strengthen and planks.
Plank with Knee Tuck to Hip Abduction
- Start in a plank position. Bring your right knee in toward your left shoulder, then extend your leg back out to the side (i.e. hip abduction). That’s one repetition.
- Repeat fifteen times with each leg.
Burpees with Spiderman Pushups
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Place your hands on the floor and quickly kick your legs straight out behind you.
- Lower yourself into a pushup, then bring your right knee toward your right shoulder. During the next pushup, bring your left knee toward your left shoulder. Perform twenty repetitions.
Sumo Lunge to a Side Kick with a Squat Jump
- Stand in a “sumo” position with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and body weight over your heels.
- Take a large step sideways with your right leg, bringing your right knee in toward your chest and then over to the right in one continuous movement.
- As soon as your right foot touches the ground, bring your knee back into your chest and complete a side kick, kicking your right heel out to the side.
- Lower your right leg to the floor, returning to sumo position. Squat down while keeping the weight in your heels and stick out your butt. Keep your knees directly above – not in front of – your toes.
- Spring up while thrusting your arms overhead. Land on your heels, rolling forward onto your toes. Repeat with a sumo lunge and side kick with your left leg and another squat jump. Continue alternating right and left until you have completed fifteen lunges on each side and thirty squat jumps.
- Grasp a dumbbell (or a water bottle) in each hand. Stand with your abs tight and your back flat. Punch your left fist out diagonally, ending at torso level in front of your ribs, completing a crossover punch. Pull back as you bend your knees as if ducking an incoming punch. Repeat on the other side as you extend your legs, driving up from your heels and into your butt. Do thirty repetitions on each arm.
- With your left elbow against your ribs and your knuckles turned up, punch upward as if punching someone in the jaw under the chin with an uppercut, trying to lift him or her off the ground. Pull back as you bend your knees, sitting back on your heels. Do thirty repetitions on each side.
Reverse Crossover Lunge to Lateral Lunge
“This great combination move will engage your inner and outer thighs, butt and hips,” says Kirsch.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step your right leg back and behind your left leg and lunge, almost as if curtsying.
- Reverse to return to the starting position.
- Step your right leg out to the side laterally, without pausing. Step into your right heel, keeping the right knee aligned with the heel. Your anchor leg should be in a ninety-degree angle. Keep your hips, heels, and knees forward and aligned. Repeat, but step your left leg back. That’s one rep. Perform fifteen reps (or fifteen lunges on each side).