Stay Fit: 3 Easy Workouts to Offset Your Cheat Days
We all know the joys of eating the delicious holiday treats during all the festivities—and the pain of looking at the scale afterward. It’s all too easy sometimes to get too busy during the holidays to properly take care of ourselves, or so we tell ourselves in the lethargy of our holiday feasting.
But we don’t have to completely let our routines and our waist sizes fall to the glut of holiday deliciousness. A few holiday fitness routines are just what the doctor ordered!
Here’s how you can avoid feeling like your belly is shaking like a bowl full of jelly during this holiday season.
One thing you can do to start with is to make sure that you eat right. Even during a time of celebratory sweet treats and overfilling on glazed dinners, make sure that your diet stays within reason.
After all, you don’t always have to choose between “delicious” and “healthy,” because there are plenty of recipes and dietary options that manage to do both at once. Plan your meals and your workouts and you’ll find that you can indulge without feeling the bulge!
Jumping Joy to the World
Jumping jacks are an easy exercise to perform with a variety of health benefits. They require little space and no equipment, making them perfect even for busy holiday merrymakers on the go.
They’re a great aerobic exercise and a good way to quickly get your heart rate up for a workout. Jumping jacks also work your lungs as well as arm and leg muscles at the same time, and you can keep your core solid by engaging those muscles during the jumping jacks.
Jumping jacks are part of a group of exercises called “plyometrics,” or jump training.
Plyometric exercise is good for bone health as well because it repeatedly stresses the bones in ways that they heal from and gain density. Doing these sorts of exercises regularly will help you run faster, jump higher, and also build muscle strength.
The other benefit is that jumping jacks aren’t like most daily movements, so they work the muscles in different ways than even normal walking or exercise motions might.
Because they work the heart, lungs, arm and leg muscles, as well as helping you keep your core tight, jumping jacks are one of the most efficient exercises you can do during the holidays, and all year round. Make them a mainstay in your holiday fitness routine.
Jumping jacks also come in a few variations. You can do squats and jump higher for power jacks, or you can even do floor- or toe-touches between jumps for extra focus on flexibility and endurance.
Rock the Plank
Planks are another simple, equipment-free workout that you can do anywhere, whether you’re visiting friends and family for the holidays or just stopping for a few hours after a busy holiday production.
Planking is a great exercise because you can customize the workout to your needs and your ability level while leaving room for growth in the future.
Planks build your core strength, which is great because the first thing that all the holiday treats tend to attack is your core. It’s entirely too easy to let ourselves fall out of exercise routines during this time of year, but you can do planks every night to keep up your regular routine.
They’re great for maintaining the level of fitness you’re used to, even during the holidays.
To do a plank, simply lie down in a pose similar to a push-up, with the goal of holding yourself in that position for an extended length of time. Sounds simple, right?
It is! But it’s not easy.
The longer you try to hold it, the more of a workout your arms, legs, and especially your core, will receive. Since you don’t need any gear, this is a popular (and free) exercise that works literally anywhere there is room for your body.
No Excuse Needed for Burpees
Combining the two previous exercises are burpees, another popular and extremely effective aerobic exercise. Adding burpees to your routine is a great way to keep some explosive plyometrics in your holiday fitness, and can really help work off those sweet treats we all like to indulge.
Burpees involve dropping from a standing position into almost a push-up position, kicking your feet out behind you. Then you jump your feet back to your hands and jump back up to a standing position, reaching your hands up over your head.
Check out YouTube for video demonstrations of the technique.
It’s a simple but rigorous exercise that will have you feeling like you are keeping up with your fitness even in the midst of all the holiday merriment.