I don’t know about you, but I find December the most challenging month of the year for staying on track fitness-wise. That’s why I focus on maintaining, rather than making any huge fitness gains during the holidays. Keep the eating in check, but also don’t feel guilty about partaking in a little merriment. It’s all about moderation this month. Maintenance and moderation.
As far as exercise goes this month, hurrying through the mall to get those gifts doesn’t cut it, especially if you down a few egg nogs. No doubt, you’ll be strapped for time these next few weeks. No time for a lengthy gym workout or long run? I recommend utilizing the few minutes you do have to the fullest. That means high intensity, multi-joint exercises mixed with cardio. Grab some weights, a band, or just use your body weight (Think push-ups, burpees, etc.) and make up a circuit that works your large muscle groups while also getting that heart rate up. Even if it’s for just 20 minutes. Come on, you have 20 minutes, right? 20-45 minutes, three times a week. And the best part is, you can do that anywhere, at any time of day.
As an example, here’s an excellent workout that I posted awhile back that’s speedy, yet effective–Perfect for this time of year. You can also check out some other similar workouts, under the “Workouts” heading on my home page.
6 Moves…1 Fat-Torching, Full-Body Workout
If you don’t have the luxury of spending hours in the gym, here’s some good news…You don’t have to.
Research shows that high intensity interval training burns just as much, and in some cases, more fat–in less time.
The following moves are extremely efficient–I did, and still do, workouts like this all of the time–and that’s how I lost almost 40 lbs. Compound exercises allow you to get and keep your heart rate revved, firm up and burn mega fat all at once.
For maximum results, do 2-4 minutes of jogging, jumping jacks, jump ropes, or another high-intensity cardio exercise between each of these moves. Perform this circuit 2-3 times, resting 1-2 minutes in between.
Squat to Overhead Press
1. Holding two light to medium dumbells at your shoulders, with your feet hip-width apart, squat and return to standing.
2. Once in standing position, extend your arms overhead and and back.
Repeat this sequence 10-15x.
Lunge with Bicep Curl
1. Holding light to medium dumbells, extend your right leg, lunging forward. Make sure your knee does not extend past your toe. Simultaneously, keeping your arms close to your sides, curl them up.
2. As you return to standing, pushing off your front heel, extend your arms back to your sides. Do this 10-12x, then repeat on the opposite leg.
Static Wall Squat with Lateral Arm Raise
1. Lean against a wall in “chair” position with your knees bent, holding two light dumbells at your sides. Keeping your arms fully extended, slowly raise them to shoulder level.
2. Lower your arms slowly back to starting position. Repeat 10-15x.
Plie Squat with Triceps Extension
1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointed outward. Hold two light to medium dumbells behind your head with your arms bent and elbows up. Lower into a squat position and return to standing.
2. Once in standing position, extend your arms up over your head, making sure to keep your upper arms still, not letting them drop in front of your face. Bend your arms again to starting position. Repeat this sequence 10-15x.
Plank to Push-up
1. Assume plank position on a mat, keeping your butt down, abs tight and body straight. Stay in this position for 10 seconds.
2. Staying in this position or moving to your knees (but keeping your butt down), perform 10 push-ups.
3. Return to plank position and repeat this sequence 2-3x.
One-Arm, One Legged Bent Over Row
1. Holding one medium to heavy dumbell in your right hand, hinge forward at the waist, keeping your abs tight, shoulders back and back straight. Let your arm extend to the floor. Extend your left leg behind you.
2. Maintaining this position, bring your right arm up, raising your elbow as high as it will go, and keeping it close to your side. Pause for a second, and return to starting position. Repeat for 10-15 reps, then, do the same exercise on the opposite arm/leg.