I admit it, I’ve been slacking off when it comes to exercising on a regular basis. I blame the holiday craziness, but really, I’m just allowing my life to get in the way. Luckily, my friend and fellow blogger Melissa has come to my rescue. She’s generously agreed to share with HadleyHolistic readers her top tips for fitting in movement during the holidays. Try a few of her tips to feel re-energized and feeling great this winter.
Twelve Ways of Fitness
1. Move it in the morning. It’s a no brainer that your time is more limited during the holidays. Lunch and post-work hours are taken up by shopping, social events, last minute invites, and gift-wrapping–all the fun stuff that you don’t want to miss just to hit the gym. But don’t let yourself off the hook! Very little comes up in the morning, so the AM is your best bet for sneaking in exercise! In fact, people who exercise in the morning are the most consistent. Once you are in the routine, you’ll realize it’s a great way to start your day stress-free, and you may even sleep better at night!
2. Shovel or scrub your love. Gifts aren’t the only way to show your love and appreciation. Helping your husband/parent/friend shovel the driveway or clean off the car will not only win you affection, but will help you burn major calories. Be the first to volunteer to do the dishes and your relatives will love you! Plus, instead of picking at the leftovers, the elbow grease in your efforts will be rewarded with sculpted arms.
3. Be the example. Who doesn’t love to show their love with an indulgent dessert or a creamy comfort food dish? This year look for new ways to nourish yourself and your family by bringing dark chocolate drizzled fruit for dessert or starting a midday winter walk tradition.
4. Make it a game. Find ways to make exercise fun and easy. Here is a fun abs game: take a deck of cards and pick on up as you crunch to the left and discard on your opposite side. When all the cards are done, repeat to the right.
5. Just a minute! Adding intervals will help you burn more calories in less time. Not only that, when you are focused on changing speeds, the time flies! Work just ten 1-minute bursts, going as fast as you can, into your normal routine, and you’ll torch nearly 20% more calories during a half-hour workout.
6. Make your TV/PC your personal trainer. When you are short a time, 40 minutes to get to the gym and back on top of your 45 minute workout is a big investment. During the holidays, save time and mix up your routine by checking out the free workouts on FitTV and ExerciseTV or revisiting your favorite workout DVDs.
7. Walk as much as possible. Walking is by far the best way to maintain your weight effortlessly. Sneak it in whenever you can, shopping, walking around the block while waiting for an appointment, taking a brisk pre-lunch stroll or just walking to the mailbox instead of pulling up to it in your car. It all counts!
8. Take a stand. Standing burns 100 more calories an hour than sitting. So if you have the option stand! For bonus points, pace!
9. Limit your TV/pc time! If you are watching TV or typing on your laptop, you aren’t burning many calories. This season, give up a show or blog read here or there and sneak in some exercise (or private dance parties) instead. If you have to watch TV, stick to a 10 minutes of exercise, 5 minutes rest rotation. 10 minutes of jumping jacks burns almost 100 calories and 10 minutes of ab work and you are on the road to a tighter tummy!
10. Lift a little. We all know that muscle helps you burn calories at rest all day long. And yet we still skimp! Start small and sustainable by adding just 5-10 minutes of weights work into your day (maybe while watching the news). A set of dumbbells is an affordable investment that will give you infinite quick workout options! If you don’t know what to do with weights, just open up any fitness magazine for workout ideas!
11. Pump the tunes. Studies show that listening to music can keep you motivated to exercise 20% longer and at a higher intensity. And it makes it 100% more enjoyable in my opinion.
12. Exercise for energy. It’s important to reflect on the way exercise makes you feel! Calm, strong, energized! It isn’t a very helpful mentality to exercise just for the extra serving on mashed potatoes. But that rosy glow in your cheeks and that post-sweat session feeling of invincibility? Now those are reasons to go back for more!