Written by Guest Nutritionist Casey Simmons:
While we all are so busy with parties, events, family visits, and travel during the holidays, it is difficult to stick to our normal exercise routines. But don’t panic! If you can find the motivation to do 10-20 minutes of exercises [whether it’s in your home before guests arrive or in a corner of your hotel room], it will help offset some of that increased holiday eating, with an added bonus of relieving some holiday stress as well!
Here are some great exercises to get that workout going:
1. Push-ups – a basic push-up is when your hands are placed about shoulder-width apart directly under your shoulders (the distance between your hands can be changed to increase intensity but as for moving your hands forwards and backwards, they should always align with your shoulders). Try to do at least 10-15 before switching to a new exercise.
2. Bent-knee crunches – bend your knees so your back is comfortable and flat on the ground. While starting with your arms straight by your side, crunch upwards and forwards trying to get your shoulder blades off of the ground and moving your hands towards your ankles. Try to perform 20-25 before switching to a new exercise.
3. Straight-legged crunches – Straighten your legs in the air so your body makes a 90 degree angle. Straighten your arms into the air and crunch in the direction of your toes. Try to get as much of your upper body off of the ground while keeping your legs straight and stomach tightened. Try to perform 20-25 repetitions before switching to a new exercise.
4. Wall squats – Put your back flat on the wall and bend your legs at a 90-degree angle. Hold your arms straight out in front of you to make sure you don’t try to use your arms as leverage and keep that core tight but make sure to still breath! Try and hold this position for at least one minute before switching to a new exercise.
5. Squat jumps – Place your feet about shoulder length apart. Squat down until your legs are approximately at a 90-degree angle while holding your arms straight out in front of you. After your squat, lift off of the ground jumping straight into the air allowing your arms to go down by your side. When landing from your jump, go directly back into squat position. This should all be one smooth movement. Continue squat jumps and try to do at least 10-15 before switching to a new exercise.
6. Plank – By holding yourself up with your toes and forearms, keep your body straight and parallel to the ground. Make sure to keep your stomach tightened for maximum results! Try to hold this position for at least a minute before switching exercises.
7. Side planks – Try to balance yourself with the sides of your feet and your hand. Use the opposite arm to help you balance as well by straightening it out in the air forming a “T” with your body. Make sure to do both sides of your body. Try and hold this position for at least 30-45 seconds before switching exercises.
8. Knee to elbow crunch – While on your hands and toes, place your hands about shoulder width apart and aligned with your shoulders as well. Bring your right knee across your body in the direction of your left elbow as you tighten and crunch those abdominal muscles. Repeat by bending your left knee and going across your body in the direction of your right elbow. Try to repeat on each leg 10-15 times before switching exercises.
I would recommend performing each exercise back to back (1-5) as many times as you can for 20 minutes. If you have some exercises you prefer over others, go for it, and of course feel free to do as many crunches or squat jumps as you like! Try your best to change it up often to really target as many muscles as possible and keep those calories burning!
I hope you all have an amazing weekend and keep that motivation high! I look forward to sharing some more health and exercise tips with you in the New Year! xx Casey