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Halt the holiday weight gain

We are in the midst of the holiday season, which can often be the busiest – and most food tempting – time of the year.

That means that in addition to constantly being tempted by sweets and treats, there’s a good chance you might not be hitting the gym as much as you’d like. Fortunately, you don’t need a gym to stay in shape; there are plenty of quick and effective workouts you can do in between shuttling the kids to and from school, running errands, and taking care of the million never-ending things that always seem to pile up on your to-do list.

You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in just a few short minutes. Your body will thank you!


kitchen-pushupsPractical Around the House Activities

If you can’t imagine having the time to work in an hour-long workout, try Prevention’s simple strategies for working exercise into your daily routine.

1. If you step outside in the morning to grab the newspaper or head out at noon to get the mail, take a brisk 5-minute power walk up the street in one direction and back in the other.

2. Try 5 to 10 minutes of jumping jacks. Prevention says that a 150-pound woman can burn 90 calories in one 10-minute session.

4. While you’re cooking dinner, do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. To do this: Stand about an arm’s length from the kitchen counter (preferably not by the boiling water), pushing your arms against the counter. Push in and out to get your arms in tip-top shape.


Tone Up

You can quickly complete these three calorie-blasting moves, via Health, to burn fat and tone your muscles.

1.     Superwoman: Lie flat on your stomach with arms and legs extended flat on floor. Lift both legs and arms a few inches off the floor; hold 5 seconds and lower. Repeat 10–15 times.

2.     The Bicycle: Lie on your back with bent knees and feet on floor. Press lower back into floor. Cup hands lightly over ears. Lift left foot off the floor until left knee points toward ceiling. Extend right leg, lifting it slightly off floor. Exhale slowly, curl torso upward, and touch right elbow to left knee; lower to starting position. Repeat on right side, touching left elbow to right knee. Do 10 reps.

3.     Pilates Push-Up: Lie on the floor and get in a classic push-up position; hands under your shoulders and legs straight behind you. Keeping your head in line with your spine and looking down at the floor, lift your right leg about 6 inches off the floor. Do 6–10 push-ups in this tripod position. Then lower foot to the ground, and lower to your knees to rest. Resume classic push-up position, this time elevating left leg while doing the move; do 6–10 reps.


5-Minute Workout

Thanks to Fitness, you can tone your abs, arms, butt and legs in this 5-minute, full-body workout.

1.     Dolphin: Start in downward dog with forearms on mat. Contract abs and move body forward into plank. Hold for 1 count. Return to start. Do 10 reps.

2.     Three-Legged Table: Sit on mat with knees bent and hands under shoulders, fingers pointing toward butt. Lift butt until knees are at 90 degrees. Extend right leg toward ceiling, foot flexed, then lower to knee level, toes pointed; keep hips still. Do 10 reps, keeping hips lifted. Switch legs; repeat.

3.     Grasshopper: Lie facedown on floor, forehead on hands, with legs lifted in V position, toes pointed out. Pull belly button in; push hips down. Keeping legs lifted, bend knees, flex feet and bring them toward butt. Release. Do 10 reps.

4.     Balancing Clam: Lie on right side. Place right forearm on floor, and bend knees 45 degrees. Place hand on hip and lift hips off floor. Open knee, then close. Do 10 reps, staying lifted. Switch sides; repeat.

5.     Hover Scissors: Get into plank position with forearms on floor, abs engaged. Lift left leg, keeping it level with hips, and move it 1 foot to the left. Keeping leg elevated, bring it back to center and cross over right leg. Do 10 reps. Switch legs; repeat.

6.     Cross Arch: Lie face up on mat with hands behind head and shoulder blades lifted. Extend left leg a few inches off floor, toes pointed. Pull right knee in, twist torso to right, and reach left hand past right knee. Raise left arm straight overhead by ears. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Even though a few minutes might not seem like it’ll do much, any exercise is better than none. After a few days of sneaking in these exercises, you’ll feel more energized and won’t feel as guilty if/when you indulge in a holiday cookie or two.

Happy holidays!

About Kirsten Yovino

Kirsten Yovino is a Milwaukee-area resident and co-owner of brewcityparent.com.

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