Fitness Tips for the Holidays
The holiday season can present some challenges for those of us that like to make fitness a priority. During this time, exercising often takes a back seat to all the additional commitments that arise. However, with a little planning and creative scheduling, maintaining, or even improving your fitness, is possible! Making the effort to stay on track will ensure that you don’t have to “start over” after the holidays and it can also provide a healthy way to manage stress when life gets crazy. Here are some suggestions!
Work Out in the Morning
We all have many distractions that pull us away from our daily routine this time of year. Our evenings tend to be filled with holiday preparations and activities, and our good intentions to make time for an evening workout often don’t come to fruition. If this is the case for you, consider carving out a short amount of time for a quick sweat session in the morning. Set the alarm for 30 minutes earlier and get it done!
Did you know that a workout plan that is broken down into small increments can yield great results? If you don’t have a block of time for a complete workout, consider doing a few ten-minute exercise sessions each day. Try 10 minutes in the morning, at lunch, and before bed. This time of year, it is absolutely okay to adopt a “less is more” mentality. The exercise accumulated throughout the day still counts!
Find a like-minded fitness friend and mark your calendar for a few sweat sessions each week. This will offer some accountability and you will be less likely to skip your workout. If your motivation to hit the gym is waning, some social support can really make a difference.
Set Up Your Home Gym
Working out at home is convenient and easy and it eliminates the extra commute time needed to get to the gym. If you don’t have a BOSU® Balance Trainer, I highly recommend investing in one. It is the only tool you need to get a great full-body workout. You can use it for circuit training which is efficient and challenging, and this approach can really maximize the use of your time. Circuits involve executing a series of exercises with little or no rest in between. Include exercises that use large muscle groups so you can increase your heart rate quickly and maximize your energy expenditure.
Try this BOSU® circuit and see how effective a short and sweet workout can be! Perform each of the following exercises for 1 minute. Rest for two minutes and repeat the circuit for 2 – 3 sets.
Burpee / Prone Jack / Push-Up
Platform Side Up (PSU)
Begin standing behind the BOSU® Balance Trainer. Squat down and place hands on the platform, then jump back to a plank position. Jump to a wide jack position then back to center. Do one push-up and return to starting position.
Alignment Tip: Brace core to stabilize the spine in plank position.
Progression: Do additional push-ups.
Regression: Do push-up with knees on floor.
Plyo Jack / Biased Squat
Dome Side Up (DSU)
Begin standing on dome. Jump down to straddle position and then jump back up to dome. Step right (R) foot to floor and squat, then return to top of dome. Repeat sequence on left (L) side.
Alignment Tip: Keep knees tracking in same direction as toes.
Progression: Increase range of motion (ROM).
Regression: Step to straddle position.
Supine Balance / Plank / Knee Tuck
Start standing in front of Balance Trainer. Squat down and sit on front side of dome. Lie back to supine balance while extending at hips. Return to seated position and bring hands to floor in front of feet. Jump to plank position with feet on dome. Bring R knee into chest, then L. Hop feet forward and stand.
Alignment Tip: Brace the core to stabilize the spine when jumping to plank.
Progression: Add a hop when returning to standing position.
Regression: Keep feet on floor in supine balance.
Skate / Walk Over
Stand to the left of the Balance Trainer. Leap to the side landing with R foot on top on the dome. Leap down and land on L foot. Repeat two additional times. Step up to top of dome and then step down off the other side of the Balance Trainer. Repeat sequence on other side.
Alignment Tip: Land with soft knees and a slight hinge at hips.
Progression: Increase ROM.
Regression: Begin standing closer to Balance Trainer.
V-Sit / Knee Tuck / Twist
Begin in seated position on dome with knees in toward chest and hands on the dome beside hips. Extend at hips and lean back with lengthened spine. Return to knee tuck. Drop knees to R side, then L. Return to center and repeat.
Alignment Tip: Avoid rounding spine.
Progression: Do exercise with hands off Balance Trainer dome.
Regression: Reduce ROM.
Melissa Weigelt, MS, is a BOSU® Master Trainer and owner at Flow Fitness Training, where she develops and presents a variety of continuing education programs for fitness instructors.