Fitness is not first and foremost in everyone's minds this time of year but just because this is a busy month does not mean that exercise has to be totally ditched! Increased calories combined with no exercise will guarantee weight gain not to mention loss of energy, stamina and protection from illness. Even for those who work fulltime jobs, it IS possible to still maintain some form of exercise with a hectic schedule - it just takes a few adjustments, some flexibility and willingness to make it happen.
If you can't attend your regular gym sessions, make a back-up plan. A 15 minute cardio/strength workout first thing in the morning before you start your day is do-able - even without equipment. Jumping jacks, jogging in place, pushups, lunges or squats are easy to do and require little space. Just 15 minutes will make a huge difference in keeping your metabolism up.
Even though being a "mindless participant" and having trainers tell you what to do is what you pay for in group exercise, a truly fit person will strive to do some type of exercise on their own when schedules conflict with normal gym visits. And finding ways to work out while traveling on business, vacationing, visiting relatives or at home with a sick child shows how committed you are to one of the most important aspects of your life.
I love teaching Group Strength classes where we use body weight or free weights for resistance work along with full body movement to elevate heart rate. The workouts in this class are the most effective way to burn the most fat and calories while building strength, muscle and balance. While I am giving instructions on form, positioning, modifications and weight load, I always like to give details on the exercise - names for it, how it works and muscles targeted. Each of our members should learn enough about their workouts that they can walk into any gym with free weights and other equipment (like kettle bells, bands, bosu,etc) and know what to do. They should also be familiar with weight-bearing exercises like push-ups or planks to safely and effectively work out at home or anywhere with no equipment.
In keeping with the holiday spirit, here is my "12 Days of Fitness" workout that we will be doing in our Strength classes next week. It only uses a set of heavy dumbbells (12 or 15 lb) and light weights (8 or 10 lb). It takes very little space and you can do the full workout (just like the song) or shorten it by just completing 1-12 one time each.
- singing is optional :)
(1) A Warrior Three (standing yoga pose)
On the 2nd Day of Fitness, my trainer gave to me:
(2) Inchworms (walk hands out to plank & then walk feet into hands)
And a Warrior Three (alternate with other leg raised)
***continue like the 12 Days of Christmas song, adding at each verse:
(3) Jump Squats
(4) Push Ups
(5) High Knees