It might be tempting to slack off, but it’s very important to maintain your fitness level as much as possible. If you don’t, you’ll regret it when January rolls in.
Although you might not be able to work out as regularly or as intensely during the holidays as you usually do, even some exercise is better than none. Exercise doesn’t necessarily require a big block of time. If you do three 10-minute or two 15-minute workouts, you’ll get as much benefit from them as you would from a 30-minute routine.
Squeezing exercise into a busy day is a challenge, but if you think out of the box, you’ll find fun ways to work out. You can incorporate some form of exercise, even if it isn’t your usual routine, into your holiday activities. The key is finding time-efficient workouts.
If you can devote 30 minutes per day to exercise, try high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which alternates bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity. It provides a good cardio workout, burns fat and increases endurance, so if you don’t have time for your regular regimen, HIIT will be very beneficial.
If setting aside 30 minutes every day to exercise isn’t possible, go to Plan B: find other ways to get a workout. There are plenty of opportunities to do that; you just need to use your imagination.”
• If your holiday shopping takes you to the mall, briskly walk around the whole place once or twice before you hit the stores. You might not think of this as exercise but a vigorous walk, which keeps you moving at a fast pace, is an excellent workout.
• When at home, put on some holiday music and dance to it for 20 to 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter that your moves aren’t choreographed – after all, you’re not auditioning for “Dancing with the Stars.” If you move briskly to the rhythm and work all your muscle groups while you’re at it, you’ll get a great workout. And if you incorporate weights into your dance routine, you’ll get even more out of it.
• Also at home, do brief sets of muscle-building exercises. For example, squats work your glutes, quads and hamstrings all at once. Push-ups work your chest, shoulders, back and abs. Lunges, like squats, are great for all the muscles in your legs.
Christian Aguirre is a certified personal trainer and owner of Aloha Health and Fitness in Hercules.