Now that the holiday season has officially begun, schedules get even busier, which sometimes makes it tough to get to the gym. Add in lots of food, holiday parties and treats, plus travel and skimping on sleep – and you can find yourself exhausted, depleted and bloated way before the official holidays even arrive.
All the more reason to keep exercising. Although it may seem that you don’t have time, regular exercise will make you feel better, provide more energy and help keep you healthy amidst multiple demands. If you can’t make it to your usual evening cycle class or early morning yoga, don’t forfeit exercise altogether. Do what you can at home to stay active.
No excuses. Take advantage of some of these quick fitness routines for the holiday season.
Quick Fitness Routines for the Holiday Season
- HIIT – High-intensity interval training is one of the best ways to blast calories fast. Simply alternate all-out movements, like high knees or burpees, for a short duration, followed by a brief recovery (10-60 seconds). Continuing repeating the intense work with breaks for anywhere from 10-30 minutes for a rigorous workout.
Tabata is one style of HIIT where you alternate 20 seconds of hard work with 10 seconds of recovery. Repeat for 8 total sets, which is 4 minutes, then take a short break (20-60 seconds) and start a new block.
Another great way to HIIT is the new Max Trainer from Octane Fitness, which has an all-out, 14-minute, total-body challenge that is super effective and efficient.
- Circuit training – Combine cardio and strength by alternating intervals of both. For example, do an interval of jumping jacks for one minute, followed by one minute of push-ups; then jump rope and do lunges; then mountain climbers and rows. Use your creativity, along with equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, a medicine ball and more. You can even take this outside, with brisk walking or running, broken up by sets of squats, lunges, triceps dips and more.
- Run or walk/jog– Bundle up and get some fresh air, which will invigorate you while you banish stress. Pick a safe, well-lit route, or wear reflective clothing if you head out when it’s dark. If you’re not a runner, alternate 3 minutes of walking with one minute of jogging to add intensity to a short sweat session.
Even better, if you have access to a Zero Runner (great early Christmas present for the family!), hop on and enjoy an impact-free workout that works you hard but feels good on the body.
- Yoga – Power yoga stretches tight muscles and provides a welcome escape from the noisy, busy pace of the holidays. Plus, build strength and balance while focusing on breathing and the mind-body connection. If you can’t slip away to a class, try a streaming version online or create your own vinyasas.
- Strength training– With a few accessories at home, you can tax your muscles and boost your metabolism. Use dumbbells, kettlebells or resistance bands, and complete 1-3 sets of 10-15 reps, making sure that the weight is challenging. If time is short, multitask by combining exercises – such as squats with biceps curls, lunges with overhead presses, plies with lateral raises, and deadlifts and rows.
Hit the major muscle groups for best results. There’s lots of routines online or in fitness apps if you need ideas or are seeking variety.
Remember, all activity counts, and a short workout is always better than none at all. Do your best to stay committed to exercise, and your body and mind will benefit. When this season is over, you can get back to your regular workout schedule.