Here are some encouraging tips for holiday fitness. It is the holiday season and many of us are so busy shopping, shipping, running from here to there that we tell ourselves we dont have time to exercise, but we dont want to lose ground on the good job of working out all year. Try to carve out a few minutes each day with the intention of doing some form of movement dedicated towards fitness as well as having a flexible schedule and an open mind.
Here are some ideas on how to be creative and encourage fitness during the holiday season:
1.First things first: keep your head in a good place and stay focused during your workout. Dont put yourself down for missing a workout. Give yourself a break and do the best you can. Remember any movement is better than none.
2.Wear your pedometer. All that running around can build up to quite a few steps. The standard used is 10,000 steps equal five miles. This is a good way to measure your movement. Add a few resistance exercises and stretches and it can qualify as an easy to moderate workout.
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3.Try this as a resistance exercise that has tremendous toning power and you can do it almost anywhere. This exercise is called the square because you use all four sides of the leg and includes exercising the following muscle groups: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, hip flexors, and lower back. You do not need ankles weights to do this exercise however add them if you want a little extra effort. Resistance bands are also a good option.
Put your left hand on a chair, table, or counter top for balance, standing straight and tall with feet hip distance apart. Draw up on your kneecap and notice the quadriceps becoming engaged. Focus on this position and maintain it throughout the series. Start with 20 repetitions of each individual movement and progress to 2 sets of 20 reps.
First movement is to lift (not kick) your right leg straight out in front of you. Second movement is to take the right leg and lift to the right side. Third movement is to lift the leg behind you keeping your butt tight and your body erect. Last movement is to lift the right leg and crossing it over the top of the left leg. This will not be a large lift due to the positioning of the legs.
4.Keep your immune system strong. Stress can cause your immune system to weaken. Exercise relives stress and strengthens the immune system by increasing the circulation of blood flow throughout the body. The next time you find yourself thinking you dont have time for working out remember you dont have time to be sick either.
5.Try some of the quieter practices for fitness. These practices can relieve stress as well as keep you in shape. Examples include yoga, Pilates, and tai chi.
6.Read my articles on this website: Fitness Fast with Combination Exercises and Build Strength with the 10 Minute Workout. Both of these workouts are very effective in keeping you strong and will exercise all of the major muscle groups.
7.The little things: park far away from the Mall doors and walk. Take the stairs instead of elevators or escalators both of which will add steps to your pedometer. Walk at lunch either indoors or out. Just a 15 minute walk will boost your energy mentally and physically.
8.Give yourself permission to be flexible with your fitness schedule. Its okay to change your routine, to give yourself the extra time you need right now. Try working out for a shorter period of time or for fewer days during the week. However remember this is short term solution and you want to get back to a regular workout schedule as soon as possible.
9.Try getting up a few minutes earlier in the morning. This is a hard one but you can use the extra time to ride a stationary bike, walk around the block, or do some ab curls and pushups.
10.Take fitness to bed with you. Well not quite but have your exercise clothes, walking shoes, pedometer, dumbbells or yoga mat by your bed. If you use an exercise DVD have it in the TV and ready to go. This will make it easier for you to get ready and be motivated to workout first thing in the morning.
This is a happy time of year and we want to enjoy it but remember to put yourself first. Exercising will put you in a good state of mind and make life a little easier to handle. Be healthy, Be happy!
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