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The 12-pounds of Christmas

Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Uncategorized

…tis the season to get chubby, fa, la, la, la, …….what?

For many this is the case.  When being festive translates over-eating, over-drinking, and over-spending those extra pounds seem to just show up one morning, and omg, what happened? While we’re there, can somebody please explain to me how eating a 1-pound box of chocolate turns into a 3-pound weight gain?      Just asking for a friend.

There are always options in life.   If you’re like me, not engaging in the holiday indulgences is not one of them though.  Which leaves us two other options:

A: Eat, drink, and be merry until the jeans don’t fit and it’s not so merry anymore  

B: Earn dessert with some extra workout activity.

As busy as life can be, traveling for work, having kids at home, it’s mid-November and too damn cold to go for a walk or run, here are 3 work outs you can do in your own living room or a hotel room.  All you need is the decision and commitment to not give into the 12 pounds of Christmas.  

#1. This ain’t just a booty call!

These exercises not only tighten the tush but they incorporate multiple muscles.  They build lean muscle tissue which torches calories during the workout and has a great afterburn (burning calories even in a resting state).  You can do all three exercises in 15 minutes while watching TV .  If you have hand weights, feel free to use them, but if not don’t sweat it, you’ll sweat plenty without.  For each exercise, do 10-15 repetitions, rest for 30-45 seconds, and then repeat 2 more times, for a total of 30-45 repetitions for each exercise.

#2. Get ready for family and in-laws!

If you’re one of those people who would rather go to the dentist than spend the holidays with your in-laws or even your own family, burpees will not only help keep you trim during the season but is a great way to vent all of the stress and angst that may build up in you.  Before, during, and after.   If you’ve never done burpees before, here’s a link to a quick You Tube video, Burpees for Beginners. These suckers scorch calories strengthen the entire body, and boost endurance Try and do 5 sets of 10 with 45-60 second rest periods in between.

 Forgive the crudeness but I’ve also heard these referred to as barf-ees.   Do about 30 of them and you’ll completely understand why!  Maybe that’s why their associated with…..never mind.  

If you’re super ambitious, alternate sets of burpees with push-ups or planks.

#3. At the core of everything is, well, your core!

Core exercises don’t just flatten your belly, they make you stronger and better at doing most other exercises.  Strong core muscles also improve your balance and stability.  The root of many body pains and injury’s stem from a weakened core.  The plank is the mother of all core exercises.  There are many variations of it, and they’re all super tough.  You read that right, they’re all super tough.   I’m a realist who won’t try and candy-coat it.  They engage over 20 muscles and work more than just your core.  Your arms, legs, shoulders, back and glutes will all get some of the love.   Here’s a couple of variations and the internet is prolific with plank choices and videos.  Try and hold each set for up to 60 seconds, then take a short 30 second break and start again! When you do this work out, shoot for as long as you can up to 30 minutes.  

Try a plank drag. It burns a ton of calories.  You’ll need a smooth floor surface for these.  They are like the stationary plank above but put a towel under your feet.   Try “walking” with your hands while dragging your feet, which should slide.   Depending on the size of the room, one trip back and forth is one round.  Shoot for three rounds to get your heart pumping and rev up your metabolism. 

Side plank: Lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of each other.  They should be completely extended. Using your forearm and elbow to hold your body up while remembering to hold your abdominal muscles tight.   Don’t forget to breathe.  Lift your hips up so that your body is in a straight line from shoulders to ankles.

Side to side plank:  Start  with a basic plank.  From there, push yourself up, and place one hand at a time on the floor.  Make sure you keep your abdomen held in tight and do not let your back arch.   Try and stay in a straight line and do not let yourself sag in the middle.  Slowly use your hands to walk, (like you did in the plank drag) but allow your opposing leg to bend and use gently use that foot to walk across the floor. 

No one is saying this is easy and if you’re not already in an exercise routine, it may not be particularly fun either.  But hang in there, and it will be both before long.   While there isn’t any instant gratification here, you’re doing it because there is SO MUCH instant gratification everywhere else.   Remember that. 

If you feel like you’d do better with a boost of motivation and accountability, talk to a health & wellness coach.  They’ll not only help you get and stay on track, they’re skilled at helping clients overcome the beliefs that have interfered with or even sabotaged success in the past.  With a coach you will not only meet your goals faster than on your own, you will learn how to make your success permanent!!

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