Yes, you can actually get fitter during the holiday season!
The holidays are a busy time—and not in a way that generally gets you fit. Just because you’re eating cookies and drinking champagne doesn’t mean you can’t fit in a workout.
Dr. Jeff Banas, a certified sports physician, coach, and strength and conditioning expert, knows how to make the most of limited time. He shared some full-body workouts to do while you’re waiting around under the mistletoe. Don’t be afraid to get creative: Use cans of cranberry sauce as weights; make it a family competition; or mix and match these workouts to create one that’s just right.
Push Up & Squat Day
This is a go-to for Banas’ ER doctor athletes. Choose a number of push-ups and air squats—100 is a nice number for each—and then knock them out throughout the day whenever you have time: two here, five there. Lull in the conversation after opening presents? Bam, do another 10 squats.
Every Hour on the Hour
Set your alarm to go off every hour on the hour. (Minus the hours you hope to be sleeping.) When it beeps, do 10 burpees, 10 push-ups, and then a 30-second plank. Bonus: Every time your alarm goes off, it’ll give you something extra to talk about with friends and relatives besides the weather.
Tabata is a technique where you exercise at high intensity for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, and repeat—for four minutes. You can Tabata almost anything. Try a modified Tabata workout, where you do five rounds of four minutes, with a two-minute rest between each. Round one: Repeat 20 seconds of burpees followed by 10 seconds of rest over a four-minute period, then rest two whole minutes before the next round. Second round: Squats for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for four minutes—either air squats or hold two weights in a front-squat shoulder-level position. Third round: Mountain climbers. Fourth round: Push-ups. Fifth round: Finish with 20-second sprints—probably outside, unless you want mom yelling at you for running in the house again.
10 Three Times
Do 30 kettlebell swings, 20 goblet squats (holding a weight in front of your chest like a goblet), 10 single-leg deadlifts per each leg, 10 Russian twists (sit in a V-shape, with your legs and back off the ground, and then twist to touch the ground with your hands on one side and then the other; make it harder by holding a weight as you twist), and then run around the block. Repeat this 10-minute circuit three times. An alternative option is to spread the three sets out over the course of the day—just before it’s egg nog time!