A workout routine that keeps you on track during the holidays

Adding a little bit extra each day sets the tone

The holiday season is upon us! We are in full swing attending holiday functions, shopping and preparing for family celebrations. This is the time of year when I often hear from people “I just can’t stay on track with my workouts” or “I always gain like 10 pounds, it is so depressing!”

If you can relate don’t worry, you are not alone. Here are six great tips to make staying on track of lot easier over the holiday season, keeping the weight gain at bay.

• Eat something with protein and good fats before going to a big dinner or event.

• Don’t skip meals. If you over-eat at one meal go light on the next.

• Survey party buffets before filling your plate and then fill half your plate with salads and veggies or half with fruit at dessert. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.

• Take the focus off food and put it on your company, family and friends. Play a game together, watch a movie, craft or get outdoors. Staying busy keeps the focus off food and drink and on family and friends.

• Stay hydrated. Drink water. Be careful with beverages by opting for water or sparkling water between drinks.

• Burn those calories. Plan group activities like walking, hiking, and ice skating that get you and your loved ones moving. And don’t forget to dance! Dancing is one of the best ways to keep holiday pounds from creeping on.

Try this fun and festive workout with your loved ones over the holiday season. It will be sure to keep you moving and, yes, a Santa hat is a must. The 12 Days of Fitness.

Day 1: one-minute plank. Do not worry if you cannot hold the plank for a full minute. Take a few seconds of rest and keep trying for one minute.

Day 2: one-minute plank and two-minute wall sit. Again, do not worry if you cannot hold a wall sit this long. It is hard work. Take small breaks and keep trying until you hit two minutes. Total time, three minutes.

Day 3: one-minute plank, two-minute wall sit and three-minute bridge. Remember to take small breaks if you cannot hold the exercise for the entire time. Total time, six minutes.

Day 4: As you can see, each day we add a new exercise building on our routine and increasing our total workout time. For the burpees, it is fine to take your time. If you cannot jump, then don’t fret. You are still getting your body moving and that is the point. This applies to the star jumps and tuck jumps. For the tuck jump, opt for high knees instead. Lifting one knee up as high as you can take it, lower and repeat on the other side. When performing the squats and lunges, be mindful of your knees. Stack your joints, meaning have your knees over your ankles so that you can see your toes. Remember to engage your core muscles.

Day 12: Now you will be up to 12 exercises taking a total of 10 minutes. No time excuses here. A 10-minute, quick and efficient workout. When we take the time to do these kinds of challenges we set the tone for the day which often keeps us more honest and on track with our health and fitness. It is a great thing to do with co-workers, friends and family members. Free, fun fitness over the holiday season.

If you have questions about this challenge or staying on track over the holiday season I would love to hear from you. Email Nicole at anytime.fitness.chemainus@gmail.com.

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