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Fast fat-blasting holiday workout

Lisa Armstrong is the mother of two grown daughters, a yoga practitioner, an educator and a long-time freelance writer who focuses on health, wellness, and historical topics that affect humanity's personal and collective well-being.

Beat the holiday bulge

Want to lose the seven pounds most of us effortlessly gain during the holidays? One way to beat the holiday bulge is to plan ahead and commit to a regular circuit training routine that will put a stop to holiday weight gain.

Woman doing pushups

Plan your holiday workouts with diligence

Lynn Bode, a certified personal fitness trainer, suggests scheduling workout times on the calendar as you would a doctor's appointment. Making prior arrangements to ensure that you work out is a key. Also exercise at home, rather than going to the gym or to a regular class (which may be cancelled due to holiday gatherings or because of inclement weather anyway).

Commit to just 10 minutes of exercise each day for results, says exercise expert Rumi of Women Workout Routines. Using your own body weight as the basis for the workout provides a way for anyone to exercise and stay fit. The key is to do the movements continually, or as a circuit, to burn fat -- fast!

Full-body fat-blasting holiday workout

This full-body workout emphasizes the core abdominal muscles. Keep in mind that although these exercises are done without weights, because the workout is continuous, it is very intense. If you are not already in good shape, take precautions and go at your own pace at first until you build up strength.

1Modified push-up

Exercise: Start by getting down on your hands and knees on an exercise mat or carpet. From the hands and knees, do a modified push-up from your bent knees. Lower your upper body straight down to the floor. Do 15 repetitions.

2Stretch

Exercise: From a prone position, push your body back into position like a yoga prayer pose (also called the child's pose), with buttocks resting on the heels, forehead to the floor and arms extended on the floor, palms down in front of you. Hold for 30 seconds.

3Dynamic prone plank and upward facing dog

Exercise: Get in plank position by placing your hands underneath your shoulders and extending your legs back until you are up on your toes with your body in a straight line. Keeping your elbows close to your sides, bend your elbows and lower your body down almost to the floor, keeping your stomach above the floor. Lift upper body, arching back. Roll shoulders back and push head and chest forward. The only part of the body touching the floor should be the tops of the thighs and the feet, and hands. Hold position for 2 to 3 seconds, then lower upper body until your head is on floor. Do 10 repetitions.

4Back extension with leg lifts

Exercise: From a prone position, extend both of your arms in front of you, keeping your head, elbows and arms about a half-inch off the floor, using your lower and upper back muscles. Then lower arms and chin to floor, with arms extended in front of you on the floor, palms down. Raise your right leg from the hip, keeping your knee straight, squeezing your glutes and low back muscles. Lower right leg and repeat with left leg. Do sequence 10 to 15 repetitions.

5Cardio jump

Exercise: From a prone position, place your hands underneath your shoulders and push your upper body up from the floor. Lift your hips and jump your feet into a kneeling position, then jump up to standing with your hands reaching to the ceiling. Do 1 repetition to return to standing to continue with cardio moves.

6Lunges

Exercise: From a standing position, step forward on your right foot, then lower left knee towards floor and come into a lunge with your left arm coming forward (both knees should be at a 90-degree angle). Quickly return to standing and repeat lunge with your left leg forward, right knee lowering towards the floor, right arm forward. Do 10 repetitions for each leg.

7Bunny hops

Exercise: From a standing position, place hands on hips and hop with knees just slightly bent, as if tracing a triangle – jump side, jump back, jump forward to start. Do 10 to 15 triangles.

More ways to stay fit this season

Home fitness ideas

How to stay fit around the house.

Diet and fitness tips to halt holiday weight gain

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