The 15-minute holiday workout
Take a break from watching the timer or snacking on those cookies on the cooling rack. With a little effort, working out during the holidays will not seem so unrealistic.
As the gates of the great inferno are busting open and a whole lot of holiday stress is flooding your schedule, it may seem there's no time to stay in shape. This is what Spanx are for, right? Wrong! While being tortured by appetizer options and the colour-matching of your garlands may seem fun enough, going to the gym seems less and less likely. But we say, fight the odds, and get your 15 in.
While the turkey is turkeying in the oven, do some crunches. While the kids are decorating the tree, pick up those dusty dumbbells... Here is your 15-minute holiday workout. Don't forget to stretch first, or maybe indulge in a bit of yoga prior to beginning.
Get the heart going
High-jog. This is simple to do, but it gets you moving. Begin by jogging on the spot, then raise your knees to waist level whilst jogging in place. Try to continue for one to two minutes.
Squat jumps. These are a great way to get blood pumping through your body, and they work your legs like nothing else. With feet shoulder width apart, lower yourself into a squat (almost a plie squat), then launch yourself off the floor into a jump. Land with knees bent right back into the squat. Try two sets of 15, and work your way up.
Absicles at work
Jackknife sit-ups. When you're pressed for time, these are very effective. Lie flat on your back with your arms extended overhead. While keeping your arms and legs straight, raise them upward to meet. Keep your arms and legs parallel to one another. Lower them, and do it all again. Begin with two sets of 15, and when you're up to it, add another set.
Side planks. If you have to take care of side bulge too, these will do it. Lie on your side, resting on your elbow with your feet stacked. Raise your hips off the floor, balancing on your forearm. Your body should create a straight diagonal line. Hold for 30–45 seconds, then switch sides.
Sit-ups with extended legs. They will hurt — you will cry — but they work. Lie flat on your back, and extend your legs upward to slightly below a 90-degree angle. Flex your abdomen, raise your torso, and reach for your feet with your hands. Hold at the top for a moment, lower, and repeat. These are tough, but try to do two sets of 15. Add more as you go.
Don't forget the arms
Push-ups. They're wonderful but painful. They need very little explanation, but do listen to your body, and don't push yourself too much. Try two sets of 10, and work your way up.
Bicep curls. Grab the old dumbbells of suitable weight, and get your biceps burnin'. With feet shoulder width apart and hands (holding dumbbells) at your sides, raise the dumbbell in your right hand, rotating your forearm so your palm faces your shoulder. Lower to the starting position, then repeat with your other arm. Try three sets of 10, and work up from there.
Overhead extensions. You're about to locate your triceps, because they will be on fire by the end of this. While sitting or standing, extend both arms (holding dumbbells) overhead, then bend at the elbow, and lower the weights behind your head. Raise them back up, and extend them overhead. Start off with three sets of 10, and work your way up.
If you dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to these exercises, it's possible to have a great workout. These exercises are easy to mix and match as well as pause and resume — perfect for a busy bee.
Let us know what worked for you!