From the quarantine-15 to the standard holiday weight gain, it’s safe to say that this year and last year were not kind to your waistline. Despite the omicron scare, there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel that is this pandemic. In times of uncertainty, however, many people resort to food for comfort. Are we right or are we right? It’s too easy to find comfort in food, especially when holiday treats and sweets attack you from all angles.
The holiday season is fast-paced, what with shopping, end of the year projects, travel, and coordinating with family. Even though the holidays involve a lot of family time, functions, gatherings, parties, and more, it’s still important to carve out a portion of your day for physical activity. If you don’t feel safe heading to the gym or it’s too cold to exercise at an outdoor gym or outside, engage in the following exercises that you can do no matter where you spend the holidays.
You can do push-ups anywhere, no matter if you’re in a basement, on top of a mountain, or in your grandma’s living room. The push-up is a great upper body workout that engages your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles. Start in a plank position with your legs extended back and your hands on the ground directly beneath your shoulders. Engage your pectorals and shoulders and lower your body down until it’s hovering above the ground. Press back up to the starting position, keeping your body in a straight line the entire time. Complete three sets of 8-10 reps.
These are wonderful for the obliques, which don’t receive the attention they should. Lie down on your right side, stacking your left leg on top of your right. Place your right forearm on the ground perpendicular to your body. In one motion, press up into a side plank position, squeezing your right oblique, hip, glute, and shoulder all at once. Hold at the top for a split second and then lower yourself back down. Complete three sets of 10 reps per side.
Whether you need to break up your at-home work life or work off some extra holiday sweets that you put away, squats are the answer. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight as you squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure your knees don’t extend over your toes, engage your glutes, and drive through your heels as you return to the starting position. Complete three sets of 10 reps per side.
This takes the plank to another level! The most important thing to remember is to engage your core to prevent rocking from side to side. Start in a plank position and widen your feet so that they are shoulder-width apart. Keep your core engaged to stabilize your body as you bring your right hand to your left shoulder to tap it. Return it to the ground and then repeat with your left hand to your right shoulder. Complete three sets that last 20 seconds each.
This is the final workout that will propel you through the holiday season. It’s a great exercise because it engages your leg muscles, glutes, and core. Start in a standing position with your feet hip-distance apart. Step your right foot forward and plant your foot on the ground. Bend your legs and make sure that your right knee doesn’t extend beyond your toes. Your left knee should kiss the ground. Don’t bounce off your left knee because that increases risk of knee injury. Squeeze your right quadriceps and glutes as you press back to the starting position. Repeat on the other leg. Complete three sets of 8-10 reps per leg.