Pick up the kids. Call your folks. Take people to and pick them up from the airport. Go to the mall. Bake. Cook. Go grocery shopping. Go BACK to the mall. Wrap presents. Eat all that food you baked and cooked. Go to parties. Host parties. One more stop at the mall should do it, right? Then do it all over again.
Does that schedule sound familiar? Does its lack of quality You Time – never mind quality gym time – also sound familiar? If the holidays make you feel like an angry elf, you’re not the only one. That’s why we whipped up the 12 Days of Fitmas, a series of quality Elf-ercises that can keep you healthier, happier, and ready to embrace the best parts of the holidays. Start with 10 reps three times each, and adjust as your needs and fitness ability dictate.
If you like these Elf-ercises, be sure to check out our Instagram account and #12DaysofFitmas to see all 12 workouts in action!
Need a little help moving presents from one place to another? Strengthen your hamstrings, glutes and quads and firm up your thighs with squat lunges. With feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed forward, step your right foot out as wide as possible, then engage with your right heel while you drop your hips and keep your left leg straight. Keep those soles flat and toes pointed forward as you push through your right heel to starting position. Now switch to your left leg and repeat.
Keep your core tight in the thick of holiday cookie time with one of the best-known yoga poses. To strengthen your abdominal muscles, sit on your mat with your knees bent together at your chest and feet flat on the floor. Lift your feet off the floor with bent knees, and bring your shins parallel to the floor. Keep your spine straight and straighten your legs to a 45-degree angle, in a V shape. Roll your shoulders back and straighten your arms to be parallel with the floor, palms turned up. Balance and stay for at least five breaths, then exhale and release your legs.
Bent Over Rows
Keep your back ready to lift luggage and Christmas trees by holding a barbell with palms facing down. Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist and keeping your back straight until it’s almost parallel with the ground. While keeping your torso stationary, breathe out and lift the barbell to you with elbows close to the body and only use your forearms to do the work. At the top position, squeeze your back muscles and hold for a brief pause, then inhale and slowly the barbell back to starting position.
Lie flat on your back with your head slightly off the end of the bench. Lock the barbell above you with wrists about shoulder width. Bend at the elbows to bring the barbell down towards your head (hence the name!). Once the barbell is just over your head, slightly pull your elbows forward as you push the barbell towards the sky. There. Now you’re ready to lift and play with fussy toddlers.
Have any questions about these or any of other 12 Days of Fitmas Elf-ercises? Come to Fitness Connection – our staff of fitness experts are always ready to help.