It is dark when you leave work, feeling like it’s 10 pm instead of 5 pm. Along with the cold, the short days zap your energy. You would like to go home and curl up with a good book, then turn in early. But the evenings are busy with Christmas programs at school, office holiday parties, volunteering at the gift wrapping booth and baking chocolate chip cookies and fudge for all of the above. If you wanted to, you could accept an invitation for something almost every night of the week. All of the activity plus waning energy levels make it very easy to skip the gym right now. You need quick workouts for the holidays, or you may not hit the gym again until January.
If you normally do your workouts in the evening now may be the time to become a morning exerciser, even if it’s just temporarily. If you work out in the morning, no one can take it away from you. It’s done. It’s no longer a worry. You’ll feel better, you’ll be more alert and (maybe) less dependent on your morning dose of caffeine to clear the fog.
I’m not asking you to get up an hour earlier. Instead, can you give me just 15 or 20 minutes? If you can, I can give you three different quick workouts for the holidays.
Do you own a kettlebell? If not, don’t wait for Santa to send you one. Order one from Amazon and then watch this video to master your basic kettlebell swing. Now, try this classic kettlebell workout to get your heart pumping and challenge your muscles in a whole new way.
On the road for the holidays? I’ve got the perfect workout for you! Here’s a workout with a very portable piece of equipment: a mini band. You’ll find the moves in this quick workout surprisingly challenging and effective. When you wake up sore the next day, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
My personal favorite quick workout for the holidays is a 10/20/30. I learned this technique from Erin Stern during the first Oxygen Challenge. Take a few minutes to warm up then give 15 minutes of all-out effort. This workout will leave you feeling energized and ready for whatever the rest of the day brings.
Speaking of busy days, find another 10 or 15 minutes in your schedule this week to prep something! Meal planning is a huge help when you’re trying to eat better on a crazy schedule. However, it DOES NOT have to be as complicated as those crazy rows of Tupperware you see on Instagram. Here are a few simple things you can prep that will make a big difference in your day:
· Hard boil a dozen eggs
· Make a batch of protein bars. (Or order some RXBars.)
· Make snack packs of almonds or baby carrots
· Place a grocery order online (thank you Hy-vee!)
· Throw the ingredients for two or three different slow cooker meals in freezer bags for later in the week.
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