You can do this alone or with the whole family. When you feel the urge to eat that tantalizing piece of chocolate or have had too much turkey get up off the couch and head out the door. The fresh air and winter smells will invigorate and replenish you. If you are feeling adventuresome try a long hike in the woods or along your favorite trail. Walking will not only take your mind off the many eating pleasures of the season but will keep you fit during the Christmas festivities.
2. Use the Treadmill
There will be days when walking or running outside will be too dangerous or just downright uninviting. This is where your friendly treadmill will keep you moving during the holidays. So watch your favorite TV program or strap on the headphones and listen to your favorite music and start burning those extra calories. The key here is to raise your heart rate to a level that will not only burn calories but also provide enough fat burning energy to stave off those extra helpings of turkey and mince pie.
3. Ride a Bike
If you like to sit down while you exercise try riding a bike indoors or out (depending on the weather).
If you like a stationary bike you will find it is very easy on the joints. With winter upon us the stationary bike gives you fewer excuses not to exercise. This is perfect for those free moments you have between family visits and big dinners with friends. Also, if you do not belong to a gym you can use it at home.
4. Run on the Elliptical Trainer
A favorite of mine is the elliptical trainer. It combines the motion of the bicycle and the treadmill. Not only are you use the same muscles as cycling but you can combine some upper body strength building as well. When you compare treadmills to elliptical trainers, you can't help but notice that the elliptical trainer offers an impact-free workout. There is no foot impact, which may be preferred if you need a gentler workout because of joint problems or pain. If you are looking for a quality cardiovascular workout with the maximum amount of efficiency, the elliptical trainer is an excellent choice. Most elliptical trainers give you a total body workout if you have dual action handlebars for your arms and foot pedals for your legs. What is even more interesting, according to recent studies, is that the lack of impact on the joints allows the user to burn roughly the same amount of calories as treadmills with the impression of putting less effort.
5. Yoga on the Floor Mat
For those of you who prefer a gentler form of exercise, Yoga is the perfect combination of physical and mental exercise. The practice of Yoga Exercises means practicing both your body and your mind. It takes willpower and perseverance to accomplish each Yoga Pose and to practice it daily. But the prize for your perseverance is really worth all the hard work. The practice of Yoga Exercises or Yoga Asanas can improve your health, increase your resistance, and develop your mental awareness. Doing the Yoga Poses requires you to have your own set of poses and to study each pose and execute it slowly as you control your body and your mind. Even as a beginner you will see results almost immediately. The holidays are a perfect time to keep you mind and body aware of the importance of a keeping fit and in touch with your body.
6. Roll Around on a Stability Ball
Also referred to as the Swiss Ball. A primary benefit of exercising with an exercise ball as opposed to exercising directly on a hard flat surface is that the body responds to the instability of the ball to remain balanced, engaging many more muscles. Those muscles become stronger over time to keep balance. Most frequently, the core body muscles - the abdominal muscles and back muscles- are the focus of the exercise ball.
7. Become a Floor Bike
This is an exercise you can do anywhere. Lie face up on your mat (or floor) and place your hands behind your head, lightly supporting it with your fingers. Bring the knees in to the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the floor without pulling on the neck. Rotate to the left, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee as you straighten the other leg. Switch sides, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee. Continue alternating sides in a 'pedaling' motion for 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.
8. Jump On and Off the Box
Box jumps are a great exercise for developing strength, power and coordination in the legs and abdominals. An impact exercise like plyometric box jumps also helps to develop bone density and improve cardiovascular fitness.
Position your feet pointing forwards side by side roughly a shoulder width apart. Bend slightly at the knees and hips and bring your arms down by your sides. Keep your back straight and head looking forwards. Swing your arms up from your sides and at the same time jump up and forwards towards the box or step. Land on the top of the box or stair with both feet. Either step back down to the floor by taking a step backwards or jump backwards to the start position. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
9. Do the Arnold Press
The Arnold press is an effective exercise for developing the deltoids, and is performed by pressing overhead while rotating the arms. Performing the exercise whilst seated, encourages good technique.
Sit on a bench holding an appropriate weight in each hand at shoulder height. Rotate the hands so the palms are facing behind. Maintain a straight back and look forward. Press the weight overhead while rotating the forearms. When you reach the end of the movement your arms should be straight with palms facing forward. Briefly pause and then lower the weight by reversing the movement. Do as many repetitions until you feel fatigued.
10. Curl For Bigger Biceps
One way to get those arms to grow bigger and stronger is to do an isolated curl. When we say isolated we are referring to moving the arms without any assistance from the rest of your body.
One way to do this is to lie down on a bench (usually at an incline angle of 20-40 degrees) while performing the bicep curl. Your chest should be resting on the back of the bench. While positioning you feet flat on the floor and your arms at the sides grip the weights with an underhand grip. Make sure your shoulders are fixed so they cannot help lift the weight and slowly curl the weight up as far as possible. Hold and then gradually lower the weight. Repeat 12-15 times with the appropriate weight.
11. Push Up For Better Triceps
It is quite common that most people believe that do a lot of bicep work alone will build those big arms. Well the reason your arms may not be getting as big as you like is because 2/3's of your arm is in the tricep. Having big strong triceps is the key to getting big arms. The push up is a quick way to build your triceps and this exercise can be done anywhere.
Once you are on your knees, place both hands on the floor in front of you, shoulder width apart. Create a diamond shape between your hands by bringing them together in the centre, so that the tips of your index fingers and tips of your thumbs are touching. Notice that your wrists and elbows should be in line with your chest. With your fingers facing forward, lift off your knees so your body is in a straight line and supported only by your hands and feet. While doing this keep your abs tight and keep your pelvis straight. It is also important to maintain a straight back throughout the exercise. Now bend at the elbows to lower your body towards the floor until your chest touches the top of your hands. Hold briefly then push back to the start position by extending your elbows.
12. Finally the Chest!
Most of us are always looking for ways to build a strong, muscular chest. One of the most popular exercises for increasing the size of the chest muscles (and also the triceps and shoulders) is the bench press. This is a difficult exercise to master, as it requires some balance and coordination to do it properly. In every case you should work with a spotter in order to prevent injury but also for help in performing the exercise properly.
While lying on a bench place your feet firmly on the floor. Make sure your wrists are straight as you grip the bar with an overhand grasp. While bracing the abdominals to maintain a straight back, lift the bar off the rack by extending the elbows. Position the bar directly over your chest while breathing slowly. Lower the bar to mid chest making sure to keep your hands in line with your elbows. Lower the bar until your elbows are at a right angle. Hold for one second, breath out and push the bar back upwards by extending your arms at the elbows.