Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah! We are entering the ever-challenging holiday season, people, so it’s time to kick your workouts into high gear to burn off all of that delicious food. In addition to our weekly BeWOW workout, here are a few tips to boost your exercise routine and make it through the holiday season.
1. Increase your workouts every day leading up to the holiday. Do your cardio a little bit longer, increase your weights, or add in an extra workout this week.
2. Get up and get moving before you eat your holiday meal.
3. Go for a walk or do a family activity before or after dinner.
4. As you're looking at the mounds of food on your Thanksgiving table, remember that it's going to take a lot of work to burn off those calories, but only a few seconds to pack them on. Moderation is key.
5. Get your workouts over with early in the morning so you can spend your time with your family the rest of the day. You'll thank me later for this one.
Now, for the workout. This is a great workout to do with your family, as everyone can go at their own pace and modify the exercises to their fitness level. Or, as would be the case in my family, it can create some serious competition as you see who can get done the fastest (without cheating).
Look at the list of exercises below. Start by doing 10 reps of everything, then do 30 seconds of cardio. Cardio ideas include springing, doing toe taps or jumping rope, running up and down the stairs, doing jumping jacks—anything that gets your heart pumping. Then, you're going to do nine reps of everything, followed by 30 seconds of cardio; then eight reps of everything and 30 seconds of cardio; and so on and so forth until you reach one rep of everything and one last cardio sprint. Here are your exercises.
BeWOW: The Ultimate Pre-Thanksgiving Workout
Lunge with overhead press (Do all reps on left, then all reps on right. See explanation below.)
Explanation of exercises
Burpees: Just like an up-down in football. Put your hands on the ground, jump your feet out behind you so you’re in push-up position, hit your chest to the ground, and bring your feet back in, stand up.
Rocking planks: Get into a plank on your elbows and toes. Pressing from your toes, shift your body straight forward and pull your body back. Forward and back is one rep.
Lunge with overhead press: Stand in a split position, left leg forward, holding a dumbbells in each hand at your shoulders, palms facing forward. Drop into a lunge, keeping your knee over the ankle and bending the left leg to 90 degrees. As you drop, press the weights up toward the ceiling. Pause when you're full extended then return to the starting position. Do all reps with left leg forward, then switch to right leg forward and do all reps.
Sit-up: Lie on your back with feet on the floor and knees bent. Put your hands behind your ears. Without pulling on your neck and using only your abs, lift your shoulders off the mat and come to a full sit-up position. Lie back down slowly.
Dips: Using a bench or a chair, step your legs out a few feet in front of your body. Steady your hands on the bench or chair and, with your back just a few inches from your fingertips, lower your body to the ground. Then raise your body back to the starting position by pushing into the bench or chair. Repeat.
Dead Lifts: Stand with legs shoulder-width apart and dumbbells in hands. Bend knees slightly and lean forward with your arms moving towards the ground, until your back is at a table-top position,. Slowly return to the starting position.
Audrey McKenna Hasse is the owner of A.M.Fit, a personal training and healthy consultation business on the Main Line. You’ll find her workouts every Monday right here on Be Well Philly.