Thursday, November 29, 2012

'Tis The Season! (To Be Fast and Dirty)

When it comes to exercise during the holidays -- okay, okay -- when it comes to why I don't exercise during the holidays, my excuses usually fall into one of three categories:

 1) I don't have time.  (I have shopping to do, mostly for myself. Plus, my hair looks good and I don’t have time to wash it again before I go to that party.)

2) I don't want to. (I’d rather drink wine and watch heart-warming holiday television programming.)  
3) I am away from home. (I don’t have a gym membership; I can’t workout if I don’t have a gym membership.)

Do any of these sound familiar?  Perhaps not my exact excuses, but I feel confident that during the holidays you’ve been too busy, not interested and out of your fitness routine.  Fear not!  We have solutions to all of these categories of excuses.

 1) I don’t have time.

            First and foremost, reconsider when you exercise.  I have something shocking to tell you: Nothing holiday-related happens at 5am.  Nothing.  Exercise early and you know that no matter what happens, your exercise session is done and you didn’t miss anything fun.  Second, reconsider how long you need in order to exercise.  We often think we need to carve out 30, 60 or 90 minutes (plus travel time if you’re going somewhere to exercise) in order to make exercise meaningful.  You don’t need 30-90 minutes to exercise.  Remember, any exercise is better than no exercise at all and while your non-holiday exercise program may involve 30-90 minutes, in this time-crunched season, shorten that bad boy way down.  I advocate for a 10 minute workout.  What?!  Ten minutes?! I see you rolling your virtual eyes at the thought of a 10 minute workout.  Here are my two favorites:

- Do 100 burpees as fast as you can.  I read recently that burpees are one of the best exercises you can do.  Not doing them?  Start during the holidays!  Click here for a demo.

- Find a set of stairs, ideally a longer set that what you have in your house (but in a pinch, the house will do).  Personally, I like parking garages or stadiums, if you have either nearby.  Now that you have your stairs, run (or walk) up and down as many times as you can in 10 minutes.   Don't stop.  Don't!  Santa's watching!

If these workouts don’t leave you tired and sore in just 10 minutes let me know and I’ll refund your money.

 2) I don’t want to.

            This excuse is invalid.  I don’t like paying taxes, brushing my teeth or setting an alarm clock.  Guess I still need to exercise.

 3) I am away from home.

            When we travel and are out of our fitness routines, it’s easy not to exercise but I like to see exercising out of town as an adventure.  Here’s how:

            - Do your 100 burpees in the living room of your host’s home.  Perhaps consider doing it during mealtime.  It will be a holiday to remember, trust me.

            - If you’re a gym person, find a local gym and ask them to pay a drop-in fee.  Usually it’s between $5-$15.  I have dropped-in to gyms all over the world and have yet to have someone tell me “no, we don’t like your kind”.  A lot of times if you're really nice they’ll let you workout for free(or so nice people tell me). 

            - Go outside.  Walk, run, skip, hike, climb, in the area where you’re staying.  It can be a great opportunity to enjoy beautiful scenery or at the very least, locate a good restaurant for dinner.

            - Bring your own equipment (your body should be considered equipment) and you can do a workout right where you are: your hotel room, your mother-in-law’s kitchen, the backyard… Back in May I wrote a blog post about go-anywhere workouts, you can read it here. 
Darn.  I had intended to open a bottle of wine and settle down for some fine television programming after I finished this post but  it looks like I’ve got 10 minutes to do some burpees. 

Posted by Rachel May, School of Health Sciences





Shauna Dowis said...

Great post! Wow, so I just tried 20 burpees for the first time and those are a lot more exhausting than one would think! Thanks for the tips!


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