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Holiday Workouts

Do those two words even go together?

Well, yes. They do and more importantly, they should. During the holidays we tend to overeat, get overstressed, and tend to get our exercise herding children through shopping malls and putting up holiday decorations.

However, during this time, there is nothing better for your body AND mind than a little exercise. During this time of year, when the days are colder and definitely shorter, its also difficult to get out and just play with the kids or find the motivation to go for a walk or a jog in the dark. By far, one of the best ways to get motivated is to have some accountability and by that, I mean make yourself an exercise date. Find a few friends with whom you can commit to training with consistently. Or, join a group exercise class or boot camp. My favorite way, by far, is to turn on the floodlights and go outside to play with the kids. Swinging, running races, playing tag, and even playing on the swing set are great ways to get your heart rate up and put some positive stress on your joints. If its too cold and/or wet, put on some music and have a dance party. The good thing about dancing with kids is that they are just there to have fun so you don't have to be awesome at it, just inventive.

However, if you want something a little more structured, here are some circuits that you can complete in 20-30 minutes with minimal equipment.

For this circuit, use a lighter weight such as 10-20 lbs:
Overhead walking lunge 20 yards (hold a dumbbell or kettlebell overhead, lined up with your shoulder and with your upper arm in line with your ear. Hold on one side 20 yards, then switch to the other side on the way back)
25 dumbbell or kettlebell swings
Run 200-400 meters
4-5 rounds

5 pullups or 10 body rows
10 kettlebell/dumbbell snatches or single arm swings, each arm (use a heavier weight such as 15-30 lbs)
10-15 deadlifts (use a heavier weight, approximately 40% of your 1RM)
3-4 rounds

500 Jump rope
Turkish Get-ups, 15 on each side, alternating sides.
Use weight that is heavy enough to be challenging.

15 Goblet squats (or an unweighted squat)
15 Dumbbell See-saw press
15 Lateral lunges, each side
15 Bent over rows or body rows
15 Alternating rotating situps (as you come to the top of each sit-up, rotate your torso to the side. This can also be done holding a medicine ball)
4 rounds

Now, regarding food. The best thing you can do for yourself is simply write it down. Simply being aware of what you are eating at different times of the day will help you to control your intake or be sure to balance your nutrients. Make sure you are getting plenty of fiber, water, protein, fruits, and vegetables. And, most importantly, plenty of sleep.

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