by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
Dashing through the holidays? Burn some extra calories while you’re at it …
The year’s calendar days are rapidly depleting, probably to match our energy levels. Already hectic lives become more frayed when shopping, hosting, and attending social functions – all with a cheerful face—are added. There may not be time to increase your workouts. However, fatigue, stress, and a waistline threatened by holiday treats could benefit from those extra reps.
Burn extra calories and reconnect with yourself. Here’s how:
Shop Like a Trainer
As you tote around packages and shopping bags, remember to maintain proper form. Lift using leg and core muscles, not your back. Do not over pack; you have to carry this stuff. Use correct posture. And “burn beyond” by making multiple trips to the car, house, and stores with your bags and packages rather than loading up your arms. It will take a little longer, but you can burn up to 100 calories and avoid muscle strains and other injuries.
Workout Like a Guru
Make good use of your time on the Fitness Floor. Try adding calisthenics, like jumping jacks or lunges, between weightlifting reps. This high-intensity trick allows you to burn more calories. It also multitasks your workout to cover both cardio and strength training. Ask a personal trainer for more suggestions.
Sweat It Out
Holiday activities help maximize the burn, even though they cannot replace a formal workout with all its benefits. Remember that as you race through department stores; wait in check-out lines, arms laden with packages; and perspire at the class party where kids’ excitement and your holiday turtleneck heat up the temp.
Tip: Leg muscle groups use the most energy. Some things just cannot be achieved by online shopping and social networking. If nothing else, make time to window shop or walk through the neighborhood to admire holiday decorations. Move those legs!
Keep Track of Time
When there is a breather from the holiday hustle, it is normal to find the nearest seat and collapse. This opportunity can be risky if it occurs at a party and the chair happens to be next to the appetizers.
Set an alarm on your phone or watch to alert you every 20 minutes to get up and move. This will increase your daily step count. It also may help cut down on appetizer consumption and improve your social life by “forced” mingling.
While online shopping, a 30-minute reminder to walk away from the computer can save you from impulse buys. (The ugly sweater contest only requires one sweater.) Less calories consumed, more calories burned, friendships made, and money saved—all because you increased your movement!
Once you are at the Center, congratulate yourself. You made the time and are staying committed to your health. At this point, realize an additional five or ten minutes will have little effect on your schedule. Add a high-intensity segment, increase treadmill time, or lift some weights. Researchers proved adding 20 minutes of weight training to cardio workouts helped burn more calories. There is not a more convenient time to increase your burn power than when you are already working out!
Make It a Morning Thing
Set your wake-up alarm 15 minutes earlier. (Thirty minutes, if you take 15 just to wake up.) Use that time to run through a circuit of your favorite heart-pumping moves. Turn on tunes and dance it out. Run in place. Alternate jumping jacks with crunches or lunges. Mix it up and make it your own. Set the timer and give yourself 15. Your metabolism will be fueled to start the day! You even may burn off your breakfast.
“17 Ways to Burn More Calories All Day,” by Jenna Autuori-Dedic at Health.com.
Shopping bags: pixabay.com/en/shopping-bags-paper-brown-blank-791585
City holiday: pixabay.com/en/church-burlington-vermont-277327
Alarm clock: pixabay.com/en/white-male-isolated-3d-model-1740707