Healthy Holidays Tip 5 Improvise

Healthy Holidays: Improvise

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Hang onto your hats as we head into the thick of the holiday season!!

I do love the hustle & bustle of this time of year – the sights, the scents, and the activities. But sometimes all of the extra hoopla can throw a wrench in the bucket when it comes to sticking to a normal routine – like your workout, right?

I get it! November was a busy month and December will be, too. So instead of a recipe this week – because we all need a little break from the holiday splurges – I want to share some quick workouts that can be done just about anywhere!

Workouts don’t have to be super structured – consistency is truly key! Instead of stressing when you can fit a full workout into your schedule, just sneak in a little move here and there when you find the time.

Improvisation is actually an important skill! Not only does it test your creativity, but it also allows you to live in the moment.

Walking to the car to head to the next event? Do some lunges!

Waiting for your guests to arrive? Hold a little wall sit!

Commercial break during your favorite holiday movie? Try some squats!

Read on to find out how to properly do these moves so you can fit them in on your own time!

1. Squats

Squats burn more calories than you’d think and help ramp up your metabolism. As you exercise, the movement strengthens your tendons, bones, and ligaments around the leg muscles. Squats also benefit your hip muscles, calves, hamstrings, and obliques. On top of all that, squats will help build your core strength, improving both your stability and mobility.

Here’s how you do it:
  1. Stand with your feel a little wider than hip-width apart. Your toes should be angled out slightly depending on your comfort and balance. Keep your knees bent, pelvis tucked under, and spine tall.
  2. Start the movement by bending your knees and pushing your hips back. You can stretch your arms up or out in front of you to help with balance.
  3. Keeping your chest up, ontinue to squat down until you are comfortable. The goal is thighs parrallel to the ground or knees at 90 degrees – you may not be able to and that’s okay. Try not to let your knees extend over your toes.
  4. Press into your heels as you straighten your legs back up. At the top of the squat, make sure your pelvis is tucked under your spine in a neutral position.

2. Push-Ups

Wall push-ups work on your biceps, triceps, pectoral muscles, and the anterior deltoids that help you with the movement of your shoulder. Apart from that, this exercise also engages your back, trapezoids, abdominal muscles, and hips muscles. 

Here’s how you do it:
  1. Stand with your feet under your hips, arm’s length away from a wall.
  2. Plant both palms flat on the wall, with your wrists in line with your shoulders and fingers pointed at the ceiling.
  3. Make sure your core is fully engaged, keeping you in a “stiff-as-a-board” position.
  4. Inhale and bend elbows straight back until your nose nearly boinks the wall. Make sure your back stays straight and your hips don’t sag.
  5. Exhale as you press the wall away and return to the starting position.

3. Lunges

Lunges require a bit more coordination and balance than squats, but they are great for your core, legs, and butt. They are a great bodyweight exercise that will help strengthen and tone your muscles. You’ll also improve your posture and range of motion.

Here’s how you do it:
  1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your hands can be on your hips to help with stability.
  2. Take a big forward with your right leg, putting the weight into your heel. Bend your right knee, lowering down until right thigh is parallel to the floor and right shin is vertical.
  3. If travelling, press into your front foot and engage your core to pull your body forward. Alternate with deep lunges as you walk.
  4. If standing, press into your heel to push back into the starting position. Alternate with left leg.

4. Wall Sits

The wall sit exercise is often overlooked because of its simplicity but it has some real benefits. It activates muscle groups throughout your lower body, including your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Instead of building muscle mass, it works on building muscle endurance.

Here’s how you do it:
  1. Lean back against the wall with your torso, with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Then press back and slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Your knees should be above your ankles and bent at right-angles.
  3. Keep your head, shoulders, and upper back against the wall, being sure not to arch your back, and hold the position for at least 10-15 seconds.

Let me know in the comments below how you improvised with these moves!

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