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Holiday Survival Guide: Fitness

It’s [almost] that time of year again.  The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is rapidly approaching ; full of family, friends, long lines, company parties and not to mention those irresistible holiday treats everywhere you turn.  With all that is coming up in the next few months, some of you are probably wondering how you’re going to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine, while juggling your increasingly hectic schedule.  Don’t worry!  With the right attitude and a little planning, staying on track will be a breeze.

What do you do when there is no time to hit the gym?  Answer: have a back-up plan! Remember, doing something is always better than doing nothing (especially when it comes to exercise).  When you are pressed for time, opt for a quick 30 minute full body circuit routine, which incorporates both strength and cardiovascular training.  This holiday season, don’t let yourself sing the jingle bell blues because you let your workout plan go completely out the window.  Instead, give yourself some options so that you can stay on track and be merry all season long!

Jingle-bell rock your holiday habits into shape by examining five of Hilton Head Health’s surefire tips to maintaining a holiday exercise plan.


• Craft strength and resistance training sessions that are manageable to your holiday schedule (reduce a 60 minute routine to 30 minutes)

• Reduce cardio routines to whatever time you have, but kick up the intensity (5 to 10 minutes of intense cardio is better than doing nothing)

• Flip this page over for Hilton Head Health sample routines



• Involve the entire family: cut down your own tree this year, put up the entire decoration collection or even twist the holiday shopping into an exercise affair

• Weather permitting; go ice skating, sledding, snowboarding, skiing, tubing walk and look at neighborhood decorations – find any excuse to keep the entire family moving!



• Sit down before the season starts and schedule out the specific times you can exercise each week – plan it out

• Try working out before the day even starts that way you’ll be set for the entire day and work around family commitments



• Buy versatile home exercise equipment that you can use at a moment’s notice such as a jump rope, resistance bands, a fit ball, a few light free weights and even a fitness video or two



• Don’t lose sight of the real reason for the holidays – it’s a time to celebrate and spend with those closest to you

• Tis’ the season to be merry; hence make an effort to not to go overboard with fitting in every single workout, remain flexible and stress free!

• After the holidays it is essential to ease back into the normal routine


The Workouts

H3 Seasonal Strength Training

Duration: Less than 30 minutes

Warm Up:       5 minutes (Tread, Jump Rope, Jumping Jacks)

Routine:          2 – 3 full circuits

                        2:00 to 3:00 minute rest in between circuits

Exercise Repetitions
Bench Squats 12 to 15
Dumbbell Chest Press 12 to 15
Bench Step Ups 12 to 15
Dumbbell Rows 12 to 15
Calf Raises 12 to 15
Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks 12 to 15

Cool Down:    5 minutes (Tread, Walk)


H3 Seasons Greetings Calisthenics 

Duration: 10 minutes

Time Callisthenic
0:00 to 1:00 Brisk walk outside or around the house
1:00 to 2:00 Jumping Jacks
2:00 to 3:00 Squats
3:00 to 4:00 High Knees
4:00 to 5:00 Lunges in place
5:00 to 6:00 Jump rope (pretend if you don’t have one)
6:00 to 7:00 Cross-Country Ski
7:00 to 8:00 Squats
8:00 to 9:00 Jumping Jacks  
9:00 to 10:00 Cool it down – slowly walk


H3 Sleigh Ride Treading

Duration: 20 minutes

Treadmill Incline Min Level Elliptical/Bike
Warm up pace 3% 1 – 5 3 Warm up pace
Hill #1 6% 5 – 6 5 Hill #1
  9% 6 – 7 7  
  12% 7 – 8 9  
RPE 7 15% 8 – 9 10 RPE 7
Challenging pace! 12% 9 – 10 9 Challenging pace!
  10% 10 – 11 5  
Speed (2 minutes) 5% 11 – 12 4 Speed (2 minutes)
Increase speed 0.2 4% 12 – 13 4 Increase arm use
Decrease speed 0.3 4% 13 – 14 4 Decrease pace
Hill #2 8% 14 – 15 6 Hill #2
  12% 15 – 16 8  
  8% 16 – 17 6  
Cool down 4% 17 – 18 4 Cool down
Decrease Speed 0.2 3% 18 – 19 3 Decrease pace
Decrease Speed 0.2 3% 19 – 20 3 Decrease pace

* Note increased intensity due to shorter duration

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