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HEALTHY LIVING: 5 workout tips for the holidays

HEALTHY LIVING: 5 workout tips for the holidays

Turkey burning workouts and classes that promise to erase holiday induced caloric surpluses before they happen are exceedingly popular. 

While these events are certainly fun and physically challenging, there is no substitute for a sustainable well-rounded healthy lifestyle. 

1. Build a solid foundation

Building a solid foundation means setting attainable goals. For instance, committing to working out at least 3 times a week. 

Focus on simple movements and increase the difficulty of your workouts as you get more accustomed to training regularly.

Once you’ve perfected your push-up, add weights and make it a renegade row by grasping dumbbells in each hand and rowing past your chest.

Maintain a plank position, push down onto the dumbbells, and raise one arm to chest level while keeping your elbow tight to your ribcage before switching to the other arm.

2. Calisthenics

Calisthenics are graceful and fluid movements that get the heart rate up and enhance flexibility. 

These types of exercises require minimal or no equipment and can be added to any workout. Calisthenics work well when incorporated into warm-ups.

Jumping jacks, crunches, and running are all forms of calisthenics. Calisthenics is characterized by the movement of larger muscle groups. 

Using a platform for step-ups is very effective at raising the heart rate and keeping it high during a circuit-style workout.

3. Back strength

Building and maintaining back strength is essential, especially for the aging population. 

When muscles are not used over time they atrophy, which can lead to reduced strength and even injury.

A strong core is the foundation of a strong back. 

Dead bug is a simple abdominal exercise that builds strength without straining the back.

For dead bug, lay on your back, extend the arms straight in front of you, and bend the knees to a 90-degree angle.

Extend one arm and the opposing leg simultaneously. Lower these limbs to the ground before bringing them to meet at the center of the body, with the elbow and knee nearly touching. 

4. Compound movements

Compound movements work multiple muscle groups at the same time.

Iron cross squats work the legs, shoulders, and back muscles.

This exercise requires you to assume a squat position while extending the arms in front of your body with the palms facing each other. 

As you push your body up from the squat position, pull the palms away from one another until they are perpendicular to the body. 

Bring the arms together at the end of the rep while squatting back down to the ground.

5. Find your favorites

Despite what some might believe, the holiday season is a great time to start being more health conscious.

There are countless deals on exercise equipment, gym memberships, and fitness training, which can make health endeavors more affordable. 

Participating in hiking trips, dance classes, or martial arts training are some alternative ways to stay fit without taking the traditional gym-route this holiday season, and they make great gifts.

Even still, you can cultivate a healthy lifestyle without any extra amenities. 

The key to getting, or staying, in shape is consistency.

Kristen Dearborn is a Wallingford native, NASM certified personal trainer and author of the blog dearfitkris–