What is the one thing you do not want to be this festive season? That person at the table who is too worried about eating, for fear of inevitable weight gain – enter the Holiday Workout.
By Cheryl Loh
You should not have to deprive yourself, especially in the season for celebratory get-togethers and familial feasts. With kids being highly impressionable and inquisitive, they might also start wondering why Mummy is not interested in tucking in.
With your carbohydrate intake bound to increase in the coming weeks’ thanks to delicious festive feasts, we have compiled a list of four cardio-intensive exercises that you can do quickly at home, with minimal equipment for your holiday workout.
These exercises are perfect for the busy, multi-tasking mum – the only equipment you really need is a decent skipping rope.
Do each exercise for 40 seconds, with 20 seconds of rest in-between. Rest for one minute between sets, repeat each set five times. You’re looking at about 25 minutes of exercise if you do all five sets. Break it up into two 10 minute power workouts if you have to.
Jump Rope 40s → Rest 20s → Speed Punch 40s → Rest 20s → Burpees 40s → Rest 20s → High Knees 40s → Rest 1m
Start off with jumping rope, a heart-pumping activity that most are familiar with. While it may look easy, it is actually quite strenuos when done for for an extended time, particularly since this regime will require you to repeat it in five sets. Of course, perfect skipping form comes with practice, so just keep going at it and it will come naturally with time.
Here is a drill that incorporates martial arts elements, along with the cardio work that comes along with it. Plant your feet, with one foot in front of the other, and just throw alternating punches as quickly as you can for 40 seconds. You do not actually have to know how to throw a proper punch, that comes with practice.
Burpees have been known to be a challenging and efficient form of exercise that you can do literally anywhere. Do a quick search online and you will see the many benefits that doing burpees will bring you, such as strengthening your core, working almost every muscle group in the body.
Another activity bound to get your heart racing is doing high knees. All you have to do is bring your knees up to hip level, while keeping the knee close to a 90-degree angle. If you are not sure whether you are bringing your knees up high enough, you can place your hands face-down in front of you and somewhere around the hip level. You would have brought your knees up sufficiently once they contact your open palms.
Apart from this holiday workout, consider going for runs or doing martial arts earlier in the day. Martial arts such as Muay Thai can be cardio-intensive, ensuring you work up a good sweat at each session.
Exercising isn’t a save all, a healthy diet goes a long way in keeping you trim and heart healthy. Take it easy with breakfast – be generous with your fruit intake and balance it with multigrain toast. Keep up the lean focus with your lunch too and you’ll see that the odd feast shouldn’t add to the waistline.
Everything in moderation. Stay fit, stay healthy. Happy Holidays!
FaMA (Fitness and Martial Arts) – a team of friendly professional instructors who are passionate about using Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai and Fitness to improve strength, coordination and flexibility for the whole family.