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Tips to maximize fitness and fun during the holidays

Friday, December 18, 2015 by Sandy Reimer

Shopping, parties, baking, and wrapping. The holiday season is filled with excitement and, for most of us, a routine that is anything but normal.

During the holidays, taking time each day for yourself is essential to thriving and feeling energized. This isn't the time of year to abandon your workouts; instead see them as a way to get all the joy the season can bring. It's easy to fit in fitness between and during winter holiday activities.

After a long day of shopping, it’s not uncommon for your shoulders and low back to get sore. This when you need to stretch! Here’s a favorite: Lay on your back, hug your knees to your chest and breathe in. After 10–20 seconds you’ll start to relax as you stretch your low back and glutes. Then do two or three more of your favorite stretches and you’ll be ready for the next thing that comes up.

Before your holiday party or big holiday dinner, do a quick high-intensity workout. An intense workout will leave you burning more calories for hours after—the perfect solution to keeping off those few extra pounds. An Health+Fitness favourite is the Tabata format: Repeat 8 cycles of each exercise alternating between 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. (This format is really easy to do when you download a Tabata timer app on your smartphone)

Here're some ideas for a Tabata-inspired workout:  

  • squats
  • bridge with chest press
  • mountain climbers
  • lunges
  • pushups
  • reverse crunches. 

In the kitchen baking and preparing, throw on some holiday music and dance about. It’s time for joy!

To keep you focused, we’ve created the 12 Workouts of the Holidays challenge: 12 days, 12 workouts, from December 20 to 31.  

Visit our Facebook page each day and share your workout with us. Tell us about it, or post a picture of you in action. All exercise counts! Walk, run, do yoga, dance, stretch, meditate, get outdoors and walk/bike on the Seawall, or head up to the mountains and snowshoe and ski. Keep us posted. Take the challenge and we promise you'll ring in the new year feeling strong and balanced!

On behalf of the entire Health+Fitness team, we wish you all the very best this holiday season!

Looking to get in shape and have fun? The YWCA Health + Fitness Centre is a 30,000 square-foot co-ed fitness facility and pool located in the heart of downtown Vancouver. We offer a friendly, supportive and health-focused environment, with the latest equipment, great group fitness classes and knowledgeable instructors.