May your days be merry, your scale be forgiving and your body stay fit. A little indulgence and a few extra parties do not have to ruin your goals to maintain a lean, toned figure. Just like your fitness plan you have during the rest of the year, be accountable for making time for you during the holidays to decompress, sweat and relax. Try exercising early in the morning so it does not interfere with your schedule. An early alarm may encourage you to slip out of a party a bit early to put down that extra drink or snack.
Pilates, barre and yoga are often one-hour classes that can help center yourself, turn off your busy mind, get focused and feel grounded during the craziness, fun and chaos of the holidays. These types of exercises are also easy to do at home. Try these Pilates and barre exercises to keep your body fit for those holiday attire and be New Year-ready for your happiest and healthiest holiday season yet.
Get your legs, glutes, back, shoulders and arms firm with one plank series:
Start with your palms spread wide, arms strong and straight, shoulders over your wrist, belly button pulled to your spine, heels pulling to the back of the room, with the crown of your head pulling to the front. Hold for 10 counts. Pull the right knee to the right elbow. Pull the left knee to the left elbow. Pull the right knee to the left elbow. Pull the left knee to the right elbow. (That’s one rep.) Repeat 10 times: right to right, left to left, right to left, left to right.
Lay on your back, shoulders raised, legs bent at a 90-degree angle, with hands behind the head. Curl up slowly using your breath for 30 seconds. Extend your right leg to the ceiling, left leg toward the floor, with hands behind your head. Curl up slowly, continue to use your breath for 30 seconds. Reach your arms by your side on the ground. Take the right heel and lengthen it down to touch the left toes 10 times. Switch starting with the left leg extended to the ceiling for 30 seconds, followed by 10 single leg drops.
End with 30 seconds of bicycles. Bring the opposite elbow to knee, twisting through the core, engaging the obliques.
Long lean legs:
Holding onto a chair or counter, place feet in a narrow “V” shape. Keeping the heels glued, rise onto the balls of your feet and bend the knees as if you were sitting in a chair. Bend and move down an inch then up an inch 10 times. Hold; squeeze the knees toward each other 10 times. Hold; press the knees back 10 times. Repeat with three more sets.
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