The holiday season is upon us and with it comes turkey, pasta, pie and all the other sinful delights. It can be hard to maintain a workout regimen during the holidays, and too often we allow ourselves to gain the weight we will soon pledge to work off in the new year.
Instead of letting your health go over the holidays, have your gingerbread house and eat it too! Have yourself a jolly fit holiday by taking on our Holiday Fitness Challenge by Find Your Trainer and HellaWella. Since it’s often too cold to work outside, we’ve included some fun fitness challenges that you can do indoors — even in your own home.
You get a point for every challenge you complete over the course of the holiday season. Don’t worry, there are tons to choose from. The Holiday Fitness Challenge will run from the Monday after Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve: 12/1/2014 - 12/31/2014. End 2014 with a bang by achieving your fitness goals and completing the Holiday Fitness Challenge.
Set your goals before you start so you can measure yourself after the holidays. This is YOUR holiday and YOUR challenge, so set goals that work for you, but be sure to challenge yourself if you want to see results. Set a goal of the minimum number of points you want to earn each week as well as a total end number of points.
There are lots of ways to unlock holiday “gifts” for yourself — after all, it is the season of giving! The holidays are about joy and little pleasures, so treat yourself to that candy apple you’ve been craving or buy yourself some chocolate-covered nuts to snack on. By going above and beyond, you can earn yourself a holiday treat. Here’s how:
There are Holiday Hints in some of the challenges to help you complete your goals during the hustle and bustle of the holidays and travel.
Challenge 1: Complete a one-hour group fitness class.
Challenge 2: Complete 15 laps walking or jogging on the track and 5 laps running. (Holiday Hint: If you are traveling, use the airport as your track!)
Challenge 3: Complete 45 minutes on the treadmill with a slight increase in incline every 5 minutes.
Challenge 4: Run up and down a flight of stairs 10 times. (Holiday Hint: This is a great way to avoid talking to those awkward in-laws at the family get-together.)
Challenge 5: Complete 5 sets of 10 squats with 30-second rests between sets as well as 5 sets of 25 jumping jacks and 10 push-ups with 1 minute rests between sets.
Challenge 6: Walk, run or bike 2 miles. (Holiday Hint: If you still need to do your holiday shopping, head to the mall and get your steps in!)
Challenge 7: Complete 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes on the treadmill.
Challenge 8: Cooking dinner? Do standing push-ups while you wait for water to boil or the oven to preheat. Stand about an arm’s length from the kitchen counter. You can also try chair squats at the kitchen table.
Challenge 9: Jump rope for 10 2-minute intervals (rest 30-60 seconds between intervals) for 30 minutes total.
Challenge 10: Complete 3 sets of 50 push-ups, 50 sit-ups and 50 mountain climbers.
Challenge 11: Do an activity of your choice for one hour. This can include racquetball, tennis, basketball, hiking, etc. (Holiday Hint: Grab the family and start a game of flag football in the yard or go caroling around the neighborhood to fa-la-la your way to fitness.)
Challenge 12: Run or jog 2 miles and at every quarter mile stop and do 15 push-ups.
Challenge 13: Get a workout video for an activity you’ve never tried; yoga or pilates can be great things to switch up your workout and do in your own home.
Challenge 14: 10x10x10 Workout —10 exercises, done 10 times each, for 10 sets— squat jumps, push-ups, crunches, dips, jump tucks, jumping lunges, leg lowers, plank jacks and squat thrusts.
Challenge 15: Before bed or while brushing your teeth, do 5 minutes of heel raises.
Challenge 16: Fit a brisk walk or light jog into your lunch break for 30 minutes.
Challenge 17: Embrace the cold and go on a ski trip or haul the kids up the big hill a few times to make a sledding adventure as beneficial as a jog. After all, you are likely to burn more calories in the cold!
Challenge 18: Try a personal training session to push yourself harder and get some new exercise ideas. (Holiday Hint: If you are looking for things to put on your own Christmas wish list, this is a great idea to help family and friends get you something that will help you reach your goals!)
Challenge 19: Complete our ab routine: 30-second side planks on each side, 60-second plank, 30 sit-ups, 30 side crunches on each side and 60 seconds of bicycle abs. Repeat 3 times.
Challenge 20: 50 jumping jacks, 20 squat jumps, 30 side-to-side hops and 20 burpees with 1 minute of rest between each. Repeat 3 times.
Be sure to share your progress! Share photos of you and your friends completing a Holiday Fitness Challenge with the hashtag #HolidayFYTchallenge. If you blog about the Holiday Fitness Challenge, we’d love to see it! Feel free to share your story on the Find Your Trainer Facebook page and use the hashtag. Bragging rights ensue.
If a trimmed and toned bod isn’t reward enough, Find Your Trainer will also award a $50 prize to the Holiday Fitness Challenge participant with the best use of the #HolidayFYTchallenge hashtag. Whoever has the most creativity, enthusiasm and participation wins!
There is no need to deprive yourself of holiday enjoyments or festivities. Instead, why not see how much you can improve your physique over the holidays, while you continue to enjoy the traditions of the season? Just step up your expectations. Step up your standards. Step up your actions. Step up to our Holiday Fitness Challenge this year.
Joshua R. D. Martin is a graduate of University of Wisconsin (Go Bucky!) and became passionate about fitness and its life-changing benefits in graduate school. He then founded the boutique studio chain Orange Shoe Personal Fitness and now helping the world become a fitter place by connecting fitness professionals and clients as head of sales and marketing at Find Your Trainer.