Here come the holidays…Short cut workouts to stay in shape

Even before you can get one Candy Cane finished, your holiday schedule is likely to be packed – especially if you already have some little ones. Our kids’ schedules are usually busier than ours!

Parents usually allow one of the most important things to take a backseat during the holiday: their health. And we’re almost all guilty of it. Whether it results in any noticeable weight gain might not be an issue for you but we’re going to assume that you’re one of the many people who end up feeling less relaxed, less healthy and ultimate ready for a cleanse after the holiday season ends – likely a reason why so many of us jump on the New Years Eve resolution train.

Our early Holiday gift to you this year is time! With these 15-20 minute cardio routines we’re gifting you the chance to stay just a little bit more in control of your health this season. Just please don’t take these short routines as an excuse to treat holiday parties like an all-you-can-eat buffet! They’ll definitely get you sweating but they’re not designed to replace an entire workout. They’re also designed for post-pregnancy though if pregnant and used to working out, you can modify all of these for pregnancy as well (though probably the Mountain Climbers should go!). Take it at your own pace and be sure to drink water throughout. Happy sweating!

Workout 1:

Start with 2 minutes of jumping rope (don’t have a jump rope or it makes too much noise while the kids are asleep? Do 4 sets of 25 jumping jacks with a 10 second pause in between).

Circuit 1: Burpee + Mountain Climber – Complete 10 Burpees (full ones). On your last plank, add in 10 mountain climbers (knees in and out to chest quickly). Jump back up to finish the last burpee and add 10 standing mountain climbers (knees up/also adding in arms).

Circuit 2: Around the world Plank – Hold side plank on your left side (full with both legs extended or modified with your bottom knee down) for 30 seconds. Rotate to plank (on both hands, modified with knees down if you need to) for another 30 seconds. Then rotate to your right side for another side plank for 30 seconds. Finish by returning to plank for another 30 seconds.

Circuit 3: Curtsy Squat + Side Crunch – Start with your feet hips distance apart, right hand on your hip and left hand straight up towards the ceiling. Bring your left foot behind your right as if you were going to do a curtsy. Bend both knees, squatting down until your left knee almost touches the ground. Come back up, bringing your left knee up and out to the side, while also bringing your left elbow down towards it (doing a standing side crunch). Repeat 15 on each side.

Round out the set with another 2 minutes of jump rope or with your jumping jacks. Then take each circuit again (and then again for a full 3 set workout).

Workout 2 (outdoors option): 

Short jog to warm up (5 minutes). If you are unable to go outside, trying running in place or try a mix of jumping jacks, high knees up and side steps (think, old school Step Aerobics classes)

Circuit 1: Lunges – choose a landmark, like a tree or a curb in the distance and lunge your way there and back. Time yourself so you do about 2 minutes of lunges. If you’re unable to be outdoors (maybe the kiddies took an unexpected nap!) just lunge in place, switching your legs each time. Add your arms in by bicep curling (with or without weights) or if space allows, lifting them out to the side.

Circuit 2:  Dips + Side Plank – Find a sturdy chair or bench and take a seat. Place your hands on the bench, fingers facing down towards the ground. Scoot your feet forwards but always at hips distance apart. Scoot your bum forward and off the bench. Bending at the elbows, lift and lower yourself for 10 dips.  If you’re more advanced, you can straighten your legs. On your last dip, lift yourself up and over to your left side for a side plank (if you’re on a chair, be careful you don’t push it out from under you!). Repeat 10 more dips and then side plank to the right.

Circuit 3: Squat Jump + Push Up Cycle – Start with 8 jump squats (squat and then jump 180 degrees to squat again) and then jump down for 8 push-ups. Jump up and complete 6 jump squats. Then complete 6 push-ups. Keep moving down (4, 2, 1) and then if you dare, work your way back up to 8.

Finish the circuit with another easy run or indoor cardio mix of jumping jacks/high knees/side steps and then repeat all 3 circuits again. If you’re really looking to sweat, do all circuits twice more.