How to stay fit during pre-Christmas time?

We’re moving into a very busy time – Christmas. For some of us, pre-Christmas time means a lot of preparation including a lot of running around, shopping for presents, baking for our Christmas table, and also trying to do a lot of work prior to chilling out with our family and friends. It can also mean we start skipping our regular exercise routines, even though this is exactly the time when we need a lot of energy to help get it all done. Maintaining your regular exercise routine will also boost your metabolism, so you can afford that extra treat during Christmas.

To help with your Christmas preparation, I thought it might be handy to have a 20 minute workout ready when you do get that spare moment or two…

1. SPINE STRETCH

SET-UP: sitting on the floor with spine in neutral and straight legs; feet are flexed and shoulders width apart; arms parallel with palms facing each other

MOVEMENT: inhale deeply – to prepare; exhale roll down with spine articulation (one vertebrae at a time); inhale – to pause; exhale re-stack the spine vertebrae to sitting-up position

 2. SIDE TO SIDE

SET-UP: lying on the floor on your back with arms in T position and palms facing down; legs in tabletop position (hips/knees in alignment)

MOVEMENT: inhale deeply – lower legs to one side; exhale – gently draw abdominals in and return to legs to tabletop position; repeat on the other side.

 3. DEAD BUG

SET-UP: lying on your back with spine in neutral and with bent knees; arms on the floor and 45 degrees from the body

MOVEMENT: exhale lift one leg up (from hip joint) keeping the same knee level; inhale – lower leg down; repeat on the other side.

4. HUNDRED

SET-UP: lying on your back with legs in tabletop position (hips/knees in alignment); exhale lift arms (to the side of the body), head and chest

MOVEMENT – arms pump up and down in small motion

 5. SIDE KICK

SET-UP: lying on one side with one elbow bent underneath of the body (elbow/shoulder in alignment); legs together and slightly in front of the body

MOVEMENT: on the exhale – lift top leg slightly above hip height; inhale – flex with swing top leg forward; exhale – point toes and swing top leg back

6. SWIMMING

SET-UP: lying face down with arms overhead and on the floor; exhale – lift all extremities, head and chest off the floor

MOVEMENT: inhale – lift opposite arm/leg for four counts and the exhale – lift opposite arm/leg for four counts

7. PUSH UP (kneeling)

SET-UP: start from the plank position (hands on the floor in alignment with shoulders; hips lifted off the floor; straight legs with heels pulling down) – bent knees; elbow creases forward

MOVEMENT: inhale – bend elbows; exhale – extend elbows and lift pelvis upward; walk hands toward the feet and roll up; inhale – prepare; exhale – roll down and walk hands forward to the starting position – drop on your knees and repeat the movement from the beginning

8. SEAL

SET-UP: sitting with bend legs; lift both legs off the floor while you place arms under legs and on top of ankles; gently draw in the abdominals

MOVEMENT: inhale roll back and clap feet three times; exhale – roll up to starting position and clap feet three times

9. DOUBLE LEG KICK

SET-UP: lying face down with straight legs (together); interlock fingers behind back and hold elbows on the mat; turn your face to rest on one of your cheeks

MOVEMENT: exhale – bend both legs and kick three times; inhale – extend the back and straightening the arms/legs; lower the body and rest on the other cheek

10. STANDING ROLL DOWN

SET-UP: standing with feet hip distance apart; spine in neutral and hips/knees in alignment

MOVEMENT: inhale – prepare; exhale – roll down with spine articulation; gently draw abdominals in; inhale – prepare; exhale – roll back re-stacking the vertebrae on top of each other

Muscle focus – abdominals, back extensors, triceps

The key objectives of these exercises are: spinal articulation, trunk stabilisation, hamstring control and stretch, spinal rotation, pelvic lumbar stabilisation, abdominal control, obliques endurance, hip disassociation, hip flexor and extensor stretch, back extensors strength, scapulae stabilisation, mind and body coordination, elbow and pectoral strength

This workout is short and challenging enough for any fitness level, and you’ll feel great afterwards. I’d like to suggest that you repeat each exercise four to six times and perform this routine three to four times per week. That comes to 60 to 80 minutes per week. Wow, that’s not much and you’ll be surprised how energised you’ll feel afterwards.

Leave us a comment and ask any questions about the our suggested exercise routine. Sometimes it’s good to see the exercises demonstrated – we’d love to help you start your Christmas exercise routine, so just get in touch!