‘Tis the season for holiday treats, days off work and thus more opportunities to get in some time for yourself that gets the endorphins going! Below are some of the best 30-minute cardio and conditioning exercises to squeeze in during the holiday break.
Ready for Kris Kringle’s Kick Butt Cardio?
You can spot the stair-climber machine at most Youfit locations! It ironically resembles a flight of stairs and is fantastic for fat burning.
• Workout Tip: Start at a moderate or comfortable intensity for 2 minutes. Once the 2 minutes are up, slowly step off the machine onto the floor and complete 10 squats, then repeat for 5 rounds. You can also alternate squats with other exercises like push-ups, planks, jumping jacks and mountain climbers.
• As an alternative to the stair climber, use an aerobic step board or a stairwell for an awesome at-home workout!
A cycling bike is another popular machine found at our gyms. Hop on and start pedaling at different resistance levels to sweat off those Christmas cookies.
• Workout Tip: Pedal as hard and as fast as you can for 5 minutes. Once you’ve hit 5 minutes and if you still have some energy left, hop off the bike and do high knees for 20 reps (2 high knees = 1 rep). You can also switch out high knees for butt kicks,
reverse lunges, and/or planks. After 20 reps, hop back on the cycler for a total of 5 rounds.
• Note: We want to stay in that fat burning zone, so keep the reps fast (but controlled) with your core engaged.
HIIT Circuit: There’s nothing like a round of quick easy movements to get your heart rate up! HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, which involves 1-2 minutes of exercise paired with 30-45 seconds of rest. Here’s your holiday HIIT workout:
This is a great way to bring the family together after dinner to help your food digest, or even a great way to get some “you” time in after a full day with your loved ones.
Workout Tip: Start with a light fast pace walk or jog. At the start of your walk/jog, increase your speed and intensity in 30-second intervals with 30 second rest between each round. Repeat for for 20-30 minutes total, taking water breaks when needed.
With any exercise or cardio training, you should hydrate beforehand and eat a light snack at least 1 hour before your workout. Also, bring a workout partner and listen to your body. If you start to feel any type of dizziness or faint, stop and let your partner know. Do not push beyond your physical capacity.
If the weather is cold in your area and you plan to workout outside, try wearing dri-fit clothing and a hat to cover your head. Dri-fit is great for cold weather and keeps your clothes dry, unlike cotton clothes which are better suited for warmer climates.
At Youfit, we know the holidays are a mixed bag. With days off work and delicious one-time-a-year delicacies comes holiday visitors taking over the house, overcrowded stores and finding time to actually cook up those holiday treats. But everyone, especially YOU, deserves at least 30 minutes to take care of yourself. It’s the only way to truly take care of others! Welcome to the most wonderful time of year, and happy holidays from Youfit!