Lt. Cmdr. Austin Latour, an exercise physiologist, offers tips to encourage readers to maintain a physical fitness routine this holiday season.
Holiday parties, shopping, and family will be keeping everyone busy throughout the holidays, but don’t let your physical fitness fall to the wayside. To combat decreased activity levels this month and throughout the colder winter temperatures, here are a few tips to help you prioritize a fun fitness routine and maintain healthy stress levels.
- Set a routine. Exercising early in the day will get you energized for the rest of the day’s events and help you feel more prepared for those unexpected social events that may pop up, such as a holiday cookie exchange. You can exercise at your local MWR fitness center or carve out a small area in your home to complete bodyweight exercises.
- Maintain accountability. Find a partner to workout with you… someone who is a positive influence and committed to a similar fitness routine.
- Rethink your strategy. A workout can be performed with minimal equipment, and you don’t have to complete a one-hour workout every day. In fact, a shorter, yet more effective, workout can be performed at a higher intensity level. Balancing high-intensity workouts with low-intensity workouts will decrease boredom and allow you to work around your busy schedule. Here is a quick, high-intensity workout that requires a minimal amount of equipment and space.
For 20 minutes (complete as many rounds as possible*):
Plank for 25 seconds
Remember that exercise should never be painful. Follow the instruction of your medical professional. If you have a certain injury, substitute a different exercise that accommodates your specific situation. Have fun and don’t be afraid to perform exercises you have never done before. Moving out of your comfort zone will enhance your fitness level and help you keep an even keel this holiday season and beyond!
* Exercises and repetitions can be changed to fit your needs. Count how many rounds you can do in 20 minutes and try to beat that score 2-3 weeks later. Push yourself as this should be completed at high intensity with minimal rest.