StyleFit Ambassador, Kate Mac, Shares How to Stay Motivated During the Festive Season with Her Christmas Inspired Workouts.
I know, just because you add the word ‘Christmas’ or ‘Holiday’ in front of the word ‘workout’ doesn’t fool you… Or does it? Yes, it is still a workout but it sounds better right?
There are 2 major roadblocks when it comes to working out during the holiday season, in fact in Perth – there are 3.
Christmas parties – hangovers and indulgent food! (But so worth it right?)
Time – the kids are off school so that exercise regime may be put out of whack.
The heat! – Perth heat is a big factor. If you love exercising outside it can be a bit of turn off when it is boiling hot outside or for some it may be more enticing, everyone is a sucker for punishment in different ways
So, how do we combat this?
- My last article covered how to keep these at bay! (see here)
- Shorter, more effective workouts that the kids could even do with you.
- Working out inside using a little space in your home.
On the upside – being on holidays and having such nice weather here in Perth can actually result in unintended exercise! Hear me out. There’s more time for beach walks and running around after kids, bike rides, water sports like surfing, swimming, boating (have you ever tried water skiing or wakeboarding? It’s a killer workout without even knowing!) If you’re like me, you might also gravitate to lighter food options when it’s hot. For example, crisp cold salads instead of hot chips, cold pressed juices instead of coffee, even a vodka soda instead of red wine! If you listen to your body, you will most likely instinctively choose healthier options without even realising it. It’s what we naturally crave living in a hot climate so when ordering out, give yourself a second to acknowledge what you are craving or what your body needs (usually hydration!) Anyway, I digress… Let’s get back to working out.
For me, the only way I stay consistent during the festive season is by keeping it short and getting it out of the way in the morning. Get your stuff out the night before – your mat, equipment, your exercise gear so it’s all there just to chuck on and get to it. If you have a space in your house where you can keep it set up, then I highly recommend it. I have a yoga mat set up in my study, some weights, a chair and some resistance bands and that’s all I need – it’s literally 2.5 metres of space and nothing fancy. You can buy weights (get a set of 1, 2 & 4kg weights and one larger 10-12kg weight or kettlebell) and bands from Rebel Sport at Claremont Quarter and as far activewear goes there are clearly plenty of options there too! (For some extra motivation buy yourself some new activewear at the start of the festive season!)
There are so many workouts online to follow and it can get overwhelming trying to choose which one to do or what might suit you. My main routine I follow is 3 strength workouts a week (20-30 minutes). Monday – Full body workout, Wednesday – Upper body workout, Friday – lower body workout. If I can stick to that I’m happy but, I often like to do a few more throughout the week whether that be a long walk with a friend, perhaps getting to a gym class, another quick online workout or doing an outdoor activity to change things up. Another great motivator is having a Fitbit or an Apple Watch or just something to keep track of your movement. There is such a weird sense of accomplishment in ‘closing that exercise ring’ or hitting your ‘desired steps’ for the day and it really does make a huge difference, we’re not looking to lose weight over the festive season, we’re looking to maintain and feel good amongst the indulgencies.
Something quick to note is that I’ve really enjoyed doing the Kayla Itsines program throughout my pregnancy – it has been perfect for each trimester (it’s also great for non-pregnant people too may I add.) I’ve tried and tested a lot of online apps and programs and this one has kept me consistent, and I’ve really enjoyed the way the app works and tells you exactly what to do. Even as someone who has created online workout programs myself, amongst work, mothering and everyday life not having to think about what exercises to do is one thing off my plate and I’ve felt and seen the results. If you’re needing something to get you started download the SWEAT app and select a program that works for you.
But, to get you started here’s a great mini-workout that I’ve tried over the last month or so and really enjoyed! I even got my fiancé doing some of them with me, having a workout buddy does help you keep accountable too.
Ever heard of the 12 days of Christmas workout? It’s quick and a bit of fun, you can even put on some carols with the kids and get them to do it with you for a laugh. The song itself starts with the 1st day of Christmas but in this instance, we’re going to start on the 12th day and go down from there. Each day resembles the number of reps (or look at the time given to complete them) and has a different exercise to complete. By the time you have finished, you will have done around 650 total reps without even realising! This is where it gets a little confusing – you don’t run all the way through from 12 to 1 and start again, you do it in pyramid style. (See table below)
So, it looks like this.
Round 1 = 12 squats.
Round 2 = 12 squats, 1 minute butt kicks.
Round 3 = 12 squats, 1 minute of butt kicks, 10 crunches.
Round 4 = 12 squats, 1 minute butt kicks, 10 crunches, 9 mountain climbers – etc and work your way down. So, each round starts from the top with 12 squats again.
Every day you do this you can change up the exercises to target a certain area (upper body/ lower body) or do the same ones! It’s really satisfying to time yourself and keep with the same exercises to see your improvement. If it starts to get a little easier, pick up a weight and add it to your squats and side lunges or get your knees off the floor in your push ups and extend the length of time doing the exercises within a time frame. There are plenty of ways to push yourself a little further when you are ready.
So, here’s my take on a full body 12 days of Christmas workout, get this into your weeks throughout the festive season and you’ll really feel the difference but also be kind to yourself, enjoy the family time, the holidays and give your body a well-earned rest after a big year too. Balance is key! Merry Christmas!
FULL BODY 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS WORKOUT
12 x Squats
High knees or butt kicks (1 minute)
10 x Crunches
9 x Mountain climbers
8 x Frog jumps
Chair dips (you’ll need a chair or a ledge)
6 x side lunges (both sides)
5 x 20 seconds of laying down bicycle crunches
4 x Burpees with full push up
V-sits (30 seconds)
Push ups on knees or wall (30 seconds)
1 minute plank hold