Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Getting Ready For The Season's Eating!

As of today I have lost 16lbs. since I started on my Luscious Dare. I plan to continue losing more with the proper diet and the exercise I have added to my daily routine. Moreover, I am unafraid and unfazed at the temptations I'd have to face with the upcoming holidays :D
It's important to stay fit ESPECIALLY during the holidays with its parties, holiday food and generous gifts of sweets and Holiday goodies. There's really no need to fast or keep yourself from enjoying what the season has to offer. What's important is only putting on your plate what you really want to eat and can finish. You can always go back for seconds anyway, but bear in mind that you should eat in moderation and only until you're full.

Also, don't let your exercise routine go on holiday either! From my friend Jessica at Gymsource, here are 10 Easy Exercises we can do to enjoy the holidays and not regret it after!
So, what's the best form of exercise? The one you'll actually do!

As long as your fitness program:

A. Raises your heart rate

B. Has a strength training component

C. And is done at least thirty minutes a day five days a week – you'll experience significant health benefits.

Variety is the spice of life; it keeps you motivated and works better for your body by working different muscle groups. You don't need to go to a gym and use fitness equipment. In fact, here are ten simple, yet effective exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home that can help prevent putting on holiday weight:

1. Take a Hike/Stroll

It's also simple, low-impact and easy on the joints – just put on a comfortable pair of shoes, step outside and walk at a fairly brisk pace around your neighborhood. It's a great way to clear the head and improve your mood – it may be cold, but will give you an opportunity to enjoy all the lights and decorations for the holiday season. 
If you have babies like I do, break out the stroller and push away at the nearest park. It'll give you the chance to show your kids what the world looks like during Christmas season. Just be sure to bundle up the little ones, pack biscuits and water, hand sanitizers and wipes. (Oh, diapers too!)
2. Jump!

Act like your kids on Christmas morning! Jump up and down, or do some jumping jacks. They're a great way to get the heart pumping and the limbs loosened up. 15-20 repetitions with a minute or two of rest between sets for thirty minutes should be sufficient. This will increase endurance and work on toning your thighs.
Jump with your hyperactive toddler or let her do the counting with you. It's a great way to teach her how to count!
3. "Drop and Give Me 20, Soldier!" 
While the babies are playing on the floor, you can join them by having your own floor time workout.  
Push-ups confer all the same strength-training benefits of bench presses with barbells – without the risk of handling heavy weights and need for a "spotter." You can adjust the intensity by elevating your feet. Push-ups do more than work your arms, they are a total body workout.
4. Lift That Leg

This provides a strength training workout for the thighs and adductors (muscles that attach the upper leg to the hip). If you can't manage leg lifts with a straight leg, bend the knee. I actually do this while breastfeeding Olly, sitting in the rocking chair or lying on either side on the bed.

5. Washboard Abs?

You may not get "ripped" by doing crunches, but you'll definitely work your ab muscles – and this will award real benefits to your back as well, and you will see an improvement in toning your abs.

6. You Can Keep Running In Place...

...and you should. This is an exercise you can do while watching TV, making the "boob tube" actually good for something. You can also do it while stringing popcorn on the string for the tree.

7. The Squatters...

No, we don't mean settling land that isn't yours – it's what you do every time you sit in and get up from a chair. Just do it several times until you "feel the burn...", and for added weight training, you can do it while you carry the baby around. I do this every time with Olly and she falls asleep to the rhythmic motion.

8. Household Weight Equipment

Cans of food, milk and water jugs, sacks of flour (even the baby!) – you'd be amazed at how much weight training equipment is just sitting in your pantry or refrigerator. (Who knew your could actually lose weight with using your holiday baking ingredients?)
I actually use two cans of corned beef and a can of luncheon meat in a plastic bag as weights. They don't sound like much but after a few reps and sets, it's what my aching muscles would call a "heavy meal"!

9. Roll Up The Carpet

The latest craze is dancing off the weight, but not all of us can get to the classes when they are offered and the videos cost more than Christmas. Instead roll up the carpet, and crack up the tunes, whether it's Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas" or whatever is on the radio, dancing will increase your aerobic hear rate, and help with endurance training.
My three year old Oona is the best dancing partner anyone can ask for. She's just a bundle of infectious energy and joy that it's impossible to feel tired when you're dancing along with her. You keep laughing too so that's an added lung workout!

10. Steppin' Up

Finally, you don't have to buy a bench step and sign up for a step class to do step. Chances are you've got a step or two around your home. So while those cookies are in the oven, run the stairs a few times. The timers will make great intervals and keep you fit while baking!
Again, doing this with Olly every time. She's kept amused by Mommy bouncing up and down, I get added weight training, and Oona can play with her towers in peace (Olly loves toppling things now as much as Oona loves piling her blocks as high as they can go).

The fact of the matter is, that all of these are not difficult, and do not require patience, or a long drawn out explanation. They are simple and they WORK. So maybe you aren't getting fit on treadmills, or ellipticals, but the end result is the same and you will have a lot of extra cash to go and spend it on holiday gifts, or a treat for yourself!
There are really a lot of ways to fit getting fit into your schedule. It's really just up to you to decide what you want for yourself. I really want to be healthier and physically fit to enjoy my children's childhood with them, that's why I'm doing this. It's not an overnight thing, but keeping at it really works. That, for me, is the best holiday gift ever!

Happy FIT Holidays! ;D