We all feel sluggish after eating thousands of calories at the Thanksgiving table. But you can enjoy your meal without fearing the mirror on Monday. Here's how to do it -- even if you're snowbound at the in-laws without a gym nearby.
Thursday after dinner:
Get up and move! If you’ve gorged yourself to the point where you're undoing the button on your jeans (we’ve all been there), resist the urge to go take a nap. Instead, go for a walk around the neighborhood, play catch or tag with the kids or go for a bike ride. If the weather is trapping you inside, turn on some music and dance with your kids or run up and down the flight of stairs a few times. Have a toddler running around? How about some "shoulder presses" by lifting them up in the air 10 times?You’ll be getting a great upper body workout while they are laughing
and having a blast. Whatever you choose to do tonight, keep it fun and
involve the whole family. Everyone will thank you.
Are you going to check out the Black Friday deals? Before you start your shopping extravaganza, take a brisk lap or two around the mall to burn extra calories. When you get home, refuse the large helping of mashed potatoes and gravy your mother-in-law is begging you to eat and go for a jog. Better yet, include some interval training where you sprint for 30 seconds and then walk for 1 minute for 20-30 minutes. Or jog in place quickly for a minute and then break for 30 seconds. Interval training is the best method for losing fat. Its secret to success is not in how many calories you burn during the routines, but rather on how many you burn after the exercise. It’s a great way to rev the metabolism and get you through the weekend until you’re back on your regular routine.
And if you're snowed in, take advantage. Shoveling snow can burn up to 250 calories in 30 minutes! When you’re done, build a snowman to burn an extra 285 calories per hour or have a snowball fight to burn up to 300 calories! Also, someone has to clean up that mess from last night. Don’t underestimate the calorie burn you’ll get in 30 minutes from vacuuming (120 calories), washing dishes (75 calories) or mopping the floors (150 calories).
Feeling ready for a more intense workout? Here is a routine that does not require any equipment and only uses your body weight. Working against your own weight is the most natural way to train, and it is extremely effective at getting you in shape. Throw in a few interval sprints at the end and you’ve given yourself a great all-around workout in 30 minutes or less.
Perform 15 repetitions per exercise. Do not rest until you finish the last exercise, rest one minute and repeat three times.
1. Inch Worms
Begin in a push up position then walk your feat towards your hands, keeping your legs straight. Once your feet meet your hands, walk your hands back into a push up position.
2. Body squats
Stand in front of the couch, legs shoulder width apart and toes pointed forward. Keeping your back straight and feet planted firmly on the floor, slowly squat down, keeping your knees in line with your toes and sticking your rear out. Once you touch the couch, stand up and repeat.
No explanation needed, right? Right.
4. One arm row
Don’t have any weights? Use a small suitcase.
5. Plank jacks
Begin in a push-up position with your shoulders over your wrists and your body in a straight line, feet together. While keeping your upper body stable and engaging your abs, begin doing jumping jacks with your legs, hopping them wide then hop them together. Jump as quickly as you can. These will not only get your heart rate up but is also a great ab workout.
Keep it simple and focus on form, not speed.
7. Arm circles
Before you roll your eyes and pass these off as too easy, give them a try. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended straight out to sides at shoulder height. Make small circles going forward for 30 seconds, then reverse for 30 seconds. If you want, grab a canned good out of the pantry for some extra weight.
8. Plank Get-Ups
Begin in a plank position on your forearms. Holding your core tight, lift yourself up onto one hand then the other so you’re in a push up position, then lower yourself back down, one arm at a time. This is a lot tougher than it looks, so be patient.
9. Squat jumps
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing straight forward. Bring your arms loosely to your sides. Squat down by bending your knees and reaching your hips back as if you are going to sit down in a chair behind you. Throw your arms up in the air and jump as high as you can. Land softly in the same spot you jumped from. Bend your knees as your land to protect your knee joints.
10.Plank hip drops
Start in a plank position on your forearms and toes. Twist your torso so your right side drops down to the floor, then twist to the other side. Talk about a great ab workout. These will get your abs feeling like they’re on fire in no time.
Follow these steps, and you'll surely spend less time regretting all those calories. And even if you can't follow them to the letter, do your best to keep actively moving around. The temptation to stuff your face and fall asleep will be present all weekend, but you can fight an expanding waistline with just a few minutes each day. Then you can walk tall on Monday when everyone else is full of feast remorse.
Lauren Giles is a certified personal trainer. For more of her routines and recipes, click here.
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