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Ten Ways to Stay Fit Over the Holiday Season

What's the best form of exercise to keep you fit over the holiday season?  Some you'll actually do.  As long as your fitness program raises your heart rate, includes strength training and is done at least thirty minutes a day five days a week, you are on track to keep your fitness goals even over the holidays.

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 or fitness equipment to stay in shape.  Here are ten simple, effective exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home that can help prevent putting on extra weight this holiday season. 

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.

Push-ups
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, there a total body workout.

Leg Lifts
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.

Crunches
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.

Run, Jog or Skip
This is an exercise you can do while watching TV, doing household chores or just decorating the house for the holidays.  Just have fun, be inventive, creative as if no one is watching you!
Squats
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".

Weights
Household weights that is.  You can get in a good resistance workout by lifting cans of food, milk and water jugs, sacks of flour or even the kids!  You would be amazed at how much weight training equipment is just sitting in your pantry, refrigerator or around the house.

Stairs
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!

Walk
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 it will give you an opportunity to enjoy all the lights and decorations for the holiday season.

Yoga
Yoga is a great total body workout that not only strengthen and tone your muscles but completely stretches you while leaving you energized and relaxed at the same time.  Opt for some yoga videos you can do from home.  Their not expensive, they usually run anywhere from $9 to $16 at Amazon.com.  Just pop a video in one in when you have twenty minutes to an hour to take some time for yourself so you can get out of your mind and back into your body.  Try Ultimate Power Yoga by Rodney Yee.

These are simple exercises anyone can do at home and they work.  Remember, be creative and do what works for you, when you can fit it in here and there.  While you may not be getting a workout on treadmills or elipticals, the end result is the same and you should have a little extra cash this season to go and spend it on holiday gifts, or even treat yourself! 


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