While I was 12, my parents separated and my mom became a single parent to two preteens. Judy worked full-time and took care of everything at home. Now that I’m middle-aged, I have a greater appreciation for her habits and the choices she made while I was growing up. A few lessons stand out as I look back from 40-something years old.
It’s mid-November and I’ve heard a couple of clients lament the stress they feel building due to the upcoming holidays. As a personal trainer/coach, I don’t want you experiencing holiday-related stress that impacts your health, happiness and overall well-being. It’s supposed to be the happiest time of year, after all. Only sometimes, it isn’t, right? Added expectations and obligations amount to added stress. And the holidays are full of both! We’ve got expectations for amazing home décor and gifts, home-cooked meals and baked goodies, obligations to attend gatherings and give charitably. If we're being honest, often these expectations and obligations are self-applied! We can’t forget the potential winter time weather and travel woes. Then there’s the challenge of familial strain or conflicts that seem to only come up on Thanksgiving or Christmas. (Deciding where you’ll spend the holidays is always a fun one!) The stress is almost palpable.
It’s easy to get caught up in the negative feelings by imaging all the scenarios that haven’t even happened yet or recalling the disasters of holidays past. The good news is that you can get a handle on some of the tasks that are stressing you, right now. You may not be able to extinguish every ounce of stress but you can certainly manage it and spend more of this season in enjoyment rather than worry.
Hectic Holiday Circuit
What you need:
Moderate weight dumbbells and a timer
How do it:
After a 5 minute dynamic full body warm-up, perform each exercise for 1 minute. Move to next exercise with little to no rest. Repeat circuit 3 to 4 times with 1 to 2 minute rest between rounds. Cool down & stretch!
Hide the Gifts It's as if you are leaning and reaching to place a gift on a low shelf....Perform alternating Single Leg RDL with reach
Chop the Wood Hold one dumbbell with both hands and perform a high to low wood chop. Switch sides after 30 seconds.
Drink the Coffee Pick up both dumbbells, hold a wall sit while doing alternating hammer curls.
Climb the Ladder Think high knees with alternating reaches to the ceiling. Right arm up, left knee up then left arm up, right knee up. Do slow with full range of motion or go for speed!
Top the Tree Pick up both dumbbells again. Perform a squat with weights near shoulders and as you return to standing, press one weight up overhead to full extension of arm. Back into squat, push other weight overhead. Repeat.
Around the World Front lunge, lateral lunge, reverse lunge. Switch legs. Repeat for time. Hold a dumbbell in each hand for little more challenge.
The Home Alone Workout
Sometimes a quick themed at-home workout is all you need to reignite your motivation mojo through the holiday season!