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3 Effective Post-Holiday Workouts


Don’t Let Holiday Feasts Wreck Your Workout Routine

It’s the holiday season – and that means pumpkin pie, stuffing, loads of mashed potatoes and gravy and, of course, turkey. This year, although your family gatherings were probably be a little smaller (or they might even be through Zoom), some things will never change – great food, football, and…. skipping your workouts for the next few days.

But instead of watching your treadmill accumulate dust while finishing off a turkey sandwich and pre-Christmas cookies, this year you can start working off that pumpkin pie with these three great post-thanksgiving workouts. These workouts are perfect for the day after a holiday to get your body back into workout mode.

Don’t be too crazy obsessed about calories for your holiday meal – after all, this season only comes once a year. But, don’t let your cheat meal turn into a cheat week, and make sure to get moving and do something active the day after your festivities.

We’ve prepared three great workout options to help you get moving and start burning off all those holiday calories.

The Most Effective Workout for Burning Fat

By now, you probably know that the most effective workouts for burning fat (especially abdominal body fat) are HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. Scientists have discovered that HIIT workouts are super effective in decreasing belly fat – and the workouts don’t have to be that long, either (1).

For an effective HIIT workout, do 5 cycles of 1 or 2 minutes intense exercise, then 3 minutes active rest. The key to HIIT workouts is the level of intensity. The shorter the interval time, the more intense it should be.

And you can do any time of exercise – on the treadmill, on the elliptical or on the stationary bike. Very Well Fit says “Choose your favorite activity for the workout; just about anything works. If you are a runner, you might complete your workout at a sprint track. If you enjoy cycling, you can do interval bike training for weight loss. You can do intervals on stairs, with a jump rope or even by dancing in place. The intensity matters more than the mode.” (2)

Workout #1 – 20 minute HIIT workout

For a great HIIT workout, just follow this formula:

(1-2 minutes intense exercise + 3 minutes rest) x5 cycles

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Horizon EX-59 – A great entry level elliptical for those on a budget.

You can choose to use your elliptical, treadmill, or stationary bike – all you have to do is increase the resistance or speed during the two intense exercise minutes.

This is a great way to do a quick workout that is super effective. Believe me, you’ll work up a sweat with this one. 

What’s the best machine for HIIT workouts?

Make sure to do a good 5-10 minute warm up with a couple stretches before jumping into your HIIT workout – it’s intense, so make sure your body is ready.

Workout #2 – Spartan Post-Holiday Rounds

If you’re looking for a real calorie burner, this one’s for you. Spartan has created a great rounds workout that requires no equipment but is guaranteed to get your heart rate going. If you’ve heard of Spartan races, you know they are serious about their workouts.

Spartan races are not your normal 5K, they’re full-body obstacle races that push you to your absolute limit. Training for a Spartan race is no easy challenge, and this workout is sure to push you to your limits.

This workout burns about 100 calories per round – that’s 500 calories if you do it 5 times through – that is, if you make it to round 5. So here it is:

50 Jumping Jacks + 40 Butterfly Crunches +

30 Squats + 20 Push-ups + 10 Jump Squats

Make sure to have your water bottle nearby and to do a thorough cool down after this one. For Spartan’s full workout plan, check out their article here (3). Make sure to not overdo it with this one – here’s how you can know when you are overdoing it.

Workout #3 – Jump Rope Fun

Did you know jump roping makes you smarter? Yep, it’s true. Jump roping develops both the right and left sides of your brain and “enhances spacial awareness, improves reading skills, increases memory and makes you more mentally alert.” (4)

And, it’s great for your heart health, it makes your bones stronger, decreases foot and ankle injuries, and it burns a TON of calories – up to 1,300 per hour! (4)

That’s why we found a super effective jump rope workout for you – perfect to burn major calories. It’s 3 rounds of 5 minutes for a total of 15 minutes – and all you need is a jump rope and a little bit of space. Here it is:

Jump rope (45 seconds normal speed, 15 seconds fast)

Push-ups (1 minute)

Jump rope (45 seconds normal speed, 15 seconds fast)

Squats (1 minute)

Jump rope (45 seconds normal speed, 15 seconds fast)

Make sure to rest for one minute between rounds, and if you’d like, you can customize it a little bit and switch out the pushups for sit-ups and the squats for plank for a great abdominal workout as well. 

The Most Important Workout of All

Don’t be intimidated by these workouts – the most important workout of all is the one you decide to do. It doesn’t matter what you choose, as long as you get up and get moving. The hardest part is getting started – so make sure to get up off the couch the day after a holiday feast and start working off that pumpkin pie!

Even a solid 30-minute walk on the treadmill, a 20-minute moderate stationary bike workout, or even just 15 minutes of jump rope will get your body back into workout mode. That way, next week you’ll be more prepared to jump back into your workout routine.

During the holiday season it can be difficult to keep your workout routine on track, but with these three effective workouts, you’ll be able to achieve your fitness goals while enjoying the holidays.   

Only have a few minutes? Check out our shorter exercise recommendations

Sources

1 HIIT Workouts and Fat Loss Study – HIIT workouts are extremely effective for fat loss

2 Burn More Fat With A HIIT Workout – How to create a great custom HIIT workout

3 Spartan Thanksgiving Workouts – Check out these intense spartan home workouts

4 Benefits of Jump Roping – Did you know jump roping makes you smarter?

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