December Fitness Challenges- How to Stay Active During the Holiday Season

December Fitness Challenges: How to Stay Active During the Holiday Season

Ho-ho-ho, the holidays are here! 

‘Tis the season of visiting relatives, party planning, and White Elephant games with your coworker. While this will bring you plenty of joy and cheer, the disruption to your health and wellness routine can be stressful. After all, you didn’t spend the past 11 months building healthy habits for nothing, right? 

This year, have the best of both worlds by balancing your fitness goals with holiday festivities. In this blog, we’ll offer some tips to maintain your health through the holidays and challenge you to the 12 days of Fitmas: 12 Christmas-themed exercises that you can complete every day to stay on track with your health and fitness goals.  

How to Maintain Healthy Habits During the Holidays

Be Mindful of Nutrition and Hydration

The holidays are for enjoying yourself, and some Christmas cookies and milk won’t ruin the fitness progress you made this year. 

It’s okay to have a treat or two this season, but remember — moderation is key. Aim for a balanced diet filled with lean proteins, complex carbs, and plenty of healthy vegetables (other than green bean casserole). Here’s a fun tip to control your portion sizes: 

  • 1 serving of protein = 1 serving the size of your palm
  • 1 serving of vegetables = 1 serving the size of your fist
  • 1 serving of carbs = 1 serving the size of your cupped hand
  • 1 serving of fats = 1 serving the size of your thumb

And don’t forget to hydrate! It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. Try to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water every day. It will prime your muscles for working out and flush out excess sodium, which can help reduce belly bloating. 

Set Reasonable Expectations

Having big health and fitness goals is good. But don’t forget about the 3 “F’s” this holiday season: fun, family, and friends. If you swap a scheduled training session for a seasonal party or cut your workout short to enjoy a Christmas movie marathon – that’s okay. Take a flexible approach to fitness during the holidays and prioritize consistency over hitting PRs. 

By keeping your fitness goals realistic and achievable, you set the stage for a guilt-free and joyous season, and you’ll already have a head start on your health and fitness New Year’s resolutions. 

Move More!

This is our motto for a reason. Being active and staying healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. There are tons of ways you get in some movement throughout the day – especially during Christmas. 

  • Take a family stroll to admire the neighbourhood Christmas lights
  • Park at the back of the parking lot when you do your holiday shopping
  • Speed clean the house before your friends and family arrive for dinner 

It might not feel like much at the time, but any movement elevating your heart rate benefits your cardiovascular endurance and burns calories. 

Fitness Town tip: Our favourite fast workouts are HIIT sessions. They often require minimal to no equipment, and you only need 10-15 minutes to burn tons of calories (even after the workout is over, thank you, afterburn effect!) Try a HIIT running workout:

  1. Set a 15-minute timer
  2. Sprint for 30-seconds around 89-90% of your max
  3. Walk for 1 minute to recover. Repeat 8 to 10 rounds or until 15 minutes is up.  

The 12 Days of Fitmas Challenge

We’re keeping things merry and bright with our Christmas fitness challenge. Each day brings a new and exciting holiday-themed workout, from Santa’s sandbag toss to the Polar Express shoulder press. These exercises will add some holiday cheer to your health routine and help you stay on track with your fitness goals through the Christmas season. 

1 Santa’s Sandbag Toss

Want to pretend you’re helping Santa load his toy bag onto his sleigh? The sandbag toss helps to improve your core strength and coordination while strengthening your leg and shoulder muscles. 

How to do it: Start with the Fitness Town Alpha Sand Bag on the ground in front of you with your feet hip-width apart. Squat down and grab the sandbag handles, performing a “power clean” movement until the sandbag rests on your shoulders. Toss the sandbag over your shoulder behind you. Turn around and repeat the movement back and forth for 12-15 reps. 

2 Jingle Bell Swings

Jingle all the way to your health and fitness goals with kettlebell swings. This dynamic movement trains explosive power while strengthening your posterior chain (and sneaks in some cardio).

How to do it: Hold the Fitness Town Competition Kettlebell in both hands. Bend at the knees and hinge your hips, swinging the kettlebell between your legs. Follow by thrusting your hips forward and swinging the kettlebell to chest height before letting it fall back between your legs. Repeat this in a fluid motion. 

3 Santa’s Sleigh Push

Channel your inner Rudolph on this exercise. The sled push is a great way to get your heart rate up while building explosive power in your lower body and strengthening your core and shoulders.

How to do it: No weight plates? No problem. Using the Tank M1 All-Surface Sled, set your resistance level and position yourself behind the sled with your legs and arms loaded. Grip the handles and drive your feet into the ground and the sled forward. Start with a short distance, like across your home gym and back. (The rubber tread tires won’t scratch your floors like a traditional sled!) 

4 Winter Wonderland Walks

Want to simulate walking in a winter wonderland without bundling up in your hat and coat? We’ve got you. The LifeSpan TR5500iM has a crisp 10” full-colour display with screen mirroring – so you can screencast a video of the snowy outdoors while walking inside. 

How to do it: Try the viral 12-3-30 workout. Set your treadmill to a 12% incline and walk at 3 MPH for 30 minutes. Who knew you could sweat so much during the winter?

5 Yuletide Yoga

Need a way to release some of that holiday stress? Yoga is a great way to relax your mind and body while improving your mobility and flexibility. 

How to do it: Roll out your Fitness Town Yoga Mat and perform a series of yoga poses that focus on flexibility and breathing. Include poses like the downward dog to release your lower back and the warrior pose to strengthen your legs and glutes.

6 Rudolph’s Red Nose Run

Run like the most famous reindeer of all. Running sessions on an agility ladder like the 360 Athletics Agility Ladder improves your speed, coordination, and cardiovascular endurance. 

How to do it: Lay out an agility ladder and stand with your side to the first square. Perform a lateral shuffle by stepping with one foot into the square, followed by the other foot, repeating down the whole ladder. Challenge yourself by increasing your speed on every set. 

7 Candy Cane Twists

Twist side to side like the red and white ribbons twisting up a candy cane. This workout strengthens your ab muscles and obliques for a toned core.

How to do it: Sit on your butt with your knees up in front of you and your feet lifted off the floor. Start with your Fitness Town Rubber Medicine Ball to your side. Twist over and grab the medicine ball with both hands, lift it, and twist across your body to the opposite side. Tap the medicine ball on the ground before twisting back to the starting position. Twist side to side for 12-14 reps. 

8 Christmas Cookie Curls

It’s like curling a cookie in your mouth, but instead of a cookie, you’re using a dumbbell. Dumbbell curls are a great isolation exercise to grow your biceps. 

How to do it: Adjust your MXSelect MX55s to a moderate weight that you can curl for 10-12 reps. Start with both dumbbells by your sides and begin to lift your wrists to your chest. Keep your elbows tucked to your sides, and avoid swinging your arms up. 

9 Blitzen Box Jumps

Build explosive leg power like Blitzen with these plyo box jumps. And if you want to turn this into a full-body workout, add in a burpee before each box jump rep. 

How to do it: Set up in front of your Fitness Town Steel Plyo Box. Squat down and jump up and out, landing with both feet on the box. For burpee box jumps, start in front of the box and drop down into a push-up position. Perform the box jump on your way up from the burpee. 

10 North Pole Planks

Planks are the ultimate ab-building workout. They even target your transverse abdominis (your deepest ab muscles), for a core as strong as the North Pole itself.  

How to do it: Grab your Pilates mat to protect your elbows. Lower yourself to your elbows (or hold yourself up on your hands for a real challenge) and keep your back and butt flat. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute for deep core strengthening. 

11 Frosty’s Front Squats

We’re pretty sure if Frosty had legs, front squats would be his favourite exercise. Barbell front squats build strength and size in your quads, glutes, hips, and hamstrings. 

How to do it: Set up your Fitness Town Independent Squat Stands and Olympic Barbell at squat height. Face the barbell and step forward until the barbell rests on your front delts. Cross your arms over your chest in an ‘X’ to lock the barbell in place. Squat down while keeping your chest up and your back straight, then stand back up. Repeat for 8-12 reps. 

12 Polar Express Should Press

This Polar Express is taking a one-way trip to Boulder town. A seated shoulder press targets all three heads of your shoulders and builds stability in the surrounding ligaments and joints. 

How to do it: Position your Fitness Town F.I.D. Bench in an upright position. Sit with a dumbbell in each hand and rest them on your knees. To start the movement, bring the dumbbells to shoulder height and press them overhead until your elbows are almost locked. Bring the dumbbells back down to shoulder height and repeat. Aim for 12-15 reps. 

Have a Healthy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year

Remember that staying active is one of the best gifts you can give yourself this Christmas. Find everything you need to sleigh your training right here on the Fitness Town website or in 1 of our 6 Vancouver stores. We hope you have fun with these festive workouts and find a healthy balance between fitness and celebration. 

And if you have some fun holiday-themed workouts of your own, don’t keep them to yourself! Share them with us on our Instagram or Facebook page. While you’re there, don’t forget to like and follow us! We’re always posting tips and tricks to help you move more in every season.

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