HIIT for the Holidays
Our lives are mostly always busy. Wouldn't you agree? It doesn't matter what stage of life you are in. Whether you are busy with changing diapers and feeding babies, washing bottles, washing bedding, trying to get sleep; or busy with school work, after school activities, tests, projects, extra credit; or staff meetings, deadlines, networking outings, or volunteer work. Each of us has our own level of busy that we can work within comfortably. We have learned to manage (better on some days compared to others) a certain busyness.
The typical American holiday season always seems to spike this level of busy to a new, unmanageable frenzied state of crazy. Do you remember the Target commercials with the woman preparing for the holiday shopping season? They have run a different version each year using "crazy shopping lady". I find those commercials to be hysterical in more than one definition of that word. It's funny, yet it's accurate. It's a spoof on a character that is all too real in our culture. We are overwhelmed with media messages of needing more, wanting more, doing more, being better and competing for things. Just THINGS! Nothing of real worth, ultimately - just stuff. Stuff that wears out, gets out dated and inevitably will be replaced next year. Do you buy in to that? Do you find yourself more stressed this time of year?
Busy is as busy does.
One way I love to handle any extra stress that I may feel, or am being tempted with, is exercise. Even though each day has the same 24 hours in it, the prioritizing of that time makes or breaks your day. And during the holidays our priorities shift. The time that we used to allot for exercise quickly gets bumped by extra choir practice, costume making, work parties, family gatherings, baking, wrapping, preparing, extra cleaning, last minute shopping.......................
Not having enough time, being too busy or simply too stressed out are the biggest excuses I get from clients. To directly combat these excuses, I've developed a 25-40 minute HIIT exercise program you can do at home. Believe me when I tell you that your holidays will be better if you exercise. Exercise does take up a bit of your time, but it allows you to be better with the time that is remaining. You will have a clearer focus, a calmer mind, a settled heart, and will be better able to handle the unforeseen subtlties that make life interesting.
HIIT simply means high intensity interval training. It has been studied and proven to be as effective as - if not more than - a longer, steady state bout of exercise. The shorter time frame combats the "no time" excuse and the intense nature of the exercise bout bodes well for you who are stressed because you will be able to get your aggressions out, healthily and positively. The intervals for this specific exercise session are 45 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest - each exercise. There are eleven exercises to complete in the circuit and you will repeat the circuit two or three times, resting two minutes in between circuits. You will need comfortable shoes, two paper plates, and I recommend using a HIIT timing app on your smart phone or mobile device. I got a free app for my Kindle Fire called HIIT Interval Timer. It is a basic timing app. The apps range from simple to sophisticated, but you will need something that will time your exercises, rest period between exercises, the number of exercises in your circuit (or round) and rest time in between rounds. A stop watch will work too, you just have to reset after each exercise, and if you're like me you will hit the wrong button and have to reset everything.
- March in place
- Standing, asymmetrical full body rotation
- Static sliding rear lunge -perform on BOTH sides
- Static sliding lateral lunge - perform on BOTH sides
- Static sliding rear-to-lateral lunge - perform on BOTH sides
- Mountain climbers
- Plank walk - four counts forward, four counts back
- Sliding burpees with a push-up.
- Sliding hip pulls - heels on the paper plates and lift hips off the floor and pull your hips back and forth through your hands
- Squat hops forward and back - **optional progression demonstrated in the last few repetitions
- Full arm plank with sliding hip half-circumduction - make (as big as possible) semi-circle with your foot as you pull the plate up by your hand, alternating legs -**regression now shown is to drop to one knee while the other leg is sliding
Please message me any questions you have about this workout program, how to properly perform the exercises, regressions or progressions, interval time, how many days per week or any questions you may have. I look forward to hear how many of you use the HIIT for the Holidays workout this season.
Always consult your physician prior to beginning any new exercise program.