Imagine this: you’re sitting on the couch in your cozy living room, delightfully squeezed in between your partner and kids. You’re all basking in the afterglow of a great holiday dinner and are just enjoying each other’s company while finishing off the remainder of the cookies, potato chips, or some other treat. Or maybe you’re watching your favorite TV show or movie as you wind down the night.
Ahh, this is bliss, isn’t it? Mmmm-hmm.
Now picture you and your family repeating this pattern (maybe not in exactly the same scenario) during this holiday season. We all seem to never run out of something calorie-laden to munch on or never ending excuses to sit, relax, and forget about that thing called exercise.
It’s the season of joy and great food, and you want to indulge after working your tail off the rest of the year, right? Well, you can, especially if you find ways to balance out your holiday indulgence so you don’t come out of the endless feasts five or 10 pounds heavier than you want yourself to be.
How about doing short, simple exercises to make sure you keep your metabolism (and calorie burning capacity) active throughout the indulgent season? And, why not get into this holiday health kick together as a family?
Below are short, easy, fat-burning exercises that you, your partner, and kids can do without needing to go to the gym or use any equipment. Wow indeed!
Let’s start now!
THE FOUR-MINUTE WORKOUT
What’s a mere four minutes of your time? There’s no excuse not to set aside just four short minutes for this exhilarating, strengthening, sweat-inducing, and fat-burning routine. You can even do this while heating up the food or waiting for your guests to arrive! What’s even more exciting about this is that you can do it altogether as a family in the comfort of your own living room.
You simply do 10 jumping jacks, 10 squats, 10 pushups (you can do it while kneeling or upright and against a wall), and 10 lunges in this order over and over and as fast as you can for four minutes, without stopping. If you feel quite spent halfway through, you can slow down, but don’t ever stop. Otherwise, you lessen the calorie-melting effect of this routine.
You can even trigger a competitive spirit by setting up a reward for the one who can do the most sets within four minutes.
THE DANCE OFF
Put on some dancing tunes your family likes and just do your thing right there in the living room. Having two left feet is no excuse—you can just do jumping jacks in time to the beats when all else fails.
If you have a gaming console, play “Just Dance,” “Dance Dance Revolution,” or other similar games and let your feet and arms flail up a storm!
You can also do “Wii Fit” or find some dancing games through XBox Connect. These are all great ways to get your groove on, have some family time, and keep those calories off!
THE FAMILY STROLL
Arrange a 15-minute walk around the neighborhood a couple of minutes after your holiday meal or in the morning before everyone is awake and ready for the party. Or you can organize a little hiking expedition to a nearby hill or do power-walk races with your kids at the park. If you live near the beach, go swimming, run on the sand, or play beach volley ball with your loved ones!
You can also do mini workouts several times during the day. For example, if you’re picking up the kids, take a moment to have a fitness challenge even while in your car before you speed off or when you arrive home. While seated, have everyone raise their knees (both feet should be off the floor) as high as they can and see who outlasts everyone. This exercise is great at strengthening core muscles and can be done virtually anywhere.
At other idle times, you can challenge your loved ones to a squat-off or leg raise challenge, seeing who can do the most within 30 seconds or a minute.
Kami Miller is a writer, health enthusiast, and Leader Mom in the Busymomsbootcamp.com community. Busy Mom’s Bootcamp is a movement committed to helping moms get their health back on track at home with a daily workout and meal plan, as well as with a mom community cheering them on. Kami received her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Cedarville University and lives in Hartville, Ohio with her husband Brad and her little boy who is on the way!