Skip the partridge in a pear tree and give yourself the gift of fitness with our 12 Days of Christmas Workouts. The idea is to slowly build your fitness over the festive season by adding one of the 12 workouts to your exercise regime each day.
So, on day one, you’ll only do the first exercise. Then on day two, you’ll do the first and second exercises. By the time Boxing Day arrives, you should be feeling fitter and less weighed down by all those mince pies and Christmas chocolates.
Kick off your Christmas exercise blitz with this classic upper body workout. Start on all fours, straighten your arms and legs, then slowly lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Try and do at least 10 push ups to really feel the burn in your arms.
Facing the ground, put your weight on your forearms and your feet with your toes ground into the floor. Make sure your elbows are directly underneath your shoulders with your feet hip-width apart. Your back should be flat and your head in a neutral position. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
Get your legs in on the action with lunges. Keep your upper body straight, then step forward until both your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Repeat this movement on both sides as many times as you feel comfortable with.
Stand with your feet around hip-width apart with your toes pointing slightly outwards. Look ahead, straighten your arms in front of you, then slowly lower your hips down and back. Try and keep your knees in line with your feet and your back straight. Push back up to standing position then repeat.
Lie flat on your back, bend your knees and plant your feet firmly on the ground. Cross your arms over your chest or behind your head then slowly push your body upwards towards your knees. Lower yourself back down to the floor then repeat the same motion.
Start in the same position as you would for a sit up, then lift your upper body while contracting your stomach muscles. Don’t go all the way up to your knees – your lower back should stay on the floor, so your abs are doing all the work.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your knee to your chest, then do the same thing on the other side. You should feel like you’re jogging on the spot.
Face a wall and lean your palms up against it for extra support. Rise up onto your toes and back down again at least 10 times. This will help strengthen your calves and Achilles tendons.
Ready to get your heart rate pumping? Stand up straight with your feet together and your arms by your sides. Bend your knees and jump into the air, landing with your feet hip width apart and your hands stretched out horizontally. Jump into the air again to bring your feet back together and your hands back to their original resting position. Repeat as many times as you can without running out of breath.
Kick it up a notch with burpees. Start standing up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, then push your hips back and bend your knees to lower yourself into a squat. Place your hands on the floor in front of you then jump your feet backwards, so you’re in plank position. To stand back up, jump your feet back towards your hands, then straighten your back. Repeat as many times as you can handle.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms straight by your sides. Keeping your back straight, engage your glutes and back muscles to slowly raise your hips upwards until they align with your shoulders. From there, slowly lower your hips back down to the floor then repeat.
Complete your Christmas workout plan with this intricate core exercise. Sit down with your knees bent and your feet planted on the floor. Learn your torso back slightly and twist over to one side, bringing your opposite arm over to that side. Move back to the centre then repeat the same movement on the other side.
It may take time for you to become stronger but sticking with your workout regime will allow you to start the New Year feeling fitter and healthier. And now that you have a workout plan, you can relax and enjoy your Christmas feasting.
If you’re passionate about health and fitness, study personal training online with the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers.