I love Christmas time. Putting up the tree, decorations, lights, food. I put my Christmas tree up in November, write lists, make plans for food and presents. I listen carefully and take notes all year on what family and friends say they like or want so I can get the perfect gifts.
But the best part about Christmas? Family. What I love the most is how it's all about getting together. I know sometimes this can be stressful, but at the end of the day Christmas is about love, togetherness and hope for the future.
But Christmas can also be a time of overindulgence: too much food and drink can leave you feeling less than energetic. Do this quick 10-minute routine at the beginning of the day and you'll feel energized, wide awake, positive and less inclined to overindulge too much.
10-Minute Christmas Day Workout
For the first two exercises, set a timer for two minutes per exercise. Do each move for 20 seconds, then rest for 10. This means you'll perform four rounds of each move (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, four times) in the allotted two minutes.
1. Mountain Climbers
Begin in a pushup position on your hands and toes. Flexing the knee and hip, bring one leg forward until your knee is under your hip. This will be your starting position.
Jump to reverse the positions of your legs, extending the bent leg until it's straight and supported by the toe, and bring the other foot up with the hip and knee flexed. Continue for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds and repeat until two minutes is over.
Place your hands on the floor so they're slightly outside shoulder width. Spread your fingers and point them forward. Raise up on your toes or knees so that all of your body weight is on your hands and your feet or knees. Engage your core and keep in a straight line without arching your back or pointing your bottom in the air.
Bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the floor as close as you can and then push back up so that you return to the starting position.
For these four exercises, set a timer for one minute per exercise. Do each move for one minute, then rest for 10 seconds before switching sides or moving on to the next exercise.
1. Wall Sit
Stand in front of a wall (about two feet in front of it) and lean against it. Slide down until your knees are at a 90 degree angle and hold the move, keeping your core engaged for one minute.
Get into a prone position on the floor, supporting your weight on your toes and forearms. Your arms are bent and directly below your shoulders. Keep your body straight at all times and draw your belly button towards your spine, tightening through the mid-section.
Raise your left leg and hold for 30 seconds. Change legs and hold your right leg up for 30 seconds. Hold your raised leg just higher than your hips.
3. Side Leg Raise
Come down to the floor on your knees. Place your right hand on the floor beside you and lean to the right extending your left leg. Tighten the muscle in the front of the left thigh and lift that leg into the air. Hold for one count, lower to touch the floor and then lift again. Keep your hips stacked over one another, without leaning forward or back. Repeat for one minute, then change sides.
4. Warrior 2
Step your feet wide. Turn the right toes to the right wall and bend the right knee directly over the right ankle. Turn your left foot towards the front. The right heel should be just opposite your left arch.
Raise your arms to the sides, making sure you keep your shoulders down while your palms face the ground. Turn your hips and shoulders towards the front, extend and reach through the fingertips. Turn and rest your gaze on the right middle finger. Stay strong in your legs by pressing into the feet.
Sink hips down towards the floor and lift up through the crown of the head to lengthen the spine. Relax the shoulders by drawing your shoulder blades down and back and pressing the chest forward. Turn your left foot to the left wall and the right foot forward and repeat the pose on the other side for one minute.
Make sure you move your body on Christmas Day, get your workout done early and then get ready to enjoy the festivities!
Photo courtesy of the author