In December, we convince ourselves that there is not enough time to decorate the house, attend every holiday party, buy gifts, make healthy choices and manage to fit in a quality workout. As a result, many of us slip into that all-or-nothing mentality that often ends with, "I'll just start up again on January 1."
By putting workouts on the backburner, though, you might notice that sugar cravings, energy slumps, brain fog, and/or weight gain can start to sneak up. In many instances, this can be a result of imbalanced blood sugar levels.
As a diabetic health coach and type 1 diabetic myself, I’ve learned that you don’t need to spend an hour in the gym to positively affect your blood sugar levels. Short bursts of movement, referred to as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be just as effective, if not more so, than an extended 45-minute workout when you're in a time crunch.
When performing HIIT, your blood sugar might initially spike due to the stress hormones your body secretes in response to the workout, but in the 12 to 24 hours post-exercise, your blood sugar will positively be affected.
All you really need for an effective workout is a timer, your body, and the mindset that you can find 16 minutes during the day, even throughout the holidays to get a workout in. Just think about it this way: The average person spends 26 minutes per day scrolling on Instagram!
Below are four exercise moves that you can do to help balance your blood sugar levels throughout the day, even when you are short on time. The moves are lower-body-focused, which will give you the greatest workout since most of your muscle mass resides in your legs and hips.
Perform each of these moves for 50 seconds with a 10-second rest. Repeat this circuit four times—or as many times as you want!