Maintain the holiday weight off with these exercises

While the holidays are a great time for food, fun, parties, and family, it can also be a busy time to maintain health and fitness. If you come across candy and decadent goodies at every turn, it may be time to check out which workouts are effective at reducing vacation weight.

Jean Chen Smith is a Pilates studio owner and personal trainer with over 10 years of experience focusing on healthy living and eating habits.

1. Run

Running is the exercise most people think of when starting a weight loss program. Not only is running effective for cardiovascular health, it’s free and accessible to everyone. All you need is a pair of sneakers and you can walk out the door. Running affects the entire body – legs, buttocks, core, and even arms. The key is to increase the intensity as your body gets used to the movement, e.g. B. by adding sprint work or mountain running. Both of these increase your heart rate and lead to an increase in your metabolism. Make sure to always check your shape by swinging your arms straight back and forth instead of back and forth and looking straight ahead so your chin is parallel to the floor.

2. Weight training

Weight training is an effective way to build muscle and burn fat. Lifting weights has been shown to increase your resting metabolism, which means your body burns more calories even when you’re not exercising. The term “afterburn effect” means that your body will still use this energy even after your session is over. By adding weight training to your routine two to three days a week and incorporating cardio-based workouts, most people can see results.

Rebecca Jacobson, Indianapolis, uses video lights and a smartphone to record a Pilates-inspired yoga class for online clients of Practice Indie Yoga, Indianapolis, Wednesday, March 18, 2020.  Teachers in the studio, part of Naptown Fitness, have started a variety of methods to get their classes online for students fearful of COVID-19 disease.

3. Pilates

Pilates is a low impact exercise that helps strengthen muscles while improving posture and flexibility. Pilates focuses on the core with focused breath and movement. People of all ages and fitness levels can do Pilates to get the benefits. Good instructors always offer modifications for people who are injured and are recovering. During these COVID-19 times, many studios and fitness centers are offering Zoom classes at discounted prices so students can work out from the comfort of their own home. The only downside to this is that the instructor is not there to provide assistance and suggestions for direction.

4. Swimming

Swimming is an exercise that promotes endurance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness by moving your entire body against the resistance of the water. Also, because of the buoyancy of water, it reduces the stress on your body from impact, making it a great choice for those with certain types of injuries or limitations. Developing the right technique is important in order to become an efficient swimmer, keep the mind occupied, and keep the workouts interesting.


High-intensity interval training is a form of exercise where your heart rate rises and then falls. You do this several times – for an interval, followed by active rest and rest. HIIT can include rowing, spinning, or even sprinting. The more energy you use for your performance, the higher the calorie consumption. The great thing about HIIT is that it’s not an endurance sport, so just 20 minutes per session is enough.

Lori Lunitz teaches Zoom to some of her Rock Steady Boxing students.  Rock Steady is a non-contact boxing-style fitness program for people with Parkinson's, a progressive nervous system disorder that interferes with movement.

6. Boxing

Boxing can burn up to 600 calories or more if done intensely. Along with weight loss, it can also build muscle, which is important as we get older. Considered a cardio exercise, boxing works the entire body while you are moving. Since boxing is an interactive sport, you can have fun doing it.

7. The other tricks

Even with an exercise routine, it’s important to understand that there are so many other factors that contribute to weight gain. According to recent studies, lack of sleep can be a cause for concern when packing those extra pounds. Make sure you have at least 7 hours of good sleep so your body is rested for the day ahead.

Holidays can be a stressful time for many people. Try to reduce and minimize stress in your daily life. Meditation has been shown to calm the mind and contribute to relaxation. People tend to overeat under compulsion and pay attention to high calorie comfort foods to feel better, but they feel worse after consuming these unhealthy foods.

Eating right is a lifestyle. One “cheat” meal here and there is not going to sabotage your weight loss. However, if they happen more frequently, take the time to reevaluate your daily food intake and make healthier choices.

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