I know it's hard. Really, I do. This time of year is just so busy. You have good intentions of hitting the gym for an hour or lacing up those running shoes but life just gets in the way. I get it. I want to remind you that exercise doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing activity. If you don't have time for an hour workout, can you find 10 minutes? How about two?
You shouldn't feel guilty for being busy or for holiday travel or anything else life throws your way. Your only job is to genuinely do the best you can with what you have. Sometimes the best you can do is five minutes of Yoga and sometimes it's a full CrossFit workout. There is no right or wrong way to move your body. Do what you can.
The most important thing is that you keep exercise top of mind. Do a little when you can and do more when you can. If you can get in the habit of doing some movement, anything, every day you get your mind in the right place for longer and more intense workouts when you're ready. Make movement a daily habit. Start small, build later.
A five minute workout is always better than an hour workout you didn't do. Do your new year resolutions involve exercise like the majority of people? Then start making exercise a daily habit in December.
That's why I put together this O Fitness Tree workout that gives you quick exercises you can do every day in the days leading up to Christmas. Sure, if you can fit in a full workout on one of these days, that's great. But just in case the stars don't align, I've given you a blueprint to follow. Consider it a challenge to complete at least the exercises of the day. Do more if you have time. Change up the exercises if one of these doesn't work for you. Most days will take you five minutes or less to complete. I assigned a couple of cardio days because walking and running can be a stress reliever and we could all use a little bit of that this time of year,
12 Days, that's it. Can you move for 12 days straight? Accept the challenge in these days leading up to Christmas.
O FITNESS TREE HOLIDAY CHALLENGE: STAY ACTIVE
Get outside and run or walk one mile. Do it on your own or use this as an opportunity to inspire someone to move with you. Maybe you can recruit a family member, a neighbor, a coworker or even a dog to go with you.
Perform 15 squats and 15 pushups. Do them all at once or break them up throughout the day. Maybe do 3 sets of 5 reps of each exercise. If you can not do pushups on the ground try incline pushups against a sturdy table top, bench or counter top.
Perform a one minute elbow plank and 30 seconds of a side plank on each side. Break it up into sets of 15 second planks or 10 seconds planks if you need.
15 lunges on each leg and 15 side lunges on each leg.
20 mountain climbers and 20 push ups. Break them up into sets (try 2 sets of 10) or complete them all at once.
Start the timer on your watch and briskly walk or run for 20 minutes. See how far you can go in this time. Race a friend or just enjoy the time outdoors. Your call.
One minute wall sit (break it up as needed), 1 minute high knees. Get that heart-rate up!
Perform a one minute elbow plank and one minute each of a side plank on each side. Break it up into sets of 15 second planks or 10 seconds planks as needed.
Perform 20 squats and 20 push ups. It's five more reps than last time. We are progressing.
20 lunges on each leg and 20 side lunges on each leg.
30 mountain climbers and 20 pushups, break them up as needed.
Go walk or run for 30 minutes. See how far you can go in this time. Inspire someone to join you.
The most important thing to consider when completing any challenge is how it will change your life once the challenge is complete. If you do these exercises for 12 days then go back to sitting on the couch for a Game of Thrones marathon (guilty as charged!) then you didn't get much out of it.
However if you use these 12 days to build the habit of exercise that will serve you for the rest of the year and into 2018 then the challenge was a success. Don't just move for 12 days, train your brain into the habit of daily movement. Keep it going. Five minutes or 50 minutes, move every day.
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