We’re headed into the holidays and that means that the majority of Americans will gain 7 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you’re still carrying last year’s 7, this can be daunting news.
Whether you’re fighting excess pounds or you land somewhere else along the fitness ladder, considering the increased demands and stresses of the holidays approaching, it’s good to have a solid plan for fitting in your workouts. To get the most benefit out of your plan, you can cut to the most effective methods.
First, assess the situation. Multiple studies show that having too much belly fat is one of the strongest indicators of the risk for heart disease and diabetes. You don’t need an expensive personal trainer or a state-of-the-arts scale to help you determine your risk. You can wrap a tape measure around your waist. Anything 35 inches or more means increased risk. Another easy way to determine whether you need to reduce belly fat is the old, pinch-an-inch method. If you can pinch more than an inch, it’s time to get going on reducing the belly fat.
If you are pressed for time and want to be sure to make progress toward reducing excess belly fat, skip the extras and go straight to a 45 to 60 minute cardio workout, at least three times a week. If you are challenged by the weather or by lack of cardio equipment, use your imagination to find ways to get a cardio workout. Dance through your house. This is especially good for those with small children. They’ll love dancing with you. Got stairs anywhere nearby? Climb the stairs, walk down and start again. Jump rope. If you don’t have a jump rope handy, pretend!
As with any type of a new exercise activity, remember that delayed onset muscle soreness takes a few days to set in. Also, your cardio vascular system needs TLC when you first start putting demands on it. So start out slowly, let your body tell you when you’ve had enough. Give yourself a pat on the back and ask for a little more the next time. With a solid commitment to three cardio sessions per week and a gradual increase in the difficulty of the session, you’ll be set to skip the holiday 7 this year!