Do you find it difficult to squeeze in an exercise routine during the busy holiday season? Have you decided to wait until the New Year to hit the gym? If so, think again. Exercise is an important component of the South Beach Diet lifestyle, and it’s a great way to help you maintain your weight during the holiday season. To help you squeeze in a workout, we came up with some simple exercises you can do on the fly. Remember, every little bit of activity can help burn calories and boost your health!
- Interval walking. Bundle up and take a brisk 20-minute walk around your neighborhood (alternating periods of fast walking with slow) to take in the festive lights and decorations. Or if you’re hitting the mall for last-minute gifts, take a fast stroll around the perimeter before you leave.
- Stair climbing. If you live in a multilevel house, stairs are a readily accessible exercise “tool.” Make it a point to climb up and down them an extra 5 times each day. You can also climb the stairs at the office during your lunch hour: Postpone eating for 10 minutes and sneak in this quick mini-workout.
- Yoga. If you don't know any yoga exercises off the top of your head, pick up a video at your local rental store and do some yoga in front of the TV. Or tune in to one of the many yoga shows on the fitness networks. Yoga not only calms you during these crazy-busy times, it also improves strength, flexibility, and balance. At the very least, do some deep breathing!
- Weight lifting. If you own hand weights, you can easily do 2 to 3 sets of each of your favorite arm exercises in between errands. If you don't have hand weights at your disposal, cans of pumpkin, cranberry sauce, or chicken broth make great stand-ins.
- Off-the-couch crunches. Keep your abs in shape with this simple exercise: Lie on the floor with your butt against the couch and your legs at a 90° angle on the cushions. Put your hands behind your head and crunch up toward the couch. Perform 2 to 3 sets of 15, or as many as you’re able.