Christmas time is just around the corner, and that can mean only one thing… Life is about to reach a whole new level of hectic! Between work Christmas parties, food and present shopping, catching up with relatives and friends (COVID is permitted of course!), wrapping, cooking, eating, drinking… all whilst trying to maintain some level of sanity, there isn’t much room for anything else!
We all tend to indulge and consume probably a few too many calories over the Christmas period. It seems to be ingrained in society that it’s the done thing. Now, as health professionals we are all about promoting just that… Health. We are all for a little indulging every now and then, but over Christmas it can be easy to overdo it and then lie around like sloths all day watching re-runs on TV. One of the beautiful things about being an osteopath is being able to make a difference to our patient’s lives in many different ways. As well as all of the hands-on stuff we do with you, we also give advice on lifestyle, diet and nutrition, relaxation and exercise. So, if you don’t want to see the waistband expand too much over the festive period, we suggest countering the odd indulgent episode with an awesome workout to ensure you stay flexible, strong and that little bit healthier this December and January.
What follows are some quick-fire workouts to fit in around your busy Xmas schedule, to really get the heart rate up and the waistline down. We strongly suggest making an appointment before carrying out any exercise program to ensure they’re the right fit for you. Whilst these exercise regimes are quite straight forward and achievable by many, they may need tweaking for you depending on your fitness level and injury state. So please ‘exercise’ caution.
Your exercises are as follows:
- Step ups: Find a sturdy bench, chair or step and put one foot onto it. Step up and drive your opposite knee up towards your chest into the air. Return down to the starting position and repeat. Stay on the same leg until all repetitions have been completed, and then switch sides.
- Sumo squats: Stand with your feet and knees wide with toes pointing out on a slight diagonal.. Squat down until your knees reach a bend of 90 degrees, tracking in the direction of your toes. Return to the start position and repeat.
- Glute Bridge: -Lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with your palms down. Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. SQUEEZE those GLUTES hard and keep your abs drawn in so you don’t overextend your back during the exercise. Hold your bridged position for a couple of seconds before SLOWLY easing back down. Aim for three sets of ten bridges.
Cycle these exercises completing each for 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps, 4 reps and 2 reps. Rest for one minute between each set.
Your exercises are as follows:
- Mountain climbers: Assume a plank position on your hands (like you’re about to do a push-up). Keeping your arms straight and upper body as still as possible, bring one knee in towards your chest without raising your hips into the air. Return to the start position and repeat, alternating between legs for each rep. Try to keep your form while speeding this movement up, and keep a solid rhythm going to really get the cardio aspect of this exercise going. Perform for 30 seconds.
- Skipping: Using a skipping rope, continuously skip for 45 seconds. If the rope hits your legs or you have to stop and restart, this is fine. Keep going until the 45 seconds are up. Knee issues? Choose a low-impact version by doing knee lifts or side steps.
- Get-ups: Lie on your back and get yourself to standing position any way you can. Lie back down and repeat. Complete 60 seconds of these.
Rest between exercises for 15 seconds, but ensure you move straight on to the next exercise as soon as the 15 seconds are up. Try to complete three sets.
- Run or jog around the block or a small local park at least twice
- Run up and down a set of stairs five times
- Go for a long walk to cool off
If you cannot run or jog, try cycling instead. Cycle around the block five times though! You can also walk up and down the stairs ten times if running is an issue.
Hold a plank for 5 minutes. You may rest whenever you need to, but ensure you complete 5 whole minutes. Set a timer on your phone!
To adopt the plank position, get on the floor face down. Grasp your hands together and push up, elbows shoulder-width apart, so you are resting on your forearms. Raise up onto your toes and lift your whole body up into the air. Keep your legs and body in a straight line from head to heels and avoid pushing your bottom up into the air (see photo).
That’s a total of four workouts for you to try. A good way to start is to perform a workout on one day, then aim to perform your next workout after one or two rest days. Eventually you will be able to perform them closer together, but rest days allow time for the body to repair and recuperate.
If you are unsure about any of the exercises above, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Enjoy your healthy Christmas everyone! And remember, call us 8774 9600 today to arrange your pre-Christmas appointment, and we can tailor a program just for you!