Holiday Workouts: Do More in Less Time

I can’t believe the holidays are in full swing already! That means we need our workouts more than ever right now. But if you’re like me, feeling like a chicken running around with its head chopped off, you’re probably thinking that working out is the last thing you have time for. Wrong. Go ahead, call me the Grinch,  because I’m here to squash all of your cheerful excuses and show you how beneficial and easy these workouts are and how they can fit in your holiday schedule. I know, it’s cold out, you have shopping  and baking to do, Christmas cards to write and mail, carols to sing, a house to clean, and the list goes on and on. I have to do all those things too, but I make sure my workouts are a priority in that endless to-do list. Honestly, I’m way more productive when I get an intense sweat session in,  and it puts me in a better mood. So with those two reasons alone, you should already trust me and start planning your next workout.

An intense workout doesn’t have to mean hours at the gym or 15 freezing miles on the dark streets. In fact, some of the most effective workouts are the shortest ones. I’m not talking about doing eight minutes of downward dog and throwing in the towel though. I’m talking about your new best friend: interval training. Don’t be scared. It’s fun because it’s fast and you don’t have time to get bored because as soon as you’re ready to scream, you’re done and onto the next exercise.

Some of the most effective workouts are the shortest ones.

What is interval training?
It’s high intensity cardio activities alternated with light activity exercises. Interval training burns more fat in less time than any other exercise, boosts metabolism, and burns fat after you exercise! What’s not to love? The best part is that it works great for novice exercisers and fitness junkies alike because you can modify everything from intensity to the time length of intervals. For example, beginners can start with walking. After a 5 minute warmup, sprint walk for 15 seconds. Then alternate 15 second sprints with 90 second normal, brisk paced walking. As you go, try gradually increasing the interval lengths until you’re up to 3-5 minute sprint walks. For the more experienced exercisers, I suggest a more intense interval workout that changes up the activities more, such as doing burpies, jumping jacks, or speed skaters for the high intensity bursts rather than boring ol’ running. One of my favorite types of interval training sessions are those that involve high impact cardio intervals with excerises involving weights or strength for the low intensity ones. For me, this feels like the best combination because not only do you get to feel that heart-pounding intense cardio, but you also get to feel the amazing burn of using weights. If you’re interested in a workout like this, my absolute favorite is Chalean Extreme’s Burn Intervals.  Another one of my favorite High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) programs happens to be by the same instructor, Chalene Johnson; in her Turbo Fire DVD set she includes a handful of HIIT workouts of varying lengths, which are all amazing ways to get in a super quick fat blasting session.

So now that you know the secret workout that blasts calories during and after your workout, increases your cardiovascular strength, improves your fitness level faster,  boosts your metabolism, and burns fat all in a shorter time than your normal workout, you have no excuses strong enough to pass it up! Trust me, your little black dress and your sanity will thank you.

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