Merry Christmas Eve! I would love to share with you my favorite Christmas carol and one of my favorite renditions of it. It is truly the best I have ever heard! Please enjoy! Perhaps many of you have taken some time off from work to enjoy your homes, family, or travel. I would love this opportunity to share a few quick tips on how to key into your wellness this week and still enjoy the fullness of Christmas! If you are short on time, here are few simple and highly effective cardio workouts that you can choose from and execute on any treadmill or piece of cardio equipment. If you do not have access to such equipment, no worries. Walking or running outside are some of the best forms of exercise one can do! Bundle up if you are here in Chicagoland!
Interval Workout 1 2 minutes at sprint (sprint means to increase your intensity! Something that is difficult to maintain anything more than this 2 minute mark!) 1 minute at recovery (walk or jog) 2 minutes at sprint 1 minute at recovery (walk or jog) repeat! (take any breaks in between the minutes as necessary!!) Do this interval until you reach 20 minutes. Godspeed 🙂
Interval Workout 2 Working off a rate of perceived exertion or “RPE” of 1-10 scale (This how hard you feel like you are working. My RPE level 10 may feel completely different than your level 10!) sprint .25 mile at RPE level 6-8 Recovery x 2 minutes Repeat 3 more times so that you have sprinted a total of 1 mile! (with a 2 minute recovery in between each sprint!)
Interval Workout 3 20 seconds of sprinting followed by 20 seconds of recovery. Try to complete 8 sprints minimum, 20 sprints maximum.
Christmas Strength Training: If you are looking for a one stop shop for an all over strength and toning move, please try your hand at the mighty push-up. It is a head to toe transformer and you can do them in the guest bedroom at your in-laws’ house, in your office, or in your hotel room. Truly, no excuses! You can set a timer and see how many you can accomplish in a set period of time. You can also try your hand at the “ALL DAY CHALLENGE.” This is where you set the timer on your phone to go off every hour. When the alarm sounds, you drop to the floor and do 10 push-ups. By the end of the day you have accomplished quite a feat, and 10 push-ups at a time takes very little time! Lastly, you can do several repetitions and sets of the exercise. For example, you could do 8 push-ups 3 different times with a break between each set of 8.
Christmas Stretching: Don’t forget to do some stretching. Even some light stretching for 5 minutes can yield big differences in how you feel throughout the day. If you are traveling, pausing to stretch out those neck muscles may do you some good. Many of us tend to carry stress and tension in this area. As that tension builds (from stress, tension, or even just position or posture) we may start to experience increased pain or headache. I confess that I stretch in the context of my workout routines but need to get better at it at home. I only do 5-10 minutes in the morning and at night, but truly feel at best when I do more and even work in my foam roller! Ahh…. Check out this quick video from one of my favorite go to and trusted websites, Livestrong for a quick “how to” on foam rolling. Christmas Eating: I believe in balance in life, and I believe in holiday traditions as families gather around. With that said, keep your vision and goals in mind for optimal wellness. Let them be clear and allow that to guide you. Indulge in what you think is worth it, and let your “no” simply be no to the other temptations that encompass you. Check out other related post in regards to healthy choices under the nutrition category for more info.
Christmas Slow Down: Are there any good books or activities regarding work or hobbies you were hoping to accomplish on this break? What is your mind calling you do? Is there a new chapter for you to begin regarding your career? Perhaps during this break it would be a good time to sit and focus on “what’s next” for 2013. I can tell you that is something I will be doing! I have a few books that are calling my name, and I have a journal that I need to tote along with me on our road trip. For me, a journal can be a tool to help me process. I am looking forward to carving out some space with a few days off to focus on these things.
Christmas Eve Service: Please enjoy the holiday no matter what your religious background is. However, if you have not read the Christmas story found in the Bible in the book of Luke chapter 1:5-56 through 2:1-20 – it is truly captivating. I also recognize that the holidays are not a happy time for everyone. There are many out there who are struggling internally with many difficulties and stresses large and small. There are those who are struck with terrible illness and grief even at this very moment. While many of us are filling our homes with laughter, let us not forget to pray for those whom are hurting.
My desire is that each one of you enjoy your Christmas holiday to the fullest this year. Enjoy your families and friends. Enjoy your traditions and your faiths. I pray that you can unwrap the gift of health and wellness in 2013, and I look forward to helping you in any way possible to achieve that! What is your favorite Christmas song? How do you plan on staying healthy this week?