Fight The Holiday Flab

fight-holiday-flabHalloween.  Thanksgiving.  Christmas.  New Years Eve.

Fat, fat, fat, and more fat.  The holiday flab season will soon be upon us.

No one ever said that maintaining your personal independence would be easy.  In fact, quite the opposite.  And without our health, our quality of life is greatly diminished.

How about doing something about it?

Training your body can sometimes seem boring or limited to being indoors, whether it be in a gym or workouts in your home with a fitness DVD. There are ways to make exercise more fun and even more beneficial.

If you are like me, then you will enjoy being outside so you can appreciate the fresh air and all of the weird and wonderful sounds of Mother Nature. With this is mind I have come up with this workout that will not only give you great health benefits but also will get you outside where you want to be. The best thing about it – all you need is a park or any outdoor grassy space.

Find yourself a space in your chosen outdoor location – you will need quite a bit of space around you for our “active rest” intervals that will form part of the workout. Active rest is the time spent recovering between each exercise. Rather than simply sitting down or standing still, active rest keeps your heart rate up and further improves your endurance.

Caution:  This is a fairly advanced group of exercises.  If you’re not already in good shape, start slow, and work up to the full workout.

Of course, it should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyways:  Check with a doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.  Also, since you’ll be doing these exercises outdoors – where pebbles, stickers and thorns live – consider bringing along a pair of thick gloves.  Your palms will thank you!

Exercise 1:

Hand Walk outs – Starting with your feet hip width apart, squat down until the palms of your hands are flat on the ground. From this point, your feet will stay where they are and you will walk your hands forwards until you are in a push up position. Hold this for three seconds before walking your hands backwards until you are able to stand up straight. Repeat this movement for 1 minute without stopping.

If you are feeling brave and want more of a challenge, once you have walked your hands back – rather than just standing up, you can jump as high as you can before squatting down and starting the move again.

Active rest 1:

Fast walk – Pick two points at your park or outdoor space (aim for at least 20 yards apart) walk at a fast walking pace to each point before returning to the first. Make sure you are driving your arms backwards and forwards as you walk and lifting your knees as you go. Complete one minute of fast walking.

Exercise 2:

The Bag Switch – Using your backpack and some rocks or water bottles (or anything that will add a suitable level of resistance). Place 1 resistance item by your feet and another around 10 yards away from your starting point. Your aim is to switch the places of the two items as many times as possible in one minute. Set your timer and get moving. You will then repeat this a second time trying to beat the number of swaps.

For a challenge wear your weighted backpack as you switch two rocks.

Active rest 2:

Bear Crawl – Starting in a push up position, walk on your hands and feet (like a bear) for one minute between your two points selected earlier. Keep your back as flat as possible throughout to avoid unnecessary strain.

Exercise 3:

The Axe Swing – Holding a bottle of water around its neck with a baseball bat grip over your right shoulder, you will be rotating your torso and swinging the bottle down towards your left foot as if you were swinging an axe. As soon as the bottle is at the bottom off the movement, drive it back up over your shoulder. Repeat this for one minute before switching to the other side.

If you are feeling brave complete this standing on just the leg you are swinging towards!  You’ll get, “the burn” and improve your balance and coordination in the same exercise.

Active Rest 3:

Crab Walk – We have walked like a human and a bear, now we will walk like a crab! Sitting down to start, place your palms flat on the ground at hip level. Bend your legs to forty five degrees and place your feet flat also. Lift your hips so just your hands and feet are in contact with the ground. Now move yourself between your two points like this for one minute.

With a thorough warm up before and a cool down afterwards this routine should take approximately thirty minutes when repeated three times. It works a number of the major muscle groups in your body as well as getting your heart rate up to build endurance.


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