Happy HOL-LEAN-DAYS day 1! The advent calendars have hopefully already been opened which means the countdown to Christmas is officially ON!
So as promised I am going to be bringing you tips through December to keep you fit and focussed throughout this festive season.
Tip number 1: Stealth exercise! I understand your diary is about to go off the scale crazy which might mean compromising your workout schedule and missing some of your sessions. So how do you make these up? Grab the opportunity to move when you can, wherever you can.
Over the next couple of weeks I am going to be showing you “stealth moves” that you can incorporate into your every day routine and here’s the first: chair tricep dips. Tone your arms whilst catching up on your favourite TV show – I’m doing mine watching I’m a Celeb, but X Factor or Made in Chelsea work just as well ?
Position your thumbs underneath your bum and point your fingers forward, relaxing your neck and shoulders by squeezing the base of your shoulder blades together. Using your triceps (back of the arms) press up and down whilst keeping your bottom as close to the chair as you can. Ensure you are bending at the elbow and try to keep the elbows facing back.
To advance this move lift one leg at a time, as you will see at the end of this video. Start with 3 sets of 10 dips and see if you can get to 20 reps by Christmas Day!
I would love to see you guys give this a go – tag me and use #happyholleandays in your posts so I can see! Keep up with these and I promise Santa will be bringing you sexy arms this Christmas! Wearing @hpeclothing snake leggings from @activeinstyle
Happy Hol Lean Days tip number 2! Having had really positive feedback on Day 1’s tricep dips and the idea of Christmas exercise anytime, any place then here’s another stealth exercise for you to add into your routine – standing abductor (outer thigh and butt) raises. A great booty lifter, you should definitely feel the burn with this simple move.
Stand tall, with belly button pulled in towards your spine for a nice tight core. You can start holding on to something (I’m using the kitchen worktop here) and progress to free standing as you build more single leg stability. Keeping a slight bend in the supporting leg and trying to stay as upright as possible, lift one leg out to the side, keeping the foot flexed. Take the leg as high as you can until you feel the outer thigh and glutes contract, but not so far as you start to lean over. Pause slightly at the top and then control as you lower back down. Start with three sets of 10 on each leg and see if you can work up to 20 by Christmas Day.
I’m doing mine whilst cooking my dinner – so next time you’re slaving over a hot stove (checking the mince pies, stirring the cranberry sauce, simmering the sprouts…) you can cook up a great bum and thighs at the same time!
If you can combine this with the tricep dips from Day 1 you’ve got yourself a killer upper and lower body shaping combo!
Happy Hol-lean-Days number 3 – let’s get social! One of the very best things about Christmas, in my opinion, is the chance to spend time with family, friends and loved ones. However, this in itself can sometimes become stressful with so many other things in our diary at this time of year and the temptation to skip a workout to catch up with a friend is high. But it is possible to do both – so my third #happyholleandays tip is to combine the two and workout with a friend – you get to catch up, exchange gifts and best of all motivate each other to get a serious sweat on!
Yesterday I grabbed my best girl @fitness_and_the_city and we hit @1rebel for a Reshape class with @kelly_wootton – not only did we burn some serious calories but we met 45 minutes before the class to catch up over coffee so we got our gossiping done before we hit the treadmills. Running side by side we were able to motivate each other through the workout and by the time Sunday lunchtime rolled around we had already got our training in for the day and spent some quality time together – perfect!
So when you look at your schedule for this week and start to feel stressed worrying how you’re going to fit in your workouts and seeing your friends for a festive catch up then remember – it IS possible to do two things at once, and do them both well! A group fitness class, a run, a gym floor circuit, even a festive dog walk – grab your nearest and dearest and get moving!
Check back soon both here and the @wildcatfit Instagram to see more Happy Hol-Lean-Days tips to help you stay fit for the festive season.