12 Days Of Christmas Fitness Edition

*Que music*

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go…

Probably. And with the holidays I hear more and more worry about gaining weight, going on a diet, not eating too much at gatherings, and on and on. Well, let’s put an end to all of that right now.

Best napkin ever.

I know what’s on your list this year and it’s not found at your local department store.

If you’re like me, you’re wishing for washboard abs… or just the give of health -so I’ve put together “The Twelve Days of Christmas Fitness Edition,” just for you.

On the First Day…

Give yourself the gift of Burpees.
Created in the 1930’s by psychologist Royal H. Burpee, the burpee is an intense full body exercise that helps burn fat and tone muscles. A burpee is done in the following five steps: 1) Stand with feet shoulder width apart. 2) Drop to a squat with your hands on the ground. 3) Kick feet back while lowering into a push-up. 4) Return to squat position. 5) Jump up with arms overhead. GO!

On the Second Day…

Give yourself the gift of Fiber.
Stocking up on fiber will do wonders for your abs, thighs, appetite control, and digestion. High fiber foods are nutrient dense and low in calories. Try these high fiber favorites: raspberries, pear (with skin), artichoke, peas, apples (with skin), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and carrots. And even better, raw cacao- or raw chocolate- more reason to enjoy a little indulgence every now and again. (But milk chocolate doesn’t count.)

On the Third Day…

Give yourself the gift of a Medicine Ball.
The first medicine balls were created in Persia over 3,000 years ago, made with sand filled bladders and used by wrestlers as part of their conditioning. Today you can get the same rippling abs by incorporating medicine balls into your exercise routine. Do a sit-up holding a medicine ball at your chest then throw it to a partner as you raise your chest toward your knees; or hold a medicine ball with arms straight up in the air as you do crunches. Don’t forget about holding a crunch in the up position and touching the medicine ball to each side of your body, over and over, and over…

On the Fourth Day…

Give yourself the gift of Reduced Salt.
Too much salt leads to water retention- and that spells disaster for your health or weight loss/maintenance. Pay attention to the sodium content of your food. Limit salt intake by not eating packaged foods and only adding it to foods you’ve prepared at home.

On the Fifth Day…

Give yourself the gift of Oblique V-Sits.
Who really wants a muffin top? You don’t, so incorporate Oblique V-Sits into your routine in 3 simple steps. 1) Lie on your side with legs straight and hands behind your head. 2) Raise your arms and legs simultaneously, while exhaling and squeezing your obliques. 3) Repeat on the other side.

On the Sixth Day…

Give yourself the gift of Lean Protein.
Along with fiber, your meals should be packed with lean protein. This will help support muscle growth while controlling blood sugar – all important factors when it come to a slimmer waistline. Plus feed those great muscles from all the Burpees, medicine ball exercises, and V-sits you’ve done.

On the Seventh Day…

Give yourself the gift of Sprints.
The days of long slow cardio sessions are long gone. We now know that short intense bursts of cardio is the ideal way to melt fat. Run 60-90 second sprints in between resistance training sets to really kick your fat burning mechanism into high gear.

On the Eighth Day…

Give yourself the gift of No Sugar.
Sure, sugar tastes good, but indulging in it causes your body to store layers of fat. Enjoy fresh fruit, rather than refined sugar. If you really want washboard abs, then say no to sugar and pick fiber-filled options like figs and dates to sweeten recipes.

On the Ninth Day…

Give yourself the gift of Hanging Leg Raises.
This is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your abdominals (and my FAVORITE exercise in existence). 1) Hang from pull-up bar with legs fully extended. 2) Exhale and drive your knees up toward your chest. 3) Inhale as you slowly lower your legs back down.

On the Tenth Day…

Give yourself the gift of No Grain.
If you’re serious about that six pack then put down the bread basket. Grains are full of insulin-spiking carbohydrates-the perfect combination for fattening you up and keeping you warm this winter. Learn to love grain-free meals that center around vegetables with some lean meats.

On the Eleventh Day…

Give yourself the gift of Mountain Climbers.
Here’s another intense exercise that really targets your abs, shoulders, back, and legs, all while also burning fat. 1) Get into push-up position. 2) Exhale as you alternately drive your knees in toward your chest, keeping your back flat. 3) Repeat.

On the Twelfth Day…

Give yourself the gift of WhatRunsLori.com often.
Check back for more tummy flattening programs that will get you that fit(ter) body that you’re wishing for. Check out my recipes for inspiration on meal planning and having fun with great fitness-geared food. (come on, I had to plug my blog) 😉

Enter 2012 in better shape than you are today, healthier than you’ve been in a long time, and with more energy! Speaking from experience, we can all work on some part of our health and fitness.

12 Days of Christmas fitness list was lovingly adapted by a gym newsletter. Thanks LG Fitness!

Happy Monday! Which day of Christmas are you starting with today?

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