Ten Minute Holiday Workout and A Smoothie Recipe

| December 26, 2013 | 8 Comments


It’s that time of year.  Holiday parties, shopping for gifts, wrapping, hectic schedules, more shopping and more wrapping.  Our workout routines can sometimes take a back seat.  Our healthy eating often goes out the window.  We feel sluggish, tired, stressed and out of shape.

I know it can feel overwhelming with all of the extra activities taking place.  Life is busy with kids and we often forego our workouts as a method of managing it all.  However, we can still make it work!  You can squeeze in small bits of activity, maintain a (mostly) healthy diet and feel energized and happy.  Here’s what I do:

Follow this 10 minute workout.  No gym, no equipment, nothing fancy.  I will often do this after the kids go to sleep.  Ten minutes is all it takes, just ten.

1. Push ups: Place your hands under your shoulders and start from your knees.  Keep your back straight and engage your core (try not to let your back arch).  Bend your elbows and bring your chest down to the floor, lift yourself back up.  Advanced tip: Try these from your toes.  12-15 repetitions

2. Squats: Stand tall with your feet shoulder width apart.  Bend at the hips, bend your knees and ankles and imagine you’re sitting in a chair.  Push through your heels to come up and squeeze your glutes.  Advanced tip: Hold at the bottom position for an extra 4 seconds on each rep. 12-15 repetitions

3. Plank Hold: Place your elbows under your shoulders and lift your body up onto your knees or toes with your back straight.  Engage your core by drawing your navel in and lifting your ribs up.  You should feel your core (not your back).  Advanced tip: Lift one leg and switch sides.  Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Bridge: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.  Squeeze your glutes, push through your heels and lift your hips off the floor.  Lift as high as you can without feeling your low back or hamstrings (back of the legs).  Focus on keeping your glutes engaged as you lower down.  Advanced tip: try elevating one leg and perform all repetitions on one side, switch sides.  12-15 repetitions.

Lying draw ins with marches: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.  Draw your navel in, press the top part of your ribs down to the floor (try coughing to achieve this), and Kegel.  Maintain this cemented position with your core and bring one leg up, maintaining a 90 degree bend in the knee.  Lower down and switch sides without letting your hips shift.  Use your core to stabilize your hips and pelvis.  Advanced tip: Start with both legs up and lower one leg at a time.  12-15 repetitions each side.

If you feel you have more time, attempt another set.  Voila!  Workout is done and you’ve squeezed a bit of activity into your day.  Aim to get a little bit of cardio in.  Get outside to shovel, go for a family ski or snowshoe, go toboganning (my favourite) – climb the hill a few extra times, make a snowman or go for a brisk walk.

Focus on healthy eating when you can.  Incorporating smoothies are great options for when you need a snack on the go.  Here’s my favourite smoothie recipe:

Two handfuls of spinach or kale

1/4 cucumber

1 stalk of celery

1 tablespoon of flax and chia seeds

1/3 cup of blueberries

1 banana or 1/2c mango or an orange

Blend and presto – snack time on the go!


Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Healthy_Living_g284-Attractive_Young_Brunette_Doing_Push_Ups_p143452.html

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Category: Wellness

About the Author ()

Sarah is a Certified Kinesiologist, Exercise Physiologist, Group Fitness Instructor and Mother of 2. She is the creator of the Prenatal and Postnatal Strength Workout DVD (available at www.sarahzahab.ca) as well as co-created the Elemental Workout®. Sarah owns Continuum Fitness and Movement Performance with her husband, John (www.continuumfitness.ca), a personal training studio in Westboro, Ottawa offering one on one coaching as well as group classes. Sarah is a former international fitness competitor and has been a nationally ranked race walker.

Comments (8)

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  1. Brenda A says:

    I have considered many times trying smoothies other than the kind I usually make for the kids (banana, greek yogurt, frozen fruit..) for what I consider healthier smoothies like above. I have no idea why I have not tried yet. Something in my mind equates smoothies with sweetness I guess. It sounds so healthy to do the green smoothie thing. I really must give it a try, not just think about it!

  2. Fan R says:

    I like 10 min workouts, work best for me and no need to go to gym and results almost the same.

  3. Victoria Ess says:

    That smoothie sounds similar to what I drink every morning! So delicious!

  4. Cheryl (@loucheryl) says:

    Great tips! I love the sound of the smoothie. I can’t wait to start running again in 2014!

  5. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I just love the idea of a 10 minute work out – not sure that I could do it in 10 mins, nor get up off the floor afterwards 😉

  6. kathy downey says:

    I so love the sound of that smoothie

  7. kathy downey says:

    10 minute work out I think I could

  8. kathy downey says:

    After all the turkey and holidays treats i need a lot of these 10-minute workouts

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