If you’ve compiled your holiday gift list, chances are you’ve included everyone’s desires except your own. Although it is common to prioritize others during the gift-giving season, this unhealthy habit ultimately contributes to that burned-out feeling we all know too well by New Year’s Day.
Despite how it may seem, self-care is not a selfish act. Rather, it’s necessary for your physical and mental health. Just like any other relationship in your life, the one you have with yourself requires attention, love, patience, and acceptance to thrive. Only then, when your own needs are being met, can you give more fully to others.
Over the last two weeks, you’ve learned valuable self-care techniques such as stretching and mindfulness to promote a greater sense of well-being. To close out this series, you’ll get a fast fitness routine to give you the energy needed to power through the demanding pace of December. It can be completed in just 15 minutes, requires no equipment, and aids in developing muscles, managing weight, and reducing stress.
» READ MORE: Week 1: A stretching routine to help you better manage stress
» READ MORE: Week 2: Practice gratitude for a happier, healthier holiday season
Practice this high-intensity workout three days each week, with light aerobic activity, such as walking, on the other days. Once the holiday rush has slowed down, reset your weekly workout goal to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobics.
Each exercise will be performed for 60 seconds, with a 60-second break following each movement. Repeat this entire circuit twice.
March in place
Pump your arms and bring your knees up toward your chest to work your leg and core muscles. Keep your gaze forward and shoulders back, and land lightly with each step.
Begin with your feet together and arms extended from your shoulder in front of your body. Your hands should be touching with fingers pointed forward.
With your weight in the balls of your feet, jump your legs out wide while simultaneously bringing your arms out to your sides at shoulder height. Rev your heart rate by continuing this back-and-forth jumping at a brisk pace.
Power and perk up your posterior muscles with a fast set of squats. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, shoulders back, and weight in your heels. To ensure that your weight is grounded in your heels, curl your toes up slightly. This will help to protect your knees.
Hinge back at your hips as if sitting down on a seat, and lift your arms up to shoulder height. Hold for one count, then push through your heels to stand and squeeze your glutes at the top.
Using a sturdy platform, position your hands shoulder-width apart. Your body weight will be distributed between your hands and balls of your feet. To engage your core muscles, tuck your tailbone by shifting your hips, and tighten your glute muscles. Doing this will help your abdominal area stay stable. Maintain a straight line from head to heels throughout this exercise.
Slowly lower your chest down toward the surface of your platform, hold for two counts, then push back up. Remember to breathe evenly with each repetition.
Stay merry and light this season, by making personal time a top priority.
Ashley Blake Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach in South Jersey. Learn more about her virtual training program at ashleyblakefitness.com.