December is a busy, fun-filled month, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take time to work out or de-stress with a cup of tea. Here are a few items that will help keep you fit and healthy for the entire month while you embark on everything from holiday shopping to New Year's Eve partying. Who knows? Maybe these picks will end up on your holiday wish list.
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We love training with resistance bands. Easier to store than dumbbells and light enough to pack in any suitcase, resistance bands are a must-own tool. Plus the number of exercises you can do with the bands is endless. Mike Alexander, founder of MADfit, created this 10-minute workout featuring our favorite fitness tool. Grab a resistance band and get ready to strength train in a whole new way.
- Love your warmup: Whether you're going a short or long distance, warming up is necessary for a safe and injury-free run. Get your heart jumping with a series of jumping jacks, a quick power walk, or this five-move dynamic warmup. Just a little cardio will make a world of difference.
- Fuel your body right: Overloading on a huge meal right before a run is going to make the whole experience a struggle. Choosing the right pre-workout snack puts you on the right track for a great run.
- Pick a solid pace: Kicking things off too quickly will lead you to burn out fast as well. Don't be afraid to start a little slower, or try out a running playlist to help you keep a steady pace. This 5K mix is perfect for a nine-minute mile or this half-hour running playlist will help you run three miles.
How do you take care of yourself to make sure you have the best run possible?
Who doesn't feel pressed for time between the major holidays? I asked my Equinox trainer, Lauren, for a couple quick cardio workouts to burn up the calories. She gave me a rowing workout — a great machine that always seems to be available — and an incline workout on the treadmill. Even though you might be short on time, you don't need to give up your sweat sessions. Try these quickies.
Rowing Machine Workout
Set resistance between two and five; anything higher and you're likely to hurt your back.
- Warmup: Row for three to five minutes at 50 percent of max.
- Sprint: Row at 90 to 100 percent of max for 100 meters; rest for 15 seconds, repeat for a total of 10 reps.
- Cooldown: Row for three minutes, at 50 percent of max.
This is a great workout to add into circuit training for a nice cardio kick. Be sure to read up on tips for using the rowing machine before heading to the gym.
Not feeling it for the rowing machine? Keep reading to check out the treadmill incline workout.
Stretching in bed is the perfect way to wind down at the end of a hectic day. We also recommend it as a pleasant way to jump-start your day. Here seven stretches you can do in your pajamas. Do all seven if you have time, or just pick a few. Either way, you'll feel better whether you're heading to the land of nod or waking with the sun.
Toast to your health and the holidays with this antioxidant-rich cocktail featuring one of our favorite superfoods of Fall, the pomegranate. Nutritionist Cynthia Sass created this healthy twist on the martini, and we love that it's garnished with the antioxidant-rich herb rosemary, not to mention the seeds of the pomegranate. Take your cocktail shaker out, and get ready to mix it up. Cheers!
The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be tough for even the fittest folks. Cooler weather makes working out more difficult, and getting caught up in the hype of the holidays makes putting off a workout even easier. If you're ready to stick to your plan — and to not make getting fit your New Year's resolution for yet another year — then practice these tips.