Workout counters holiday calories

The holiday workout plan: Part Two of a four part series. This series is designed to keep you focused as the parties, shopping, concerts, programs, sports and all the other things we decide to do this time of year whirl around us. Each week will ...

The holiday workout plan: Part Two of a four part series. This series is designed to keep you focused as the parties, shopping, concerts, programs, sports and all the other things we decide to do this time of year whirl around us. Each week will build off the next, but you can jump in anytime as long as you pay attention and continue to work at your level.

Workout plan, week 2

Plan an hour of activity each day this week. Write down an hour wherever you keep your schedule. Keep in mind it does not have to be an hour block of time, but it should add up to an hour by the end of the day. The more advanced you are the more you'll want your cardiovascular work to be continuous. Take time to warm up and cool down before and after your workout.

  • Cardiovascular work: Perform 30-40 minutes of cardio work. Anything that raises your heart rate for an extended period of time. This could be walking, running, biking, hiking, swimming, aerobics, etc. You should be breathing heavy but still able to carry on a short conversation. On a scale from 1-10 with one being easy and 10 too hard, work between a 5 and 7. Check in often with yourself to make sure you are working hard enough. Aim to work closer to seven as long as possible this week.
  • Flexibility training: Flexibility training comes at the end of your workout when your muscles are warm. Spend 10-15 minutes stretching each muscle group. Hold your stretch for 10 seconds and repeat three times.
  • Strength training: You can perform the following with dumbbells, machine weights, rubber tubing, soup cans, anything that adds extra resistance -- sometimes I use my kids (safety is a must).

Warm-up, 5 minutes -- move around, stretch anything that feels tight, and prepare your mind for a workout. Make sure the weight is heavy enough to perform 8-10 repetitions. If you can do 12 reps go up in weight, 6 reps go down in weight. Perform two sets of 8-10 repetitions this week.
Narrow dumbbell row -- Standing in a lunge, support your spine by pulling your belly button towards your back and place the hand of the forward foot side on your thigh, lean forward slightly. With weight in your hand, extend the arm on the side of the back foot, toward the floor, under your shoulder. Lift the weight by bringing the elbow toward the ceiling, keeping it close to the body. Squeeze the shoulder blade toward the middle of your back.

Single leg squats -- Stand with chair behind you. Lift one foot off the floor or pick up the heel and place the majority of your weight on the opposite foot. Holding weight in each hand (optional), begin to sit back into chair. Allow your bottom to touch lightly but do not sit. Stand back up. Remember to keep knees over the ankles not toes. If touching the chair is too hard, go as far as you can and stand back up. This challenges your balance as well as your muscles.


Push-ups -- Place your hands under your shoulders, close to the body. Lower yourself down and push back up. Work at your level. Start on the wall if getting to the floor is difficult. You can start on your hands and knees lowering just the upper body or shift the weight forward, keeping the body in good alignment (spine straight) and lower your weight. Finally, you can lift the knees and lower the whole body weight. Please pay attention to your lower back and core. The abdominals should stay tight to protect the back. If you feel the back sway, you need to back off a level or decrease the number of push-ups you are doing.

Walking lunges -- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, weight in each hand (optional). Step forward and bend front knee. Weight stays centered; shoulders over the hips. Stand back up. No need to touch the back knee to the floor. Step forward and bring feet together. Repeat on opposite leg. Keep the front knee over the ankle not the toes.

Reverse grip shoulder press -- Standing or sitting. Spine long and lifted; belly tight. Turn the palms toward your back and press the weight overhead. Bring the weight down to shoulders. Repeat.

Concentration curl -- Sit, rest one hand on the opposite knee and place the elbow of the other arm in your hand. Weight in hand. Curl the weight up toward your shoulder and then slowly lower to starting position. Repeat opposite arm.

Triceps extensions -- Stand in a lunge with one hand on front leg supporting your spine, weight in opposite hand. Lift the elbow toward the ceiling and extend the forearm toward the back wall. Do not move the shoulder; keep the elbow up and back. This keeps the muscle work about the triceps.

Take one to two days of active rest. Active rest means you move but not for a goal. Walk, housework, take the stairs, park further from the door, etc. Do something active on your off days.

If the days off do not fit swap the workout for the days that do. Try not to take your days off consecutively and do not perform strength days back to back. You should check with your health care provider before beginning any workout program and always work at your level.

Lifestyle challenge


The Holiday Workout Plan: Week 2

Saturday, cardio and flexibility.

Sunday, strength, cardio and flexibility

Monday, off, active rest

Tuesday, strength, cardio and flexibility

Wednesday, cardio and flexibility

Thursday, strength, cardio and flexibility

Friday, off day or cardio and flexibility


Stacy Reuille-Dupont is a former fitness director and owner of Superior Balance Fitness Center and Personal Balance Consulting. She can be reached at or 392-9860.

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