A Fitmas Challenge is not usually at the top of the list during the festive season, because there’s so much going on, that we tend to de-prioritize fitness. For most of us, there is more focus on the food, organizing a gift guide and a shopping plan, holiday-related social events, and spending time with family.
However, there is a lot to be said for trying to stay in shape over the holidays instead of falling off the wagon, and it doesn’t have to be an intense workout regimen, either. Your exercise regimen can be as light or intense as you want. The true point of a Fitmas Challenge is to challenge yourself to exercise in some capacity, every day.
In the Christmas ads on TV or the Christmas memes on social media, we always see a lot of emphasis on holiday weight gain. We see people putting on weight over the holidays and falling into food comas as they celebrate the season with indulgence. Not to mention the fact that winter is a season that has us naturally wanting to hibernate and be more sedentary. Putting on a few extra pounds around Christmas time is practically tradition, but that doesn’t mean you have succumb to this fate every year.
You can avoid holiday weight gain by participating in our Fitmas Challenge, designed to keep you fit during the holidays. (Best results include a mindful diet, so just be self-aware when offered tempting, sugary, holiday treats. Try your best to eat healthy while still enjoying some holiday treats.)
So, do you want to get fit before Christmas or stay fit during the holiday season? We have you covered with our Fitmas Challenge.
Why Do People Want to Get Fit for Christmas?
In the winter months, our bodies have to work harder to keep us warm and ensure that our core temperature remains normal in order to protect our internal organs. As a result, it is natural to feel hungrier throughout the cold weather and eat more so that we can keep up with the increased caloric needs of our bodies.
Additionally, Christmas has always been a time of year to indulge. In fact, indulging on excessive treats is normalized during this time of year. Many of us say goodbye to strict diets and exercise plans so that we can take a break and eat a little more of the good stuff without too much guilt. While some people are okay with temporarily putting on a few pounds, not everyone feels that same level of acceptance.
There’s nothing wrong with either viewpoint, but for those who feel more conscious about their weight, there are ways to get fit before Christmas that will help you reduce the risk of weight gain, help you stay in shape, and allow you to enjoy the holiday season. Plus, exercise is great for your mental health, and Christmas can be a challenging time of year that exacerbates mental health issues.
CircleDNA Fitmas Challenge: 12 Workouts of Christmas
The 12 days of Christmas may as well involve 12 days of exercises. The 12 Workouts of Christmas for our Fitmas Challenge vary in intensity levels, but each provides you with plenty of movement for your body to help keep you in shape over the holidays.
For this year’s Fitmas Challenge, we’ve listed the areas of your body that each of these 12 exercises helps with, as well as how to perform them, so that you remain on top of your fitness this holiday season. All you need to do is add 5-10 reps of each of these exercises into your daily workout. Just half an hour of these 12 workouts is a surefire way to get in shape.
Without further ado, here is our Fitmas Challenge for 12 days of fitness:
1. Side Jumps
The focus of this exercise is on the hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps. This is one of the easiest exercises to follow, and these are the steps:
- Find a small object, like a book or a box, and place it next to you.
- Keep your feet firmly together, and then jump to the side and over the object.
- Repeat the process, jumping back over the book, and continue several times.
2. Jump Squats
This exercise focuses on the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and abs. The steps for performing jump squats are as follows:
- Stand straight with your feet apart (hip-width). Keep your toes pointed outwards.
- Move your hips as though you are about to sit in a chair, keeping your hips and ankles in line so as to protect your knees. Your knees should be behind your toes the whole time.
- Drop your hips further until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Put as much energy as possible into jumping up, which will engage your core muscles.
- When you land, do so in the starting position and ensure your landing is gentle.
3. Weighted Lunges
There is a great deal of emphasis on the hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps. In order to perform this exercise, just follow these steps:
- Stand up straight with your apart and in line with your shoulders, holding a weight in each hand.
- Bend your knees, lower yourself and stretch out your back leg until your back knee is about to touch the floor, keeping your knee and ankle in line.
- Put your energy into the heel of your lead foot before raising your leg to switch sides.
- Land in the standard lunge position on the opposite side and repeat the process for 10-20 reps at a time.
This exercise puts a lot of focus on the chest, triceps, lats, core, and shoulders. To perform a push-up, simply follow these steps:
- Put yourself into a plank position on the floor, keeping your hands directly under your shoulders, your feet together, and your toes curled to keep you up.
- Tense your entire body, causing it to form a straight line that starts at your head and ends at your heels.
- Using your forearms, lower your chest toward the floor, keeping your elbows tight and close to your body.
- Before your chest can touch the floor, extend your arms and push yourself back into the starting position. Repeat the process.
5. Tricep Dips
There is a lot of emphasis on the upper back, shoulders, and triceps with this exercise. In order to carry it out, just follow these steps:
- Keeping your arms extended and your shoulders above your wrist, place your palms firmly on a surface in front of you.
- Your legs should be straight in front of you, and your heels on the floor. If you need to bend your knees to make it easier, you may.
- Bending your elbows, slowly lower your hips to the floor.
- Straightening your arms, push your body back up to the starting position. Repeat.
6. Single Leg Deadlifts
Single leg deadlifts are one of the best types of deadlifts for strengthening your body. Single leg deadlifts strengthen and activate over 500 muscles in the body. This exercise works your leg muscles, your glutes, and your core. In order to perform single leg deadlifts, you must follow these steps:
- Stand with your feet together, with a weighted kettlebell or dumbbell in your right hand, about 12 – 25 pounds.
- Lift your left foot slightly off the ground, and keep your right leg straight and sturdy with a slight knee bend. Your standing leg is the same side of your body that’s holding the weight.
- Keeping your back straight, lean your entire torso forward while raising your left leg behind you, which should stay in line with your body. The kettlebell or dumbbell in your right hand will lower toward the ground.
- Keeping your back straight, return to the upright standing position, engaging the core and squeezing your glutes, which completes one rep of the single leg deadlift.
- Do 12 reps on each leg for three sets. Do not switch sides until 12 simultaneous reps have been completed on one side.
When performing this exercise, there is a strong focus on the abs, glutes, shoulders, quadriceps, and chest. To perform this exercise, you just need to follow these steps:
- Stand up straight before squatting down and placing your hands on the floor on the outside of your feet.
- Jump your feet back, keeping your hands firmly planted on the ground, and ensure you land with your legs straight and your toes curled under your feet.
- Slowly lower your body, keeping your elbows close just like you were doing a push-up.
- Push your palms into the floor, lifting your body again.
- Shift your weight, putting it all into your hands so that you can move forward into a squat.
- Put all your energy into a jump, ensuring you land on your feet. Land gently and repeat.
This exercise puts emphasis on the shoulders, core, hamstrings, and glutes. In order to carry out this exercise, follow the steps below:
- Stand up straight and keep your feet together. Bend at your hips, placing your hands on the floor in front of you.
- Walk your hands forward slowly, using them as though they were feet.
- Continue walking your hands until your body is just above the floor. Hold this position for three seconds.
- Slowly walk your hands backward, returning to the starting position. Repeat the process.
9. Butterfly Sit-Ups
This exercise benefits your abs and is an excellent workout for your muscles. The process is easy; just follow these simple steps:
- Lie down on your back and keep the soles of your feet together. Your heels should point towards your backside, and your arms should be stretched above your head.
- Push your lower back into the floor, rolling your shoulders up while you lean forward.
- Curl forwards using your torso so that it is lifted off the floor. You should touch just past your feet.
- Slowly lower your body back to the floor and repeat the process.
10. Russian Twists
This exercise is another great workout for your abs and obliques. Performing this exercise is fairly simple and requires you to do the following:
- While sitting on the floor, bend your knees to a 45-degree angle while keeping your heels a few inches off the floor.
- Lean back with your torso, maintaining the 45-degree angle once more but this time with your hips. Use your backside bones to balance.
- Rotating your torso, tap the floor on your left with both hands.
- Repeat this but in the opposite direction.
- After doing both sides, that’s one rep. Repeat the entire process.
11. Mountain Climbers
This exercise has a strong emphasis on your abs, hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps. To carry it out, simply perform the following steps:
- Place your hands on the floor, making sure that they are under your shoulders. Ensure your hips remain lifted and extend your legs. Keep your feet together, and your toes should be curled underneath them.
- Tense your entire body, maintaining a rigid position that goes from your head to your heels.
- Put your left foot out behind you, keeping it straight. At the same time, pull your right knee in towards your chest.
- Put your right foot down behind you and then repeat the above using your left leg. Repeat the whole process several times.
This classic exercise puts its core focus on the lower back, core, quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. It’s a very simple exercise to follow, and the steps are:
- Stand up straight, keep your shoulders above your hips, and ensure your feet are hip-width apart. Keep your toes turned out slightly.
- Slowly drop your back and hips down, keeping your knees behind your toes the entire time. You should also line up your hips and ankles to protect your knees.
- Lower yourself further as though you are about to sit down.
- Before you can reach the floor, put your weight into your heels and push yourself back into a standing position. Repeat the process.
More Fitmas Tips: Our Tips for Staying Fit This Christmas
In addition to our 12 Days of Fitmas, there are a few other tips you might want to keep in mind when you start on your Fitmas Challenge:
- Set realistic goals. If you push yourself too hard, you’re only going to end up injuring yourself or feeling disappointed.
- Keep a positive attitude. Remember to motivate yourself and remind yourself that you are capable of achieving what you set out to do.
- Be patient. Weight loss and fitness take time, and you aren’t going to see results overnight. Don’t lose heart, and remember that you will see results.
- Moderation. Christmas fitness doesn’t mean giving up the food you love or stopping yourself from indulging. Like all things in life, moderation is the key. Of course, there is always the option of healthier Christmas dinner choices if you want them.
We hope that this guide has been able to help you feel a little more motivated to stay active as Christmas approaches. We know it can be hard to stay in shape this time of year, but with a little perseverance, you’re sure to feel better about yourself in no time at all.
Before you get started, why not get a DNA test from CircleDNA? The results can give you a detailed look at the type of exercises that benefit your physical fitness most based on your genetic strengths and weaknesses. The DNA test also provides guidance on your diet and nutrition plan, by revealing the optimal food choices for you, based on your DNA.
Nature, Seasonal variation in food intake, physical activity, and body weight in a predominantly overweight population: