The holidays. They are about love, cheer, good tidings, and a whole lot of eating. Chances are the cookies, toffee, and eggnog have already made their way into your office fridge. So we asked Health and Fitness Expert and creator of Love, Sweat & Fitness, Katie Dunlop, to make sure we don't pack on the pounds during these winter months, because why wait for the new year, when you can look your best now?
The 12 Days of Fitmas Challenge.
Before you get started here are a few tips I know will help you make it through this:
Warm-Up: Before you start any workout it’s important to get some active stretching in to warm up your muscles and help prevent injury.
Stretch After: Take 5-10 minutes after each workout to slowly stretch the muscles used during your exercise.
Plan Ahead: If you don’t schedule your workouts into your day like any other appointment, it’s easy to let them slip through the cracks. If you’re short on time, break it up. Workouts don’t have to be full one-hour sessions. Fit it into your day in whatever way you can!
Day One: Cardio
We’re getting things started with cardio to get your body ready to work. This is a great way to evaluate how hard you can push it over the next 12 days and kick things off with some serious calorie burn. Hit the treadmill or take it outside for 30 minutes of steady state cardio. You want to get your heart rate up, but only so high that you can maintain smooth breathing. Fast walking or a light jog is perfect! Don’t forget to be drinking plenty of water during and after your workout as needed!
Day Two: Arms + Abs
I love pairing these two workouts together because you can really burn out those smaller muscle groups and make some serious change. Even though you’re bundling up for the holidays, I know everyone still wants toned arms. Grab a set of dumbbells (Try 5-10lb weights) and do my Tank Top Arms Workout first. Then, get ready to rock those Brittany Spears Abs ,Circa 1999, with this Strong Sculpted Abs Routine. Keep that core engaged and spine nice and long the entire time to ensure correct posture.
Day Three: Booty + Legs
Today it’s all about that bass ☺ You’re going to focus on lifting and tightening your back side with some of my favorite variations of squats and lunges! Do this Lower Body Circuit first and if you want a little more fun, check out this great Squat Challenge to really burn it up!
Day Four: Cardio + Abs
Today we’re back at it, but this time I want you to really push it. You are only going to be doing 15 minutes of cardio, but it’s interval style. You will go as fast and as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then rest or walk for 30 seconds. This can be done on a treadmill at a level 2 incline or outside. Once you’ve completed the 15 rounds, take a 2 minute break and then hit my Bikini Abs Ladder. Don’t forget to stretch after!
Day Five: Active Rest Day
Okay, you’ve just worked that booty off for 4 days straight! It’s time to take a break and let your muscles recover. Use today to do some yoga, stretching or go for a long relaxing walk. You want to keep the muscles moving to release tension, but also give them a little down time. Try this Yoga Flow.
Day Six: Love Handles + Thighs
These might be the two areas I hear women complain about the most so today we are going to crush them! Although nutrition plays a big role in fat loss here, there are tons of great exercises you can do to tone it up. Today you’ll do my favorite Barre Bootcamp Workout that really works into these pesky spots.
Day Seven: Cardio
Now that you’ve spent some more time working on individual muscle groups, it’s time to turn up the cardio again! Take a 28-35min of steady state cardio or do some intervals for even more of a calorie burn. You can alternate between walking for 2 minutes, jogging for 4 minutes and sprinting for 1 minute.
Day Eight: Back, Biceps+ Shoulders
I know most women get nervous about bulking up in these areas, but I promise it takes some serious effort for that to happen. These exercises will help you create long lean muscles with beautiful definition! Keep your posture tall and core engaged throughout the entire workout.
Day Nine: Total Body Burn
Today’s workout is going to be a mix of cardio and strength training for the entire body! With these 6 easy moves you will feel everything working to tone and tighten up. The best part is, you don’t need any equipment to rock my Six To Slim Workout!
Day 10: Active Rest Day
Phew! You made it to another rest day! Awesome work ladies! Take some time today to reflect on the last ten days and all the amazing things you’re body has accomplished. You only have two more days of the challenge so stretch, rest and get ready to rock it tomorrow!
Day 11: Abs + Cardio
And we’re back! Today’s workout is AWESOME for this holiday season! My Muffin Top Melter will do just that…melt away those love handles! Finish the day off with the Fat Burning Cardio HIIT Workout and some serious stretching.
Day 12: Booty + Abs
Yes! You did it! We’re going to finish strong with an Abs + Booty Barre Bootcamp Workout and quick 5 min Abs Workout! Remember to keep your pelvic tucked and core engaged throughout the exercises to protect your lower back. Focus on long posture from your tailbone through the crown of your head.
Now go ahead… give yourself a high five and maybe a little cheers to your hot holiday self!
Katie Dunlop, CPT is a health and fitness expert. After her own 45lb weight-loss transformation, Katie created Love Sweat & Fitness to inspire women to live fit, healthy, and most importantly, balanced lives. She believes you have to love what you’re doing or you won’t keep doing it. Her goal is to provide fun and effective workouts women will love at any fitness level and with little to no equipment needed.