Keep your spirits high and your body fat low with these twelve days of exercise to help keep you moving during the holidays. You may not be thinking of exercise with all of the holiday excitement and festivities, however, it’s important to stay active; even during the most wonderful time of the year! We challenge you to do the following Ideal Protein Phase 1 approved activities, one each day for the 12 days of Christmas. Good luck!
On the 1st Day of Fitness my IP coach gave to me: One 10 second plank
Begin on the floor on your hands and knees. Lower your forearms to the floor with elbows positioned under your shoulders and your hands shoulder-width apart. If someone looked at you from the side, your arms would form a 90-degree angle. Step your feet back, one at a time. Maintain a straight line from heels through the top of your head, looking down at the floor, with gaze slightly in front of your face. Now, tighten your abs and hold.
On the 2nd Day of Fitness my IP coach gave to me: Two Ten minute walks
Take one in the morning before work, and one in the evening. Or you can even enjoy a nice walk outside during your lunch break. Don’t let rainy weather get you down! Walk in place inside or around your house.
On the 3rd Day of Fitness my IP coach gave to me: Three push ups
Once you’ve built strength through the modified versions listed above, you’re ready to try full push up. Begin in the plank position, feet hip-width apart and hands in line with your chest. Lower until your chest barely brushes the floor, then push back up, keeping your elbows, core tight, and body in a straight line from head to toe. For beginners start with knee push-ups. Assume the same position as the standard push-up, but drop your knees to the floor. From there, simply lower and raise yourself like you would for a normal push-up. Another beginner option is wall push-ups, stand about three feet away from a wall, facing the wall. Lean toward the wall and place your hands shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend your elbows to lower yourself to the wall; once your chest is close, push out until arms are straight again and repeat.
On the 5th Day of Fitness my IP coach gave to me: Five Chair Dips
Place your hands firmly on a sturdy chair or bench surface. Lift your butt off of the chair and tuck your legs up so there’s a 90-degree angle in your knees. Keep your back straight and lower your body till your elbows are on the same level as your shoulders. Then raise your body into the original position.
On the 6th Day of Fitness my IP coach gave to me: Six Basic Squats
Stand tall with your feet hip distance apart. Your hips, knees, and toes should all be facing forward. Bend your knees and extend your buttocks backward as if you are going to sit back into a chair. Make sure that you keep your knees behind your toes and your weight in your heels. Rise back up and repeat.
On the 7th Day of Fitness my IP coach gave to me: Seven Sit-ups
Lie down on your back. Bend your legs and place feet firmly on the ground to stabilize your lower body. Cross your hands to opposite shoulders or place them behind your ears, without pulling on your neck. Curl your upper body half way up toward your knees then slowly lower to the ground. Be sure to engage your core with each curl.
On the 8th Day of Fitness my IP coach gave to me: Eight Reverse Lunges
Keeping your torso upright, core tight and toes facing forward, step back and drop knee toward the floor while simultaneously bending the front knee to 90 degrees. Return to the start position by straightening the legs and stepping the feet together.
On the 9th Day of Fitness my IP coach gave to me: Nine Arm Circles
Stand up and extend your arms straight out by the sides. Slowly start to make circles of about 1 foot in diameter with each outstretched arm. Continue the circular motion of the outstretched arms and count 9 circles. Add weights for more of a challenge.
On the 10th Day of Fitness my IP coach gave to me: Ten Bird Dogs
Kneel on all fours; make sure you are on a mat or softer surface for your knees. Reach one arm long, draw in the abdominal muscle, and extend the opposite leg long behind you. Don’t allow the pelvis to rock side to side as you move your leg behind you. Focus on not letting the rib cage sag toward the floor. Reach through your left heel to engage the muscles in the back of the leg and your butt. Return to the starting position, placing your hand and knee on the floor. Repeat on the other side.
On the 11th Day of Fitness my IP coach gave to me: Eleven Calf Raises
Stand upright with your toes pointing forwards, raise your heels off the floor and contract your calves. Slowly return to the starting position. *To make this more challenging, hold a barbell or two dumbbells by your sides.
On the 12th Day of Fitness my IP coach gave to me: Twelve Jumping Jacks
Stand with your feet together and your hands down by your side. In one motion jump your feet out to the side and raise your arms above your head. Immediately reverse that motion by jumping back to the starting position.
Don’t forget to take water breaks as needed and to stretch before and after your exercises!
**Remember, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor or physical therapist prior to starting new exercises.