12 Days of Fitness

I think most would agree that the best thing your “True Love” could bring would be health and happiness.  Material acquisitions fall by the wayside if you are not fit enough to enjoy life both physically and mentally.  I have often written how exercise is a total body and mind workout and helps to combat stress, depression, anxiety alongside the benefits to physical health.  So dispense, this year, with the 2 turtle doves and the partridge in a pear tree and instead give yourself the gift of fitness.

So who is up for joining me on a countdown to Xmas Day?  On the 1st Day begin by introducing more exercise into your daily life.  Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator.  If you are at home, walk up and down the stairs every hour or if you live on the ground floor then utilise a door step outside.  Day 2 is time to use the time that the kettle takes boil, 20 bodyweight squats until it has finished and you can also alternate these with side lunges.  On the 3rd day let’s start with some upper body workouts and do 10 press ups.  These can be either a box press or full leg.  Before you begin any movement, contract your abs and tighten your core by pulling your belly button toward your spine. Keep a tight core throughout the entire press up. If you have trouble doing these on the floor you can still do a press up against the wall, standing with legs hip width and hands placed on the wall in front.  Keeping your feet flat; use your arms to bring your chest toward the wall then back to position.  Increase the press ups until you are doing 5 sets of 10.  Day 4 is a good strong march on the spot for 3 minutes followed by 30 jumping jacks, just the thing to raise your heart rate and increase your cardio.  On the 5th day, unfortunately no gold rings but what about trying a hula hoop, fun and laughter whilst still working out.

Day 6 we will start doing abdominal crunches, place your hands on your thighs, across your chest or behind your ears. Slowly curl up towards your knees until your shoulders are about 3 inches off the floor. Hold the position for a few seconds and lower down slowly, perform 12 and introduce more as you get fitter.  Over half way now and so on Day 7 take yourself out for a jog or fast walk, try and do at least 20 minutes minimum.  Day 8 and tricep dips are a fantastic way to tone the back of the arms.  On a stable seat or step place your hands behind you, directly under the shoulders and fingers facing your hips.  Your knees bent and feet on the floor lift hips to a hover and then bend elbow straight back use your triceps to press back up.  Very effective and challenging try and do 10 rest and repeat.  On the 9th day it is back outside, this time with a skipping rope and enjoy the huge benefit and fun of skipping.  Build up slowly and make sure you wear trainers.

Day 10 we go back to the upper body and if you don’t have any hand weights then a couple of tins of baked beans will do the trick.  Stand up straight with a weight in each hand at arm’s length.  Now, keeping the upper arms stationary, exhale and curl the weights while contracting your biceps, then, inhale and slowly begin to lower the weights back to the starting position.  You can do both together, or one at a time, or alternate.

On Day 11 sneak off to the local swimming pool, early morning is a great time to start your day off with an invigorating swim.  On the 12th Day, once the main festivities are over, gather together your family, friends and any dogs and go out for an energising walk, much better than dozing in front of the TV. Take the time to feel proud of all you have achieved.  By adding daily exercise into your life then, hopefully, you will carry this over into the New Year and beyond.   As always if you have any physical conditions then do consult your doctor before beginning anything new.  Good luck in all your workouts and I wish you all the very best for the festive period – see you all in 2019 .