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20161201_130425The holidays can be crazy busy  and quite often stressful which is one more good reason to stick to your routine and carve out time for yourself. They also aren’t the best time for setting weight loss goals or making huge gains at the gym. They are however a perfect time to go into “maintenance mode” instead of gain mode!

During the holidays, it’s tempting to ditch your workouts with the promise to start again after the New Year. Research shows that when regular exercise stops, our bodies start to lose muscle and our fitness levels decline within a few weeks.

The minute you stop training, your body stops building muscles. How rapidly your muscle strength and overall fitness decline depends on a couple factors. Your overall fitness level and how long you’ve been working out. If you’ve only been exercising for a couple of months, you can lose up to 80 percent of your fitness level in as few as two weeks!

One thing is for sure: You’ll lose your muscles in a shorter amount of time than it took to build them.

It’s far better to shift into “maintenance mode” than to stop altogether and lose what you’ve worked so hard to gain. Not to mention the extra pounds that creep on when your body is used to burning off a certain amount of calories with exercise. Are you convinced yet?

Even if you need to reduce the time of each session or cut back one workout a week, maintaining the momentum of your regular exercise routine is much easier than stopping and trying to re-establish it again later.

Here are 3 good reasons why you should give your body the gift of regular exercise.

Holiday Stress

Shopping, increased food prep, company, and travel all lead to increased stress. Just saying it makes me feel stressed! Exercise promotes the release of hormones (endorphins) that improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety. Even a 15 minute workout can help to clear your head, collect your thoughts, and allow you to feel focused and de-stressed.

Seasonal Depression

Shorter days, darker days, winter quietly chips away at our daylight hours. For some, this can lead to varying degrees of seasonal depression. Exercise can reduce symptoms of depression and elevate mood. Plus, getting outside for a walk or an outdoor workout during the day provides additional benefits by increasing sunlight exposure. I always feel better after working out. Never is there a time when I’ve regretted a workout!

No Guilt For Holiday Indulgences

My goal is to eat healthy most of the time. 80/20. This can be hard to maintain during the holidays, and depriving ourselves isn’t the route most of us want to take. Knowing that we’ve kept on with our workouts allow ourselves to enjoy special meals and treats, guilt free, without the holiday weight gain. The two can balance each other out so you can maintain, and not gain!

Here are two workouts if you are short on time that will strengthen and sculpt your muscles.

Workout 1:  10 x 10 (30 minute workout)

10 Reps of each exercise, 10 times through. Rest as little as possible between each exercise, 1 minute rest between each round.
Burpee (or high knees, 10 each leg)
Squat jump
Push-up
Roll-ups
Bridge
Dips

Workout 2: 15 Minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes)

40 Jumping jacks
20 Sumo squats
20 Walking lunges
10 Walking planks (up up, down down)
10 Superman lifts

 

I’ve put together a 30 day workout calendar with 14 different workout videos for you to follow along with. The 30 Day Slim & Sculpt Program also comes with a meal plan and recipes to help you build lean muscle and lose weight. So when January comes around, and you want to clean up your diet, you’ll be ready to go!

CLICK HERE to check out the 30 Day Slim & Sculpt

 

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