November is the month of not only giving thanks - obviously - but it's an even better time to focus on giving PLANKS! Actually, it's great to do both, which is why the November Challenge is 30 Days of Thanks/Planks Giving! You are welcome to join us in November for a 30 day Plank Challenge. While you’re down in said Plank is a great time to reflect on the many things you have to be thankful for in your life. The time is going to pass quickly so you might as well go ahead and make the most of it.
This group challenge starts on Thursday, November 1 with a 10-second plank. Then day-by-day, you'll work on building your strength as you hold your plank for a little longer each time using the chart below:
To join in, just start planking! I'll be doing my planks around 7:00 am each day and plan on sharing them via Facebook Live. You are invited to join me in the morning or save the video for later so you don't feel like you're doing them alone. You are also welcome to share your success and your gratitude on the Legacy Life Fitness Facebook page! Now only will this help strengthen your core, but it will also strengthen your positive attitude about life! We all experience life's struggles, but there is also a lot we can be thankful for... sometimes we just need to look a little harder.
Every once in awhile we’re able to successfully find the balance between fitness and life, but it’s also realistic to know things won’t always go as planned. (Okay, maybe like 50/50.) One of the biggest struggles which can derail our good intentions is, well, life. You may have scheduled your workout and planned a full routine at the gym, but then “life happens” and you get stuck at work for an extra 30 minutes, school calls to let you know your child is sick and needs to be picked up ASAP, or you have to run an unanticipated errand - which always takes five times longer than expected.
What do you do?
You could skip your workout all together. No one would fault you for having to rearrange your schedule at the last second. Then you could just go home, sit down and recoup from your busy day... ?
Or, you could shift your mindset from disappointment to opportunity and try one of these three circuit-style workouts. They require very little (or zero!) equipment, minimal space, and can be completed in 20 minutes or less depending on how many rounds you preform!
Each of these circuits was specifically designed to engage multiple muscle groups and get your heart rate pumping for a bigger calorie burn. You could either stick with your own bodyweight for each, or utilize either dumbbells or resistance bands if available. Try completing 8-12 repetitions of each move, proceed directly into the next move without resting until you’ve completed all three movements, then rest for 60-90 seconds between rounds. Start at performing three rounds of whichever circuit you choose, adding on until you’re able to complete five. (Then hit the shower because you’ll definitely get sweaty!)
The most important thing is you try. Try getting something in and don’t skip the workout, even if it’s not the workout you originally wanted to do. Try not to use “life” as an excuse to keep you from following through with your fitness goals.
You’ve managed to stay motivated after Thanksgiving and continue to kill your workouts on your schedule, but now it’s time to leave the familiar to visit family over the holidays and you’re not sure how you’ll be able to keep it up. Instead of fearing how this small change to your routine could derail your progress, give yourself the opportunity to prepare and experience new forms of movement while staying on track.
There are two pieces of the equation to staying active while traveling: One, be prepared by packing only the essentials you know are important to your workout process. Two, have go-to workout options ready so you’re not trying to create a plan on-the-fly, especially if you’re limited on time!
Tennis shoes. Some of us just love owning every type of workout shoe available, but see if you can find (and pack) only one pair you know you’ll feel comfortable walking, jogging/running, lifting, or power training in.
Ear buds. Music can be a powerful motivator during a workout - which is sometimes the only motivation you have to get moving. Remember to pack your earbuds (or headphones) and extra batteries/charger (if they’re wireless) so you can feel the adrenaline rush everytime the beat drops.
Your favorite workout gear. Whether it’s a sassy tank top, baggy sweatpants, ultra moisture wicking shorts (which also happen to fit perfectly), your favorite headband or ball cap to keep the sweat out of your eyes, having the right apparel on-hand for your sweat session may help you feel less hesitant about squeezing your workout in.
Pre-workout fuel. This looks different for everyone, but if you know you won’t have quick access to the right foods then pack a couple pieces of fruit or a few extra protein bars into your bag. A pre-packed banana might mean the difference between dragging through a quick holiday run vs. running that mile in beast mode.
This will not require one. Single. Piece. Of. Equipment. Just your body! The best part is you can determine what level of intensity you want to work at as you progress down the list. For less intensity, cut the number of reps in half for each movement. For more intensity, add explosive power to turn the routine into a plyometric workout.
Repeat this sequence for as many sets as you have time for to create a full routine - minimum would be three sets, maximum would be 10 sets.
Kettlebells can be deceiving with the amount of work you exert by pushing the weight around. If you’re fortunate to have access to various weights of kettlebells, then try this total body kettlebell workout to combine strength and power.
There are two options for the number of repetitions for this progression: Option one is to keep the reps low (x8-10) and weight heavy, or perform a higher number of reps (x15-20) but keep the weight moderate-to-light.
If you’re fortunate to have access to a full set of dumbbells, then you can put together a comprehensive lifting routine to target your main muscle groups.
Similar to the rep scheme for the kettlebell workout outlined above, you can again choose to keep the reps low and weight heavy, or perform high reps with lighter weight.
If one of your relatives is really into a specific style of working out, like Crossfit, but you feel too nervous to go to a class on your own then ask if you could tag along! Hopefully they’ll be able to recommend the right instructor or an entry-level class tailored to your fitness level.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a gym buddy to try a class with then search for “gyms near me” on your phone (with GPS enabled) to get an idea of what’s available near you. Many gyms will offer holiday passes at a discounted rate!
Add 10 pushups and 30 second alternating plank holds (right side/center/left side) between every set in the routine you choose!
The holidays are a wonderful time to relax, recharge and let your body recover from your usual routine! But, that doesn't mean you should be completely sedentary during your trip, either. Even if you opt out of "exercising" in the traditional sense you can still keep yourself moving by helping around the kitchen, playing chase with the kids, or catching up with someone while going for a long walk. Don't let the thought of traditional holiday weight gain snowball your fun, just take it one day, one choice and one moment at a time.