10 minute holiday shape-up

By Kay Wagner, LMP, CPT | Dec 01, 2010

Every winter, a friend of mine, Barb Williams, planned to stick with her workouts during the busy holidays.  Every year it didn’t happen.  

Then in January, Barb, a 49-year-old graphic designer at Boeing Co., found her clothes were too tight.

So last winter Barb began doing two 10-minute circuits, detailed below, every night during commercials.

“It was so easy,” Barb said.  “Even when I was tired, I knew I could manage 10 minutes.  Then repeating it always felt so good.”

Dr. Oz tells us that 30-120 minutes after we eat, our intestines decide what to do with the food.  If we are active 30-120 minutes after a meal the body burns food as energy.  

If inactive, the intestines order the body to store the calories as fat!  Even healthy foods like whole grains and proteins can be stored as fat if we don’t use our muscles 1-2 hours after eating!

So 30-60 minutes after dinner, Barb used this simple circuit to warm up her muscles and turn fuel into energy, not fat.  She also benefited with improved posture, balance, flexibility and peaceful sleep.

“It felt good to get my blood moving,” Barb said.  “My body loosened up.”

The circuit is easy. It’s just one minute for each exercise!  Here’s what to do:

1. Skipping and leg kicks while you punch, reach and circle arms to warm up.  

2. Pick up light hand weights and do overhead reaches while standing on one leg.  Change legs at 30 seconds.

3. Bicep curls while marching in place.

4. Stand wide with knees bent over toes, weights above your head, and arms lined up with your ears, bend and straighten elbows for triceps.  

5.  Stand on one leg, holding weights with palms turned out.  Circle shoulders up, back and down.  Switch legs at 30 seconds.

6. On to the floor for your minute of ab crunches.  

7. Bicycle legs in the air.  

8. Now stretch out really long, then bend knees, feet on floor and lift buttocks into a bridge. Hold or lift and lower slowly.  

9. Hips on floor, knees bent, lift one leg, holding back of thigh to stretch hamstrings.  Switch sides, then with both feet on the floor, sway your knees side to side.

10. Finish with 30 seconds of push ups and then, lying on your stomach, lengthen and lift legs slightly.  Lift chest up and press arms back to “pat the ceiling.”  

Repeat the circuit as many times as desired.

Breathe deeply, maintain a long spine, wide shoulders and bellybutton pulled in and up at all times.  

An average woman may use 3-5 pound hand weights, a man, 8-15 pounds.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.  If something hurts, don’t do it.  This is a gentle routine, which should feel good, warm you up and slightly raise your heart rate.  

Barb also added fresh lemon juice to her diet to keep her skin and eyes clear and bright.  

Just juice six lemons, stir in one tablespoon honey and refrigerate in a covered glass jar.  Twice daily mix one or two tablespoons juice with water or apple juice and drink.

”Maybe it was coincidence, but I didn’t come down with my ‘annual’ December cold last year either,” Barb said.

A few minutes of self-care will help you look and feel lighter and more alive to enjoy the beauty of Christmas.  Barb and I send warm wishes for happy, healthy holidays.

Kay Wagner LMP & NASM Certified Personal Trainer, specializes in BABYBOOMERS, leading Yoga, Pilates, Free weights & Fit-ball.  Her studios overlook the mountains and water, at 828 2nd St. in Mukilteo. Please call 425-353-4545. Learn more @ www.kaywagnerwellness.com.

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