During the Christmas holiday, many of us will travel to see friends and family. We’ll be having lots of delicious food and staying warm. However, amongst all our Christmas cheer and travel we sometimes forget to take care of our bodies. That’s why we recommend doing these three simple exercises at home or while traveling to help you stay active.
Take a Walk
Aerobic exercise is critical for maintaining our health and we all need at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week. This holiday, take a thirty-minute brisk walk with your friends and family each day. If you’re staying in a hotel room, walk the hallways in the morning or evening. If you’re staying with family, go take a walk around the neighborhood. Remember to wear appropriate shoes and to stay hydrated. Even though it is cold outside, you need to keep drinking water.
Using your own body as resistance is always a great option for exercising; especially when gyms and equipment may not be readily available. Push-ups help you work and develop your core and pectoral muscles. There are a few types of push-ups that you can do depending on your experience.
If you are new to doing push-ups, we recommend starting with the wall push-up. To do a wall push-up, start by facing the wall with a straight back. Keep your feet comfortably apart. Then, with hands stretched out, lean against the wall. Make sure that you go slowly and bend your elbows while keeping your feet planted until your chin is next to the wall. Hold for a few seconds and then return yourself to your starting position. Be sure to keep your core muscles tight and contracted throughout the process.
Modified push-ups are for those who have more experience. Instead of facing a wall, get on your hands and knees. Once again, keep your core muscles tight throughout the process. Ensure that your hands are slightly wider than your shoulders, then lower yourself, just like the wall push-up until your chin reaches the floor. Then return to your starting position.
Once you are comfortable with the modified push-up, we suggest trying the standard push-up. Instead of placing your knees on the floor, get on your hands and use the tips of your feet to hold yourself up. As with the other push-ups, keep your core muscles tight throughout the process. Ensure that your hands are slightly wider than your shoulders, then lower yourself, just like the modified push-up until your chin reaches the floor. Then return to your starting position.
Skipping leg day while traveling is easy to do when you’re not near your gym. Squats are one of the best ways to ensure that you maintain and develop your quadriceps and hamstring muscles. Just as with push-ups, you are using your bodyweight to help you work out, so you don’t need any exercise equipment.
To do a squat, first set your feet shoulder width apart. Stretch out your arms and link your hands. Keep your arms straight ahead. Then slowly lower yourself as far as you can go, or until your knees reach a ninety-degree angle, while raising your arms above your head. Hold for a few seconds and then raise yourself to the starting position.
This Christmas holiday, Baptist Health encourages you to make the time to exercise and stay active. Taking 30 minutes to walk around a neighborhood, doing push-ups or some other type of fitness activity multiple times a week can make a positive impact on your energy and mood. For more ideas on how to keep a healthy lifestyle during the holidays check out our get fit blogs.