Fit Savvy
Add this stop to your holiday party circuit
Published Thursday, 10-Dec-2009 in issue 1146
Running around and running out of time tend to be common during the holidays. Commitments multiply, lines are longer, the days are shorter and your patience wears thin. While cash registers are ringing your bank account’s depleting, and there’s definitely no sugarplum fairies dancing in your head. So before you tell everyone to take that stocking and stuff it, take a deep breath, regroup and make a plan to seize your stress with a 30 minute circuit training workout.
One of the best things you can do for yourself (and for everyone who may suffer the wrath of your potential holiday rage) is to maintain your workouts. I see it every year, people get busy and the gym gets put on the back burner. That wouldn’t be so bad if your social life wasn’t still in full swing, but when you don your gay apparel you still have to look fab and that won’t happen if you’re bloated, out of shape and stressed out.
If you bust your cute little buns, and really put some effort into it, you’ll be amazed what a great circuit training workout will do for you. A well planned circuit training workout improves your aerobic system and builds strength at the same time. It’s the dynamic duo of quick fitness. You are constantly moving so there is no “zoning out” and no boredom, which means no opportunity for you to think about things on your “to do” list. You stay focused on the tasks at hand because you spend a short amount of time at each station. The purpose of circuit training is to keep you moving with minimal breaks between exercises so you keep pushing your body aerobically while performing strength moves. It’s very time efficient, super challenging and beats the heck out of running aimlessly around the block.
An efficient circuit training session works different parts of the body individually, and back to back, so your heart rate stays up the whole time. It’s kind of like making a mad dash from the parking lot to the store, kicking the door open with your hands full of shopping bags and then getting into a tug of war contest over the very last string of rainbow ball Xmas lights. Once you master circuit training, holiday shopping will be a breeze!
For a 30 minute workout that can be done anywhere, I would choose these five exercises and perform each one for two minutes as you circuit through the entire workout three times. For this particular set the only equipment you need is a jump rope, and of course a watch to time yourself.
Start by jumping rope for two minutes, then drop down and do pushups for two minutes. Then, flip onto your back and knock out sit-ups for two minutes. Stand up and do forward lunges in place for two minutes and end the circuit with squat thrusts (drop to the ground from a standing position into a deep squat position and thrust your legs out behind you into a push up position, then jump the feet back into a squat position and stand up) for two minutes. Go back and repeat the entire sequence two more times and you’ve made the most of your stress-busting 30 minutes workout.
Of course if you do make it to the gym, you can use the treadmill or stair climber or any other piece of cardio equipment instead of jumping rope and you can also incorporate weights, bands or any other equipment you’d like to build your circuit. Just remember to keep the stations close together because you don’t want to stop the workout between sets.
Once you’ve eliminated your stress with your circuit training routine you’ll feel like decking the halls and getting right back into holiday happy mode. And don’t let an overdose of festivities sneak up on you. Let’s make sure the tree is the only thing that needs trimming this season as you keep your eyes open for the next holiday package to lift you in good cheer.
Connie Cook is the Group Fitness Director at Fit Athletic Club in Downtown San Diego. For more information about getting “fit” in your life, call 619-764-5348 or visit

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