12 days of fitness

By From page A5 | December 12, 2012

Sue Spencer

By Sue Spencer

The holidays are here! It is so easy to get caught up in the madness of shopping, parties and trips to grandma’s house that before we know it we haven’t exercised in weeks — and yet we’re exhausted! With January right around the corner it becomes very tempting to say “I’ll start next month.” STOP! Back away from the See’s Candy (it will still be there when you’re done) and get moving today!

This is a simple fitness plan that you can do anywhere, anytime, no equipment necessary. Whatever your current fitness level is, there is always something that you CAN do.

Here’s the plan — just like the song “12 Days of Christmas” where we keep adding presents, this time we’re adding exercises.

Day 1 — one exercise.

Day 2 — two exercises (day 1 and day 2).

Day 3 — all three, and we keep building from there.

By the end of the 12 days you will have a simple workout that can be done anywhere, anytime, even at Grandma’s house.

There are lots of options to the exercises, but if there’s one that just doesn’t feel right substitute it with your favorite from the list, or add your own!

Each day has three  options depending on your current fitness level.

Level 1— The last time you put on workout shoes was when you were still smarter than your phone.

Level 2 — You own workout shoes, but they have been MIA since Thanksgiving (you think you saw one of the turkeys using them as part of their getaway plan).

Level 3 — You are currently sticking to your fitness routine. When it started to rain you just exchanged your windbreaker for a rain poncho and English riding cap.

Let’s begin, and feel free to sing along:
• On the first day of fitness I gave to myself: A 1 mile walk around the block. (Level 2, 1.5 miles; Level 3, 2 miles; bonus points; run).
• On the second day of fitness I gave to myself: 15 body weight squat (Level 2, 25; Level 3, 50; bonus, 10 jumping squats).
• On the third day of fitness I gave to myself: 10 wall push-ups (Level 2, 10 push-ups off a desk or dining room table; Level 3; 10 floor push-ups, bent knee or straight leg).
• On the fourth day of fitness I gave to myself: 10 jumping Jacks (Level 2, 25 jumping Jacks; Level 3, 50 jumping Jacks).
• On the fifth day of fitness I gave to myself: Five reverse rows (Level 2, 10 reverse rows; Level 3, Pull-ups — as many as you can in 30 seconds).
• On the sixth day of fitness I gave to myself: 15 sumo squats (Level 2, 25; Level 3, 50; bonus, 10 frog jumps).
• On the seventh day of fitness I gave to myself: One minute of hamstring curls aka butt kickers (Level 2, 1 minute double time; Level 3, 10 double kicks — both legs, same time).
• On the eighth day of fitness I gave to myself: Five chair dips (Level 2, 10 chair dips; Level 3, 15 with legs out straight).
• On the ninth day of fitness I gave to myself: 30-second bent knee plank (Level 2, 30 second straight leg plank; Level 3, one minute straight leg plank; bonus, 30 seconds right foot off the ground, then switch).
• On the 10th day of fitness I gave to myself: 10 crunches (Level 2, 25 crunches; Level 3, 50 crunches).
• On the 11th day of fitness I gave to myself: 10 bridges (Level 2, 15 bridges; Level 3, 20; bonus, 10 right leg with left foot off the ground, then 10 on other leg).
• On the 12th day of fitness I gave to myself: Hugging my knees to my chest and five slow, deep breaths.

For more information about holiday exercise visit Spencer’s website for videos with examples and explanations of how to do all the exercises:

Special to Village Life


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