The Memorial Day Trap – Staying Fit During the Holidays

Memorial Day is right here. With that comes the beer, hot dogs, juices, and the burgers. Some people might have already started shoveling in the food on Friday and extended it into a weekend party and food fest. I can just see the BBQ’s blazing and the meat sizzling. Burgers and hot dogs, and ribs—Oh my! Potato salad, macaroni salad — adventures in mayonnaise for sure. And chips, pretzels, cupcakes, ice cream—I could go on. And so could you. But don’t!

Don’t take a holiday from eating smart and working out. Try this: Limit yourself to one piece of meat or make it a couple pieces of grilled chicken. Use mustard and not ketchup. Eat a green salad and veggies with no dressing. Try low-fat yogurt if you need to “dress up” the greens.

Opt for water and a lot of it. Pass on beer, wine and juice—all empty calories. Skip the mixed, fruity drinks. Try a wine cooler if you need some libation.

And while you might not make it to the gym, you can still do a quick body weight workout to keep your metabolism in high gear.

This should not take you more than 30 minutes to complete. Even if you don’t complete it, you should stop at 30 minutes, so that you can train yourself to keep these types of workouts to a short period of time while maximizing the intensity. Do everything below one after the other with 30 seconds of rest in between each new movement. No weights are needed aside from your own bodyweight.

This is going to burn, but it will feel so good. If you can’t perform some of the exercises, feel free to modify them. The key is to keep moving. If at all you start feeling pain, please stop. Warm up with 30 to 60 jumping jacks before you begin. Or run in place for 60 seconds.

Do 30 Down-Squat Thrusts
Start out by standing still. Then squat down and simultaneously kick back your legs and throw your hands in front of you achieving a push-up position. Perform a push-up. Then kick your legs back up, returning to the original squatted position, like a little froggy, and explode up into a jump with your hands into the air. Now do this in one fluid motion as fast as possible. Keep your pace going.

Do 40 Mountain Climbers
Start off in a push-up position and alternate kicking your legs up to your chest. Do one rep per leg, so that’s 20 each.

Do 15 Push-Ups Try to keep strict form
You can choose wide stance, close stance, one-arm push-ups, whatever.

Do 10 40-yard Sprints
The keyword here is “sprint.” Go fast! Balls out during each one. Rest 10 seconds between each sprint.

Then rest for a minute and do it all over one more time
This will get you sweating, panting, and burning that fat all in 30 minutes. But you will look great and feel great. And you won’t take a holiday from being at healthy best.

(Header Photo: Southern Foodways Alliance)



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