12 Days of Fitness Challenge – Day 4

On the fourth day of Fitness the challenge is for you . . . 4 complete burpees, 3 minute bridge, 2 minute wall squat and one minute plank!

Burpees, also known as squat thrusts, are one of the only equipment-free exercises that work your entire body and give you a great cardiovascular workout.  To complete a burpee, begin in a standing position.  Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Now, lower your body into a squatting position, placing your hands on the floor in front of you. Jump or step your feet back so that you are in push-up position. Keep your hands firmly on the ground to support your body. Lower your chest to do a push-up. Bring your chest back up. Jump or step your feet back to their original position. Stand up, and then jump into the air while reaching your arms overhead. Repeat this exercise for four repetitions.

To make a burpee easier, eliminate some of the explosive movements and change the angle of your body. Beginners can start with an incline burpee. Place your hands on a bench or other sturdy surface between knee and waist height. Step back one leg at a time to an angled plank position. Hold this stance for a moment before stepping forward one leg at a time. The lower you place your hands, the more challenging the exercise is.  As the exercise becomes easier, you can perform this modification on level ground. Instead of jumping back and forth with both feet simultaneously, step with one leg at a time. You can also remove the jump at the end of the burpee and simply return to a standing position. These modifications eliminate the explosive movements and lessen the impact on your joints.

Today’s wellness tip is to take some time out of your day to relax.  Taking a few minutes to yourself to rest and rejuvenate can be one of the best gifts you can give yourself during the hectic holiday season.  Choose an activity that you find relaxing in order to calm your mind and rest your body.  This can be taking a few minutes for a meditation practice, doing a few minutes of deep breathing exercises or even reading or doing some other activity that you find relaxing.  Give yourself a gift today and take a few minutes for yourself!

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