12 Days of Fitness Challenge – Day 8

On the 8th day of fitness your Fitness Challenge is . . . 8 full squats, 7 mountain climbers, 6 festive push ups, 5 jolly star jumps, 4 holiday burpees, 3 minute bridge, 2 minute wall and a one minute plank!

Squats are one of the best exercises you can do to tone your butt, hips and thighs.  Targeting all of the large muscles in the glutes and legs, they also burn lots of calories!  There are many different ways to perform squats and several modifications.  To perform a standard squat,  begin with your feet shoulder width apart with your weight evenly distributed on both feet.  Bend your knees and slowly lower down as if you were going to sit in a chair.  Ensure that your knees do not extend out past your toes as this puts excess strain on the knee joint.  Focus on keeping the weight on your heels and not your toes throughout the exercise. Slowly come back up to the starting position being careful not to lock out your knees.  Repeat for 8 repetitions.

Variations to the squat include the chair squat, a wide stance or “sumo” squat which focuses more on the inner thighs and a stability ball squat done up against a wall.  Experiment with a variety of different methods over the next few days if you want a change.  Adding some light hand weights to the basic squat is a progression for this exercise.

Today’s holiday fitness tip is to consider bringing a healthy treat to your next holiday party.  At this time of year, we tend to have lots of parties and events where we indulge in high calorie treats.  A couple of weeks of this can really throw us off of our routine and pack on the pounds.  While it is fine to indulge occasionally in a special treat, there are many low calorie snacks that can be delicious along with nutritious!  So do yourself a favor this holiday season and plan a healthy meal or bring a healthy treat to an event – your body will thank you!

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