Some say the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world at the end of 2012. But when you read articles about dieting around this time of year, doesn’t it often feel like the world ends on Thanksgiving Day? Between now and New Year’s, our schedules are quickly filling up with celebrations with family and friends. And as much fun as it is to gather for holiday festivities, these occasions also come with a certain level of stress. We’re tempted by buffet tables piled high with sugary delights. We’re toasting with eggnog and champagne. And suddenly we have even less time (and motivation) to stick to that exercise routine.

Let’s make this the year that you don’t sabotage your nutrition and exercise program. With a little planning, you can still celebrate and feel good doing it. Fitting some easy and effective movement into the week is the key to keeping off the pounds, boosting energy, ensuring a stress-free holiday season.

It’s as simple as 7 and 7:

Over the next 7 days, you’ll focus on 7 compound moves. Each exercise hits multiple muscle groups so that you can boost that metabolism while toning the legs, glutes, abs, shoulders and arms, all in a short period of time. Talk about getting more bang for your buck

The holidays shouldn’t be about deprivation or stressing that you’re blowing your diet. This time of the year should be filled with joy and relaxation. So use this straightforward routine as a simple, stress-free way to stay on track while you’re enjoying your family, friends and, yes, food, too.

[stextbox id=”custom-2″ float=”true” align=”right” width=”300″]In addition to a workout, going for a 45-minute walk after dinner will help your body get over the negative effects of a big meal on blood pressure and excess fat in the blood stream.[/stextbox]

7 in 7 Program
  • After a good warm-up, work through each exercise, 12 reps on both sides.
  • Complete 1-3 minutes of the cardio alternating high knees.
  • Repeat the cycle, doing each exercise again, 12 times on both sides.
  • Enjoy the holiday week!
Stepback Lunge with Crosschop Stepback Lunge with Crosschop:

  • Step back with your right leg into a lunge, while reaching your arms diagonally forward to the left
  • As you slide your right leg back up to standing, pull your arms across your body to the right hip
  • For a more advanced move, use weights, and lift your knee to your chest to balance on one foot every time you come back to standing. 

Lunge dip with bicep curl Lunge Dip with Bicep Curl:

  • Step your left leg back into a lunge, and as you dip down, do a bicep curl.
  • Keep your back straight, shoulders over the hips and don’t let the front knee drift forward over your toes.

Lung to 9 to 3 Lunge to 9:00 and 3:00:

  • Imagine you’re standing in the center of a clock, so to your left it’s 9:00 and to your right it’s 3:00
  • Holding dumbbells, lunge out widely to the your left side (3:00), and at the same time, press the weight in your right hand directly forward

squat with rotating twist Squat with Rotating Twist:

  • Holding dumbbells, do a basic squat, pushing your hips back until your knees are at about a 90-degree angle
  • As you press back up to standing, pivot on the right toe and turn your body to the left
  • Squeeze the right glute and bring the weights overhead to your left

pushup Pushup:

  • Get facedown, hands on the floor directly under your shoulders
  • Keep your abdominals contracted as you push up into a plank position, and slowly lower down until you’ve got a 90-degree bend in the elbows
  • Then push back up

For an added challenge, keep the left leg lifted off the floor throughout the move

plie with overhead Plie with Overhead Press:

  • Again, you’re standing in the middle of that imaginary clock, holding dumbbells
  • Step your right foot back to 4:00 and squat down into a plie position
  • As you lower into the plie, press the weights overhead
  • Bring the weights back to shoulder level as you return to standing in the center of the clock
  • Then step back to 8:00

Alternating High Knees:

  • This is a basic jog-in-place, but with a ramped up intensity
  • As you jog, let the ball of the foot land on the ground first, and then let the heel drop to the ground
  • Stay fluid, landing softly
  • Start to pick up those knees, so that they’re coming up high, close to the chest
  • Keep the abdominals tight throughout the move
  • Try jogging from 1-3 minutes.