How many of you have ever had the New Year’s Resolution, “I want to come back to school with a killer bod,” or “I’m going to work out and set up a regular routine and stick to it?” If you’re like me, winter break becomes the platform for this new campaign. Without the excuse, “But I have class,” or “I’m too busy with schoolwork to go to the gym today,” I make sure to save a little room in my suitcase for some sports bras, gym wear and running shoes.
Fast-forward to week one of winter vacation, and you’ll find me parked on the couch, bag of gingerbread cookies in hand and Netflix rolling. What ever happened to my newfound enthusiasm?
This year, though, I have a new motivating factor. When I asked my boyfriend how he was planning on spending his winter break, he responded happily, “I’m finally going to get to work out and go running. I feel so out of shape. Watch out because when I come back, I may look like a different man.” When he expressed this to me, it served as the kick in the butt I needed for this break to get my glutes to the nearest gym at home—and Her Campus collegiettes ™, I’m hoping you’ll join me. If guys can look forward to working out during their time off from school, why shouldn’t we?
Here are some fun and fast workout tips that will lead you to a more toned and fierce version of your already fabulous self, even if you don’t have access to a gym.
TV Guide to Getting Fit: Work out even with your favorite show on
Planning on using your break as catch-up time on this past season of Glee? Now you can stay tied to the boob tube while burning calories—HC talked to Ruth Rogers of She Fit to get some suggestions on exercises we can do while watching our favorite shows!
Rogers’s first tip? Utilize commercial breaks and mix it up! She provided a list of exercises for HC readers to choose from during each break.
- jumping jacks
- squat jumps
- candle stick jumps
- high knees (arms straight in front and try to bring the knees up to the hands while
- frog jumps
- push ups
- calf raises
- wall squats (back against the wall and hold a sitting position)
- plank hold
- bicycle crunches
- mountain climbers
- tricep dips on the couch
Her advice? “Pick one exercise per commercial and attempt as many reps as you can.”
An article in Cosmo provided exercises similar to these. Burn eighty calories just from doing 4 repetitions (one minute each) of lunges in front of your couch, or fifty calories from side leg lifts on your floor for five minutes.
For you DVR chicks, don’t be so quick to fast-forward through commercials; you can use those “back in 60 seconds” breaks to burn a quick 42 calories by running up and down the stairs in your home or apartment.
You can check out the complete workout on Cosmo.
When your favorite show is actually on, Rogers said this is the perfect time to stretch.
“Most people don't get a lot of stretching into their day-to-day workouts so this would be a great opportunity to create more flexibility to a longer, leaner body,” she said.
“[You should hold] each position for no less than 20 seconds. Yoga poses are always fun to do during the show as well.”
This simple and inexpensive routine makes it easy to tune in and beat a holiday belly bulge.
Get into the Groove: Try some classes at the gym!
For those of you who have access to a gym, one way to motivate yourself to get your rear into gear is by breaking the monotonous gym routine. Used to running on the treadmill for thirty minutes and then calling it a day? How about trying a fun aerobics class like Zumba or the infomercial-famous Flirty Girl Fitness (my mother’s new personal fave)? You may find yourself having more fun and burning more calories because you’re engaging in something out of routine. Who knows? You may even make a new friend or two in these group activities.
If you’re worried about dishing out a lot for just a few weeks’ worth of classes, check out your gym’s class policy. Many places offer single or weekly passes at rates that make a college student’s wallet smile.
Back-to-(high)school: Work out at your local high school
While you may have told yourself that you’re never going back, a free and often overlooked exercise spot could be back at your former stomping grounds. Utilizing your old high school’s basketball gym, track or sports fields is free and a fun excuse to call up some of your former classmates and plan a cardio-packed reunion.
Your Perfect Winter Workout Routine
Rogers also came up with the perfect winter workout for HC. Her workout is a mix of cardio and strength and conditioning and is easy to do at home. The best part of this workout is that it takes less than an hour!
Check out the colorful print-out poster with all the details of this routine.
With all of these options, working out should be a cinch this holiday season. You may not only find yourself getting the sweet satisfaction after an intense, sweat-filled session, but you may likely also get a fitter, more-toned body and happier attitude worthy of a reintroduction into the new semester and new year. Now that’s a resolution worth keeping!
Ruth Rogers, She Fit