Did you stuff yourself like a turkey on Thanksgiving? If so, you’re not alone, and if you’re a typical American, you consumed about 4,500 calories last Thursday.
But there are practical solutions on shedding those extra unwanted pounds and staying in shape before the New Year and this is the prefect time to renew your commitment to fitness and healthy eating.
Think of it as a fitness preemptive strike.
The other good news, you don’t have to go on some crazy unsustainable diet that will actually do more harm to your metabolism. Here are five simple moves you can incorporate today, that will help burn a few calories and tone you up before the ball drops on New Year’s Day.
Yeah, I know it’s not sexy, but walking really is one of the best low-impact cardiovascular exercises out there. Sticking with the recommended minimum of 10,000 steps a day (roughly five miles) will almost effortlessly burn 500 calories a day.
If you’re reasonably fit, you may want to take it to the next level with jump rope. I know it sounds counterintuitive, that this simple piece of technology, literally trumps all of the state-of-the-art $5,000 cardio machines. Not only does jumping rope benefit your cardiovascular system, it also tones every major muscle group, improves balance, coordination, agility and timing. And, drum roll please … Jumping rope for just six minutes burns the equivalent calories of 20 minutes of jogging.
With or without dumbbells or barbells, squats are simply the best lower body exercise. The squat is a compound, full body exercise that primarily targets the quadriceps (front of the thigh), hamstrings (the back of the thigh), hips and butt. Nothing beats squats for strengthening and toning. If you want to increase the intensity, by all means, add some dumbbells or barbells.
Similar to squats, lunges also engage the quads, hamstrings and butt. However, being a unilateral exercise, lunges are a little more challenging because it’s done with one leg. Like squats, lunges can be performed with or without dumbbells or barbells.
For an overall tight midsection and strong core, nothing beats the simplicity of the plank. The plank is a static body weight exercise that uses nearly all of the muscles in your body. Similar to the push-up, but the plank is performed on your elbows and you just stay perched up in that position. Yeah, it seems like it’s nothing, until you do it, and end up screaming for mercy before the end of just 90 seconds.
The number of calories any individual burns is quite variable, and depends on many factors like weight, age, metabolism, and gender. Sorry ladies, it’s true, men burn between 20 percent to 30 percent more than we do, just by doing nothing! But, I digress.
So, there you have it, no matter what your shape or weight, it is never too late to embrace fitness. Make this the year you fall into fitness before the New Year.