If there’s one time of the year when diets get tested to their limits, it’s Christmas. In fact, even a study on the Journal of Obesity confirms that these holiday months are most critical to adult weight gain. Of course, it’s not a sin to indulge yourself in some wine and extra turkey. The solution to keeping your calories in check, however, is one you already know but might be avoiding: exercise.
Between all the parties and get-togethers, working out is probably the last thing on your mind. Fortunately, the road to fitness doesn’t have to be paved with heavyweights and crunches. Exercise during this season can be fun, and agility training proves it.
Not only will it help you move swiftly on your feet, but agility-based movements can also boost speed, strengthen your lower body, and prevent injuries—all very useful for real-life applications. The best part? It supports more calorie burn, which is perfect for all those holiday dinners.
Here are some exercises you can try.
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Agility exercises are all about doing things fast while targeting all the right muscles, and plank jacks are a great example. This move is exactly what it sounds like: doing jumping jacks while maintaining a plank position. Give yourself a short time limit, then try to do as many plank jacks as you can. For beginners, you can start off with 30 plank jacks in under a minute. Overall, it’s excellent cardio but also tones your core and upper arms.
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The shuttle run is a standard agility exercise used by athletes to inject some high-intensity cardio while building speed. The exercise will have you running between two points that are 75 feet in diameter, around six to eight times. It won’t be mindless running either. Fitness buff Kristen May explains that to achieve optimal speed, one needs to practice proper turning techniques as well.
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Agility and explosive speed are only achievable if you have the leg strength, and that’s something dot drills can help you with. Dot drills work on your knees and ankles to eventually give you the stability you need for longer runs. To start, use masking tape to create small markings on the ground in an X-like pattern, similar to the five-dotted side of a dice. The workout itself is pretty straight forward—jump dot to dot on both feet for around 30 seconds before hopping for another 30. If you’d like some support, you can opt for supplements from GNC Triflex, which are specially formulated to strengthen your joints.
Don’t let the holidays stop you from maintaining a healthy bod. Add a few agility and cardio sessions into your workout, and you’ll be guiltlessly eating that Gulab Jamun in no time.