How to Set Up a Fitness Challenge During the Holidays
This year has changed the way we exercise. As the pandemic closed gyms, families and friends got creative with virtual workouts and outdoor activities. Still, there have been a lot of memes and articles about the "quarantine 15Or the weight gained in that year from food stress and boredom snacking. As the end of 2020 […]

This year has changed the way we exercise. As the pandemic closed gyms, families and friends got creative with virtual workouts and outdoor activities. Still, there have been a lot of memes and articles about the "quarantine 15Or the weight gained in that year from food stress and boredom snacking.

Holiday fitness challenge scene with weights, sneakers and fitness journal on wooden surface |  Vitacost.com/blog

As the end of 2020 approaches (and welcoming 2021), you may feel ready to resume the fitness habits you lost over the past 12 months, while staying connected with your family and friends. friends and encouraging them to do the same. With fewer turkey trots and Santa Claus runs to count on this year, how can you keep your body moving and get back on track?

Set up a remote fitness challenge!

You don't have to buy an expensive gym membership or avoid eating your favorite holiday cookies to put your health first in December. Use these ideas to jumpstart your holiday fitness challenge.

Find your group

Identify at least one friend, family member, or colleague with whom you can share your fitness challenge. They don't have to take the challenge with you, but you do need to trust them enough to support your goals and hold you accountable. For example, if you want to exercise three times a week through December, make sure that person feels comfortable asking you if you exercised, and then hold yourself accountable if you didn't.

Not only does this allow you to attract more people to your challenge, studies have shown that telling people about your goals makes you more likely to achieve them. “You want to be dedicated and not want to give up on your goal, which is more likely when you share that goal with someone you admire,” says Howard klein, professor of management and human resources at Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University.

Instead of inviting just one fitness friend, invite all of your friends and family. Involve everyone and be accountability partners with each other. With digital technology, you'll be able to stay connected, train together, and even do group weights or recordings.

Focus on holistic health

There is a big difference between setting up a vacation fitness challenge and a vacation weight loss challenge. Focus on physical fitness to encourage everyone to develop better health habits, like getting up from the couch, keeping your muscles warm, and preparing yourself for easy functional movements, like squats or lifts. This makes it more relevant to your group of friends and family while keeping it fun and pressure-free.

"I ask my clients to step away from weight loss goals and instead focus on developing a positive relationship with exercise," says Hollie grant, founder of the Pilates method PT. This way the focus is less on forcing yourself to exercise in a way that you don't like, and more on the things you like, be it yoga, HIIT. , daily walks or weekend hikes.

Make this part of your challenge, giving everyone a chance to identify their own goals and exercise modalities. The key is for everyone to set specific goals for themselves so you can connect throughout the process.

Define the ground rules

The key to getting the most out of your vacation fitness challenge is to establish ground rules that everyone should follow. Here are a few examples to consider:

  • Everyone must register for a video call on Sunday morning.
  • Everyone must move their body 3 times a week.
  • Everyone must register with their responsible partner once a week.
    Everyone must participate between [date] and [date].

These ground rules keep everyone on track and responsible for sticking to it.

Connect virtually for workouts and win

Take part in video calls throughout the challenge to celebrate wins and training together. The beauty of digital technology is that everyone can do the same workout together at the same time, or better yet, just get together for a party. You can even turn your annual holiday party into a virtual wellness party where everyone cooks up a healthy meal after doing a group workout.

The key is to connect and support each other, keeping everyone on track or struggling. As Annie blay, fitness writer for POPSUGAR explains his fitness responsibility group:

“When a person misses a day, we ask them first if they are okay, then we encourage them to resume the deadlines as soon as possible. In this way, these check-ins are both a difficult love and validation - we hold each other together, while celebrating each other's successes. Above all, we encourage each other to achieve our fitness goals, while constantly reminding ourselves that we are more than our bodies. "

Bring fitness into the new year

Your virtual vacation challenge can be a fun way to get back into good fitness habits and set aside time to prioritize your health. While you should focus on clear, short-term goals, don't let your challenge end in the New Year. Habits You Develop Now Can Help You Develop long term health plan that will propel you into 2021 and beyond. It's even better if you complete your vacation fitness challenge with close friends and family who can also develop new habits and skills to take better care of themselves. Together, you will become stronger and healthier, which will make your bond that could become stronger.


For some people, crunches and other abdominal muscle workouts are the last thing they’d want to do — so they don’t. ' Part of the perception is that it’s difficult. We tend to want to avoid doing things that require effort, especially as we get older, when that’s harder for us, ' says Lorna Brown, a physical therapist who specializes in geriatrics at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

But skipping abdominal strengtheners can have a big effect on your mobility and independence — and not for the better.

The abdominal muscles ( often called the abs ) include not just the visible ' six-pack ' or rectus abdominis zones musculaires in the front of your abdomen, but also the obliques in the front and side of your abdomen and the transverse abdominis across your lower abdomen. ' The transverse abdominis is the inner muscle underneath the outer abdominal layers. It provides stability around the spine, ' Brown explains.

The abs are part of your core, the collection of zones musculaires that act as your foundation. In addition to your abs, your core includes the muscles along your spine, near your shoulder blades, in your hips and buttocks, and in your pelvis.

You must work all your core muscles to stay strong and réactive. ' We need that strong core or base so that the arms and legs can perform well, ' Brown explains.

What if you don’t mind doing shoulder, hip, and back muscle exercises, but can’t stand the ab workout ? You’re putting your entire core in jeopardy. ' If your core isn’t stable and strong, you increase the risk for injury and falls when you lift something or walk, ' Brown says. A weak core also makes it hard to turn, bend, and get dressed.

Starting position : Kneel on all fours with your hands and knees directly aligned under your shoulders and hips. Keep your head and spine neutral.

Move of the month : Abdominal contractionPhotography : Michael CarrollStarting place : Kneel on all fours with your hands and knees directly aligned under your shoulders and hips. Keep your head and spine neutral. Movement : Exhale as you tighten your abdominal groupes de muscles by pulling them up toward your spine. Keep your spine neutral ( no arching your back ! ). Hold. Release your abdominal groupes de muscles and return to the starting position. Do this eight to 10 times, then rest for 30 to seconds. If you can, repeat the sequence.

Abdominal exercises don’t have to include crunches, and you don’t have to do a long ab workout. You may find it more palatable to sprinkle ab exercises throughout the day. ' Shorter bouts of exercise can still contribute to better health and function, ' Brown says. The key is to make each ab exercise count by ' activating ' the groupes musculaires.

Can’t think of ways to fit abdominal exercises into your schedule ? Check out the Harvard Special Health Report Gentle Core ( www. health. harvard. edu/gc ), and consider the following tricks.

Watch TV from the floor. You probably did this when you were a kid. Try it now, and maybe you’ll be more likely to do an ab exercise, like modified push-ups ( leaning on your forearms instead of your hands ). ' Or try lying on your back with your knees bent, ' suggests Brown. ' Then activate the abdominal muscles by drawing in your belly button toward the spine. '

Use phone time. Stand with your back flat against the wall while chatting on the phone. Activate your abs. ' Draw in your belly button again, and push yourself against the wall, ' says Brown

Take a break from work. Whether you’re in the kitchen or at the office, you can do a modified push-up against a desk or counter.

Don’t just stand there. Sneak in an exercise while you stand in line at the bank or grocery checkout. ' Do a single-leg stand and slightly lift your leg off the floor while activating your core zones musculaires, ' Brown suggests. ' Keep your chest high and your shoulder blades down and back. '

March in place. Next time you’re brushing your teeth, march in place. ' Make it intentional. Draw in the abdominals and keep your hips level, so they’re not swiveling, ' Brown adds

You can even activate the abdominal zones musculaires while you’re walking. ' Just be very intentional about it, ' says Brown. Think about position and force activation with each step. The more often you activate your abs, the stronger they’ll become, making ab workouts a lot less daunting.

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