It's the season for holiday cheer, everything to do with pumpkin spice and maybe a little too much spiked eggnog. Something else is also provided in abundance this time of year:
Guilt. Shame. Punishment. All for, take this, eat food.
Scroll through social media and next to mouthwatering vacation recipes you'll find videos and articles showing you how Burn those Christmas cookies! and tell you to Do this extreme fat burning workout to win that holiday treat!
What a great idea! Let's make women feel that they owe to win a favorite holiday dish (or any other food for that matter). And if they haven't "won" this high-calorie treat ahead of time with proper vomiting workout, let's cover them with guilt. Shame on them for choosing to enjoy buttery mashed potatoes and other homemade festive dishes instead of munching on spinach leaves. While we're at it, let's encourage women to punish themselves with brutal training for tasting a slice of pecan pie because, hey, you ate it, now you have to deny it.
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Problems arising from the mentality of earning food
Telling women that they must earn the food they will eat today or burn yesterday's dessert is bad enough, but if they are conditioned to believe that the food must be "won" or that a training should be done as an atonement for eating something "bad", what complications can this present in the long run?
With enough repetition, they can fall prey to a negative self-image; disorderly eating habits can develop; exercise can become a grudging chore rather than a self-care and pleasure activity. These unintentional problems can start out seemingly minor and unproblematic, but they can get worse over time. This is a health and fitness disaster of epic proportions.
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I know it's true not only from personal experience but also to work with women who echo similar stories and to hear from countless other people who have reached out over the years to share their similar stories. Exercise is punishment for eating food and the negative consequences that this state of mind creates is a path that too many women have found themselves to walk, and they are left to find a way out.
Training should not be money or penance for eating food.
If you're currently captive to the gotta win and burn my food mindset or want to make sure you avoid it, let's compare two mindsets for approaching a workout before or after a holiday feast: The Mindset of punishment and healthy mentality.
Punishment Mindset says, "I must do more cardio today because I ate too much pie yesterday.
Healthy Mindset says, “I ate too much pie yesterday, but enjoyed every bite. Today I'm just going to do what I normally would with my workouts. No need to change anything.
Punishment Mindset says, “Tomorrow is a big holiday feast, so today's training has to be absolutely brutal. If I'm not exhausted at the end of it, then I haven't worked hard enough and won't have won this meal.
Healthy Mindset says, “Tomorrow is a big holiday treat, so training today will be as productive as any other workout. I practice get strong and because it makes me feel good and is part of my life.
A state of mind will build you up and strengthen you. The other will dismantle you little by little.
Health and fitness should be a lifestyle activity defined by flexibility, sanity, fun and empowerment; it should definitely include room for your favorite foods. Guilt, obsession and punishment don't deserve a place on this journey. A step in the right direction is to banish (or simply avoid) the exercise-is-punishment and food-must-be-earned mentalities that are all too common in today's fitness environment. hui.
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Plyometric exercises, like box jumps and burpees, are a one-way ticket to feeling like an all-around badass because not only will they help you build strength, but explosiveness ( or power ), speed, and agility, too. Those last three perks don’t come from strength training alone, so it’s key to round out your sport routine with jump training ( another name for plyo ).
All plyo movements require your muscles to stretch and contract at a rapid pace, which helps them become more explosive. So, unsurprisingly, they’re considered a intensity workout. The benefit of firing up your groupes de muscles this way, though : It spikes your heart rate ( oh hey, cardio ) and burns *all* the calories.
Before you jump into plyo training, you want to feel solid when it comes to stability, balance, and core strength. But aside from that, the beauty of it is that you can scale plyo to your fitness level and that it is totally beginner-friendly. Can’t jump up onto a three-foot-tall box ? Start small ! The most important thing is that your movements are quick; they don’t have to be BIG. As you feel more durable and powerful, amp it up !
I like to incorporate two or three plyometric exercises into the beginning of my workouts after my warm-up. Since they demand so much of your bod, you don’t want to go into them already fatigued from a bunch of other moves. Want your entire workout to have plyometric vibes ? You can do that, too. Just be ready to feel the burn in ways you’ve never felt it before.
Start standing facing a plyo box ( about two-feet away from it ). Rise up onto balls of feet and swing straight arms over head, then bend knees and push hips back into a hinge place and swing arms back behind body to gain momentum to explode up off floor and jump up onto the box. Land in a squat position, with knees bent, feet flat, and hands in front of chest. Then stand up straight and step back down to starting position. That’s one rep.
Start in a plank place, then jump feet forward outside of hands. Drop butt below knees, lift torso up, and raise hands to chest level. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet under hips next to a plyo box, bent forward to place both hands flat on the top of it. Press through hands, brace core, and kick feet up and back towards glutes to hop body over to opposite side of box. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with hands at sides. Hop up into the air. Upon landing, squat down, press hands into floor, and kick feet up into air higher than shoulder height. Let feet land directly under body, then hop back up. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet under hips to the right of a plyo box. Rise up onto balls of feet and lift arms overhead, then with momentum, push hips back into a hinge position and swing arms back. Use this oomph to press through feet while swinging arms forward to explode up off floor. In mid-air, rotate entire body 90 degrees to the left and land in a slight squat position with hands in front of chest on top of the box, knees bent and feet flat. Stand up straight, then step back down to starting position. That’s one rep.
Start in a plank position with shoulders stacked over wrists and core engaged. Drive right knee toward chest, then return to plank and quickly repeat with the left. Keep alternating sides as quickly as possible. That’s one rep.
Start standing on right foot at far right end of mat or workout space with left leg bent, left foot lifted and crossed behind right leg, left arm bent and crossed in front of body, right arm behind back, and torso tilted slightly forward. Take a big hop to left switching arms and legs to mirror move on opposite side. Jump back to start. That’s one rep.
to start, stand with feet together and hands at sides. Then, lift arms out and overhead while jumping feet out past shoulders. Without pausing, quickly reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet just outside of shoulders holding one dumbbell with both hands in front of body, arms extended straight toward floor. Lift right foot up off mat and behind body while bending at elbows to swing weight over left shoulder. Quickly hop from left foot to right while straightening arms and drawing dumbbell diagonally across chest toward right hip, torso and gaze follow weight. That’s one rep. ( Make sure to switch your starting foot for the second round. )
Get into a plank position, with shoulders stacked on top of wrists. Keeping core engaged, tap right shoulder with left hand while jumping both feet out wide to sides. Return to start, then repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.