With the holidays just around the corner and festivities filling our calendars, we often-times find ourselves exercising and going to the gym less, and stressing and eating more these last few weeks of the year. Because we can’t seem to fit an hour of working out into our day – the mornings scrambled with tending to family and home-needs, lunch-hour sacrificed to run errands we didn’t do over the weekend, and evenings committed to parties, company functions, and social gatherings – we may simply give-up on our fitness altogether and think, “Well, The New Year is coming up, that will be a good time to get back to it!”
While I am a firm believer that “Anytime is a GREAT time to start again!” I also think, “Why put off till tomorrow, the things we can do today?” It would be super interesting to see the results of a research study that compares individuals’ exercise contemplation time with their actual exercise time for the months of November and December. I’d be willing to bet that throughout the holiday season, there are a large number of people, who may actually have a fairly regular workout regimen nine or ten months out of the year, that spend more time thinking about working out, than actually doing it!
I think our biggest challenge to overcome during the holidays (in regards to fitness and time-management anyway – family, in-laws, traffic, travel, cooking, cleaning, and shopping are issues to discuss at another time!) is giving ourselves permission to let go of our regular workout routines, and yet still find ways to stay active, fit, healthy, and sane amongst the seasonal chaos.
Why not work-out at work? Yes, I am actually suggesting that you exercise in your office, in your work clothes. Instead of spending 5-10 minutes every hour surfing the web, crafting on Pinterest, and reading your friends’ latest social media gossip, use the time to get moving! I’m not saying that the benefits of eight, 5-minute “mini sessions” scattered throughout your work-day will be equal to the benefits you may typically get in an hour at the gym, but I am saying that a little is better than nothing! And, honestly, you won’t know until you try!
Here are five exercises that you can do in your office using the Kamagon® Ball. Try performing each exercise for 1 minute every hour of your work-day. If that’s too easy, try 2 minutes or use a heavier Kamagon® Ball. One of the greatest attributes of this piece of equipment is that you can add weight on the spot! Just unscrew the plug, pour in more water, and you’re ready to roll!! Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
1) Halo Double Punch
Hold the Kamagon® Ball by the handles with both hands. In a controlled movement, halo it around your head and shoulders. Then, punch the ball forward two times fast, crashing the water. Repeat the halo in the opposite direction, punching twice again. To add more intensity, double punch while doing a jumping jack – Beware, this may cause you to break a sweat!
2) Alternating Knee Lift Twist
Hold the Kamagon® Ball by the handles with both hands. Twist three times, oscillating the water side to side. On the third rotation, lift one knee and use your core to help steady the water in the ball. Continue lifting alternate knees on every third twist.
3) Serve the Platter Deadlift
Hold the Kamagon® Ball with both hands, palms facing up. Extend the arms forward as if serving a platter, attempting to keep the water as still as possible. Bring the ball back to the body and tighten your grip on the handles. Hinge forward from your hips allowing one leg to extend behind while lowering the ball towards the ground in a deadlift motion. Try to keep the water still throughout the exercise. Repeat, alternating legs on each deadlift.
4) Lunge Chest Expansion
Hold the Kamagon® Ball by the handles with both hands behind your back and externally rotate your shoulders, opening through the chest. Step back with one leg into a rear lunge. Hold the lunge as you move the ball around the body, to the front, and then return it behind the back. Step in and again, externally rotate your shoulders (palms move from facing in, to facing out). Repeat on the other side.
5) Curtsy Shoulder Press
Hold the Kamagon® Ball with a handle in one hand. Step diagonally behind you with one leg. Lower to a curtsy lunge. As you return to standing, perform an overhead shoulder press with the ball, keeping the water quiet throughout the exercise. Repeat on the same side for 30 seconds, then switch.
Lucy Waite, MS, is a master trainer for Hedstrom Fitness, BOSU®, and Schwinn Indoor Cycling. She is an instructional associate professor of health and kinesiology at Texas A & M University in College Station, TX.