8 Great Time Hacks for Fast, Effective Fitness Workouts During the Busy Christmas Season!
Tis the season to be jolly… Tis also the season to skimp on your health and fitness workouts.
With the holiday bustle, shopping, Christmas parties, family get-together and other events that dominate this time of year, it is easy to neglect taking care of yourself. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. If you follow these time hacks, you can take care of your fitness and your other holiday obligations.
1) Change your thoughts through paradigm
The right actions start with the right mindset. Here are some essential mental shifts you need to make:
– Exercise & fitness is a necessity, not a luxury – it can’t wait until things settle down
– In a busy season of life, I don’t have time NOT to take care of my body
– I don’t find time, I take time to take care of myself
Time-efficient training is not rushing through a fitness workout, but rather maximizing my results within the given amount of time I have.
2) Focus on your top fitness priorities
As with many things in life your fitness training options consists of two things: nice to have and must-haves.
The trick is knowing what is most important to you right now and what can wait to be emphasized in another block. Don’t make the all-too-common mistake of going for all of your fitness goals at the same time.
For example, let’s say your number one fitness goal right now is to lose body fat. Do you need to do tons of foam rolling, mobility work, speed & power training? While these can be good to do, they are not as important as chopping vegetables, meal prep, intense weight training and interval training. Therefore, cut from the former, not the latter if you are pressed for time.
3) Give your fitness session 100% of your focus
During busy seasons, the temptation to multi-task can be overwhelming.
Resist the urge! Don’t try to work out while scrolling through your social media feed, returning emails, wrapping presents or writing Christmas cards. 30 minutes of brutally hard training with 100% focus trumps an hour of distracted workout time any day!
4) Use time-efficient warm-ups
With the popularity of warm-ups these days, it is easy to have your warm-up take 20-30+ minutes.
Now, I’m not saying you should cut your warm-up so short that you don’t adequately prepare your body for work. Instead, you need to know what you need to do to be ready without wasting time.
For example, I used to do a lot of foam rolling before I train. However, I found that activation exercises work better in a warm-up. Let’s say you have tight hamstrings. One of the most common causes of tight hamstrings is a weak/de-activated core and hips. As a result, your body locks of the hamstrings to create stability. You could take 10 minutes roll them and stretch them, or you could take one minute to do some simple core and glute activation drills do a better AND faster job of getting those hammies to relax.
I also love jump rope skipping as part of my warm-ups for myself and my clients. 30-60 seconds and you are warm-up and ready to go.
If you have a lot of tissue work to do, try doing more of it at night before bed. This will also help you unwind, de-stress and sleep better.
5) Pick great exercises
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The better exercises you pick, the less total number of exercises you have to do to get the results you deserve.
If you don’t have the time you would like, make sure you are using your time to perform appropriate variations of the following movements:
- Squat or lunge
- Hinge and deadlift variations
- Upper body pressing
- Upper body pulling
6) Use fast set-up exercises
Some great exercises take a long time to set-up and clean up. This is time you could spend training.
When time is tight, choose set-up friendly exercises. Examples include exercises with pre-set dumbbells, pre-set barbells, kettlebells and body weight exercises. Now, don’t get me wrong – some exercises such as deadlifts and farmer’s walks are worth the set-up time. However, when you can get an equally effective exercise with a faster set-up and takedown time – use it when life is crazy.
7) Group non-competing exercises
Trying to rush through your workouts by skipping necessary warm-up sets is a bad idea.
It is also unwise to cut your rest intervals down too much as this forces you to use less weight or get less reps (neither of which is what you want). Instead, group exercises together that don’t interfere with each other. When programming, I often group the following exercises:
- Upper body pulling + upper body pressing (e.g. 1-arm DB row + bench press)
- Hinge movement + upper body press (e.g. deadlifts + dips)
- Squat movement + upper body pull (e.g. front squats + chin-ups)
- Leg exercise + upper body pull + upper body push (e.g. lunges, 1-Arm DB Row, DB Shoulder Press)
Then, depending on your goals and strength levels, rest about 30-60 seconds between these exercises.
8) Move more of your health and fitness online
During busy times, the last thing you need is to try to fit more appointments into your day and work around someone else’s schedule.
Thankfully, there are other options. Over the last several years, more and more people are moving their health and fitness online and it is working. In 2015, the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare published a systematic review of telehealth tools and interventions to support family caregivers. Over 95% of the studies reviewed reported significant health improvements.
That is why this is the perfect time of year for us. Your membership will allow you give you the tools you need to get healthy, get fit and get ready for whatever your work or sports demands of you. You can do this where you want and when you want. We will save you time AND money – something we all appreciate this Christmas season.
FOR OUR FIRST 500 MEMBERS, WE ARE OFFERING AN EXCLUSIVE “LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP” AT 50% OFF
Use the following code when you register your membership: Cura500
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