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12 Days of Holiday Workouts

Balance is one of the best ways to live a happy life.

At least five days a week, I run, do yoga, or lift weights. Also, I eat cheese, throw a massive Christmas cookie party each year, and love having two glasses of wine at lunch with my girlfriends. Waking up early, I get the difficult things checked off of my list first and then I love a long, lazy Sunday binge watching The Good Wife with a roaring fire and my puppies lounging on my lap. Staying healthy and fit allows me to enjoy life's pleasures and that’s why I make it a priority.

During the holidays, balance can be a challenge. Inside of one of my kitchen cabinets I keep a calendar. On it, I write down the exercise performed that day because “that which gets measured gets managed” and inevitably, November and December workouts dwindle. Between holiday parties and travel, guests in town, and the colder weather prompting hearty dinners and extra glasses of wine, I get tired and find excuses to NOT exercise.

This year, my good friend Ulla and I have made a commitment to stay on track. We created workout “cards” and every morning we pick one from the stack. It’s like a magician holding out a deck of cards; you pull one not knowing if it’s a Jack of Spades or Two of Hearts. The workout could be really challenging or lightly invigorating.

Since it’s the holidays and the scales might be tipping toward “party time,” I am sharing 12 Days of Workouts that can help you bring back some balance. My challenge to you is in the next 16 days (that’s how many are left people!), choose at least eight of the 12 workouts and give them a whirl. After a good sweat, I bet the cookies will taste sweeter and and that glass of wine more...well, it’ll taste like wine, but since you burned calories you can pour another! Happy holidays!

All workouts can be done with substitute “equipment”.

No hand weights or bar weights for rows or overhead press = large canned goods

No kettle bell= substitute squats or jump squats

No weighted ball for wall ball= use a soccer ball or basketball

No box for box jumps= use the step on your front stoop

No rings or pull up bar= sub push ups

No bench for dips= use a chair or the step in a flight of stairs

No bar for hanging leg raises= do 1 minute planks or 100 bicycle sit ups


Workout 1

5 Rounds
Run 400 Meters
25 Kettle Bell Swings
25 Sit ups
25 push ups

Workout 2

5 Rounds
15 weighted squats
20 wall balls
20 Burpees
20 overhead press
400 meter run

Workout 3

5 Rounds
20 Kettle Bell Swings
20 Push ups
20  Box jumps
20 Mountian climbers
20 Jump Tucks
1 minute plank


Workout 4

4 Rounds
800 Meter run as fast as you can (hill)
25 box jumps
50 mt. climbers
3 mins rest

Workout 5

3 rounds
800 meter run
20 burpees
20 wall balls
20 kettle bells
20 overhead press
20 ring pull ups
After: 3 sets of 5 weighted back squats

Workout 6

5 Rounds
Jump Rope 3 minutes
20 Ring pull ups
20 pushups
20 squats (add weight for more challenge)

Workout 7

Split into smaller sets if needed
50 burpees
50 pull ups
50 sit ups
50 weighted jumps
50 shoulder press
2 mile run

Workout 8

For Time
100 pull ups
100 push ups
100 sit ups
100 squats

(Time the workout and go as fast as you can)

Workout 9

5 rounds
20 squats
1 min plank
20 dips
20 rows
400 meter run

Workout 10

5 rounds
20 Kettlebell swings
10 burpees
20 situps
10 burpees
20 box jumps
10 burpees

Workout 11

5 rounds
30 lunges
20 hanging leg raises
30 Kettlebells
30 push ups
400 meter run

Workout 12

4 rounds
10 dumbbell or kettlebell single arm rows
100 jump ropes
10 burpees
10 step-ups (10 per leg)
10 sit ups

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