December 06 2013
1. Hop to it Add 30 to 60 seconds of jump rope between each set in your strength workout to boost the calorie burn. (No rope? No problem. Just mime the action, bouncing off the balls of your feet.)
2. Treat yourself on Cyber Monday If you've been waiting to replace some worn-out workout gear, it's time to get clicking: Those great sales aren't only on big-screen TVs. Hit up the websites for sporting goods stores for awesome deals on fitness equipment, clothing, and sneakers. If you're looking for something specific, check out cleansnipe.com, which cases the gear market for the best bargains.
3. Be a swinger If you're not familiar with kettlebells, here's a quick primer: use it like a dumbbell in nearly any exercise, but because the weight is distributed unevenly, it can help engage more of the smaller, stabilizing muscles throughout your body. Give it a try with this calorie-torching kettlebell routine.
4. Enjoy some post-holiday downtime Stressing over those extra Thanksgiving calories can actually backfire and slow your progress. Rather than go as hard as you can at the gym, spend at least 15 minutes one day sitting quietly, meditating, or doing restorative yoga to help lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that can increase your appetite.
5. Work toward a chinup Master the negative chinup. Standing on a box or bench, grab the bar with an underhand grip, then jump up so that your chin touches it. Pause, then lower yourself as slowly as possible (aiming for about 5 to 10 seconds) until your arms are completely straight. Rest for a minute and then repeat for a total of three reps. (And check out the Women's Health Chinup Challenge for a six-weeks-to-chinups plan.)
6. Go with the "flow" Freezing-cold temps can send you to the gym instead of the running path. But you don't need to hit up the treadmill to get your cardio fix. Sign up for a vinyasa or "flow" yoga class, which will definitely get your heart pumping, says Chrissy Carter, star of Beginning Yoga with Chrissy Carter. Practicing on your own? String together several reps of standing poses—like side angle to warrior two to triangle pose—moving with your breath without losing form.
7. Jumpstart your routine Start one of your strength workouts this week with this simple heart-pumping warmup: Do 30 seconds each of running in place, high knees, butt kicks, and jumping jacks. Do it twice through, then rest 30 seconds to one minute before hitting the weights.
Via Women's Health