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Exercise DVDs and Magazines Make Workouts a Family Affair

Courtney is an avid runner and fitness enthusiast, but gets the best workout chasing after her three-year-old Ellie. Follow her at twitter.com/smugrunner

While I enjoy the time away from work during the holidays, unfortunately the change in – or more accurately, complete lack of – routine wreaks havoc on my nutrition and fitness plans. On a normal work day, I’ve knocked out a run before the rest of the fam wakes, plan all my meals and snacks, hit the office gym over the lunch hour for some strength training and then get up and do it all again the next day. This may sound boring to some, but to me, the routine simply makes healthy living a natural part of my life. That is until the holidays roll around, and I suddenly have no reason to set the alarm, a stocked pantry and refrigerator just around the corner, and no gym packed with on-demand workout options.

This year I’m vowing to plan my at home holiday fitness just as I would on a typical work day. As a bonus, working out at home provides me with another opportunity to teach my spunky preschooler how fun fitness can be. If you’re like me and don’t like coming up with your own workout routines, here are a couple of my favorite tools that make exercising sans gym a breeze.

DVDs

My go-to at home workout comes courtesy of Jillian Michaels via her 30 Day Shred video. The set up – 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minute abs – provides a quick, full body workout and is short enough to keep an easily distracted kiddo entertained. Set them up with their activity of choice (coloring, blocks, etc) during the strength and abs, and then have them join you during the cardio. Kids always love an excuse to jump around the living room!

Magazine routines

Each month, most fitness magazines feature a new workout on handy perforated cards. For a quick, kid-friendly sweat session, tear out the cards, mix them up, flip them over Go-Fish style, and have your kiddo draw a card one at a time. Read it together, talk about what muscles it works, then try the exercise. My daughter always has fun saying the funny names – Crab Walk anyone? – and counting out the reps.

Whether you’re snowed in, avoiding the over-crowded malls, or simply craving a break from the gym, these at-home options are a terrific way to sneak in a little fitness and avoid slipping into couch potato mode, which the holidays can often bring.

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December 1st, 2011

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