November Fitness Tips

Michelle Walker, the Recreational Specialist at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., poses for her photo in the base gym on November 2, 2011.  Michelle was hired to work at the base gym to train, educate and encourage McEntire’s airmen to remain “fit to fight” and excel in the new Air Force fitness standards. 
(SCANG photo by TSgt Caycee Cook)

Michelle Walker, the Recreational Specialist at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., poses for her photo in the base gym on November 2, 2011. Michelle was hired to work at the base gym to train, educate and encourage McEntire’s airmen to remain “fit to fight” and excel in the new Air Force fitness standards. (SCANG photo by TSgt Caycee Cook)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

Tip #1: SCHEDULE YOUR WORKOUTS LIKE YOU WOULD ANY HOLIDAY PARTY

Battle the holiday bulge by keeping up with your workouts! It does not matter how busy you are, always remember this fit tip: “you make the time to do the things you want to do”. Be sure to stick to that workout schedule and you too can enjoy the holidays without gaining those extra few pounds or feeling guilty.

Tip #2: NEVER GO TO A PARTY HUNGRY 

Parties are filled with empty calories, mindless snacks and plenty of drinks. If you are hungry, believe me, it is downhill from the start my friends. Plan to eat a substantial snack before heading out for a night on the town, your office party or holiday gathering. My favorite snacks include plain Greek yogurt and almonds, peanut butter, protein shakes or apples and peanut butter.

After-Thanksgiving Workout

1. Manual squats (with or without a medicine ball held in front of you at chest level). Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and medicine ball held in front of you at chest level. Start by pushing your butt backward into a sitting position and bending your knees. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Return to standing position. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.

2. Pushups. Do these on your toes or modified on your knees.

3. Alternating forward lunges. Holding a medicine ball if you have one, start with your feet together. Take a big step forward and immediately bend both knees as your foot hits the ground. Lower your body so that both knees are bent at 90 degrees. Push off with your front leg and return to standing position. Repeat with the other leg.

4. Bent over dumbbell or barbell rows. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold your weight in front of your thighs. Bend your knees and lower your upper body forward to about 45 degrees with your arms extended straight down to the floor. With a rowing motion, bring the weights straight up toward your chest and clench your shoulder blades together. Hold for one second and repeat. Maintain a tight abdomen while performing this exercise.

5. Straight-leg deadlift. Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells that are resting on your thighs in front of you. With a slight bend in your knees, bend forward from your hips, maintaining a flat back while lowering the weights to the middle of your shins. Return slowly to starting position.

6. Medicine-ball shouldering. Take a medium weight medicine ball and hold it with both hands on one shoulder. Extend your arms up and over to lower the ball down on the opposite shoulder. Repeat from side to side for one minute.

7. Wall sits. Do a squat with your back resting on a wall. Make sure that your feet are about 2 feet away from the wall and your knees and hips are bent at 90 degrees. Hold your shoulders back against the wall. Try to sit for the entire minute.

8. Triceps chair dips. Sit on a chair or bench with your palms on the edge of the bench and close to your hips. Straighten your arms to support your body and extend your legs straight out with your heels on the floor. Lower your body to the floor by bending your arms until your elbows are at 90 degrees. Return to starting position by pressing down your arms to straighten the elbows. 

Now take three minutes of active rest. Options include light jogging, riding the stationary bike or walking. Then repeat the sequence.

Good luck! It's tough, but it works!