3 Quick Exercises for Holiday SeasonLOADING...
As the holiday season gets busier and busier we neglect ourselves, skipping after-work workouts for holiday shopping and morning workouts because we were out at a holiday party too late, with one too many cocktails. Sound familiar? Here are three easy moves that will allow you to take 100 seconds for yourself every morning, noon and night this holiday season. These moves coordinate breath and movement, which helps to calm the mind, aids in circulation, and focus on yourself.
Morning: The Hundred
First thing in the morning, do the Pilates One Hundred. The Pilates hundred increases circulation, warming up the body with coordinated breath and movement. After your hundred you should feel warm, particularly around the area of your heart.
- Lie facing up, spine long, arms long by your side and palms down
- Bring your knees into your chest, and stretch your legs up to a 90-degree angle
- Keep your shoulders on the floor and lift your head, engaging your abs
- Inhale slowly through the nose for five counts and and exhale slowly for five counts continuously, until your reach 100
- Keeping your arms straight and head lifted
- Pump your arms up and down with every count
When you have reached one hundred, relax completely and start your day!
Mid-Day: The Fold
Forward folds open up the back of legs, relax tense shoulders and neck, and move the flow of blood to the head, helping you to think more clearly. This one is particularly good if you just spent your lunch hour searching for that last-minute gift.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart
- Bend at the hips and fold forward, with as much bend in the knees as your require to feel comfortable
- Hold on to opposite elbows and draw your upper body downward
- Relax your head and neck
- You may choose to close your eyes for this movement, if you find it more calming
- Inhale slowly through the nose for five counts and exhale for five counts continuously, until you reach 100
- Movement is optional, you can gently sway from side to side if desired
To end your fold, bend your knees deeply, press into your heels and roll up slowly, stacking vertebrae onto vertebrae, with your head coming up last. Take a full breath and start your afternoon.
Evening: Qi Gong (pronounced “Chi Gong”)
Qi Gong’s aim is to encourage your muscles to let go of tension, your mind to let go of worry and your whole self to let go of angst. The perfect way to wind down from a hectic day of work, shopping and gift-wrapping. Perform this one when you get home after a long day, or just before you get into bed.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent
- Inhale and exhale through your nose
- Breathe with the movement for five full cycles (which will equal 100 seconds)
- Allow your breath to be calm and deep
- Inhale: hands rise up the mid-line of the body, with palms facing up
- Exhale: extend your arms out to the sides from your shoulders
- Inhale: hands come back to mid-line of your body
- Exhale: press hands down, palms facing down