Quick…tell me the first word that pops into your head when I say “It’s the Holidays”. If you – like many others that I’ve polled on this – said “stress” then you need to keep reading.
When I get all stressed out, I typically deal with it by going for a run because it releases all those fabulous endorphins and clears my head so I can focus again. However, sometimes I can’t get outside for my meditative jaunt and the anxiety worry starts to pile up in my mind.
Since stress-relieving strategies are really only beneficial if you actually do them, it helps to have a back-up plan –- a secret weapon in your stress-busting arsenal that you can pull out when you really need an anxiety intervention but can’t find the time or will to get all bundled up for a run or walk outside.
Next time you find the pressure building and your usual stress management strategy won’t do or is otherwise unavailable to you, try this short and sweet Breathe & Reboot Workout and watch the stress of the season melt away.
Is this a butt-kicking, hard-pounding, calorie-blaster of a workout? No. But it’ll help you wipe out all that holiday stress which in turn will help your weight maintenance efforts by reducing cortisol (a stress hormone)levels (less belly fat over time) and limiting emotional eating.
In other words, these gentle yet effective moves will have you feeling like a million bucks and full of holiday cheer in no time!
NOTE: To maximize the benefits of this workout, take deep breaths through your nose the whole time and coordinate each movement with your breath as indicated below. Don’t worry about pacing – just follow your breath.
Cat to Cow
Inhale deeply as your head rises and belly sinks toward the floor, exhale slowly as your head falls between your elbows as your upper back rounds upward. Repeat for 1 minute.
More ideas on how to counteract Holiday weight gain from this week’s Maintain, Don’t Gain Challenge:
Child’s Pose to Cobra
Inhale as you slide along the floor and press up into Cobra Pose, exhale as you slide back into Child’s Pose. Repeat for 1 minute.
Down Dog to Twisted Low Lunge
Inhale, reach your right leg back. Exhale, step your right foot forward between your hands as you drop your left knee down. Inhale, reach back with your right hand to grab your left foot opening your chest up toward the sky. Exhale, let go of your foot and step back into Downward Facing Dog. Alternate which leg rises and steps forward for 1 minute.
Bridge Pose Toe Taps
Inhale, press into your heels as you peel your back off the floor and press your hips up. Exhale, hold this position. Inhale, press into your left foot and your right leg rises. Exhale, lower the right leg until your toes tap the ground. Inhale, lift the right leg again. Repeat this for 3 breaths on the right side then move to the left side. Keep alternating sides for 1 minute.
Breathe deeply for 1-2 minutes in Pigeon Pose with the hip of your front leg on a yoga block or some folded blankets.
Breathe deeply for 1-2 minutes in a forward fold with your forehead resting on a yoga block.
Legs Up A Wall
Breathe deeply for 1-2 minutes with your legs straight up a wall.