WASHINGTON — Here’s some scary news, just in time for Halloween: Saturday marks the start of the annual two-month-long food marathon, featuring candy pumpkins, turkey dinners, eggnog lattes, cookie exchanges and Champagne-popping holiday parties.
Yes, it’s just about time for the holiday season diet downfall. And with so much caloric cheer in the air, it’s no surprise that the pounds pack on quickly.
Experts say the average person gains 1 to 2 pounds during the holiday season. (For people already overweight, that number is closer to 5 pounds.) And while a couple of pounds may not sound like much, the holiday weight gain isn’t temporary for most; it’s here to stay, and it adds up over time.
That is why Josef Brandenburg, of True180 Fitness, says now is a critical time to establish a few good fitness habits to get ahead of the holiday weight gain.
“It makes surviving the holidays easier and also sets you up with good momentum. It’s so much more difficult to be on track about nutrition and exercise [during the height of the season], so what you do now will make sure that you’re as fit as you can be,” Brandenburg says.
And it doesn’t take much. He says 30 minutes a day, three times a week is all you need to build up a fat-burning base. Not having a gym membership is no longer an excuse: Autumn’s tolerable temperatures make it much easier to grab a run after work or a walk during your lunch break.
“You can work out much more intensely because it’s cooler. One of the biggest things that slows your body down and makes you tired and makes you want to stop is being overheated, so having cooler air is really helpful,” Brandenburg says.
For optimal results, break up your workout to include a mix of mobility, strength training and high-intensity conditioning work.
Not sure where to start or what that all means? Let the following fall fitness workout plan and video demonstrations be your guide — because jumping into the season surrounded by tempting foods, without a fitness plan in place “is a bad storm waiting to happen,” Brandenburg says.
Josef Brandenburg’s 30-Minute Power Workout
The best results come from working out the whole body through a mix of flexibility training, strength training, core power and conditioning. This workout takes 30 minutes and focuses on the activities with the highest return.
Treat each section as a mini circuit: Complete the first set of 1A, then the first set of 1B and the first set of 1C. Repeat the circuit starting at 1A before moving to circuits 2 and 3.
Circuit 1: The Ramp Up, 5 Minutes
|1A. Pretzel 1.0||1||1||30 seconds||None|
|1B. Pretzel 2.0||1||1||30 seconds||None|
|1C. Spiderman lunge with overhead reach||1||5||Slow||None|
Video: Pretzel 1.0
Video: Pretzel 2.0
Video: Spiderman lunge with overhead reach
Circuit 2: Strength, Core and Power, 20 Minutes
|2A. Goblet squat||3||8||Moderate||30 seconds|
|2B. Single arm inverted row||3||8||Moderate||30 seconds|
|2C. Jacknife||3||8||Slow||30 seconds|
Video: Goblet squat
Video: Single arm inverted row
Circuit 3: Strength, Core and Power
|3A. Single leg deadlift||3||8||Moderate||30 seconds|
|3B. Single arm overhead press||3||8||Moderate||30 seconds|
|3C. Medicine ball floor slams||3||8||Explosive||30 seconds|
Video: Single leg deadlift
Video: Single arm overhead press
Video: Medicine ball floor slams
Circuit 4: Finisher for Conditioning, 4 Minutes
|4A. Jump rope||2||30 seconds||30 seconds|
|4B. Rope slams||2||30 seconds||30 seconds|
Video: Rope slams