Survival of the fittest for the holidays

Staying Focused on the Right Routine for the Best Results

In the midst of holiday shopping and parties, it’s easy to rationalize skipping or postponing your regular workout. Don’t! “Stay active. Monitor your time. Make sure you schedule those workouts,” advises Rob Ciccone, a certified fitness trainer at Anytime Fitness in Auburndale.
More than ever, it’s important to find a type of exercise you enjoy—so you’ll stick to it. You may want to take advantage of cooler outdoor temperatures to play flag football or take a walk around a lake with breaks for sit-ups, or play tennis.
At home, you can put pull-up hooks on your door. “You can really use your own body weight for most of the exercise,” he says. Ciccone advises exercising 20 to 40 minutes three times a week. “Watch your meals a little more closely,” he says. “Be smart. If you going to have a big dinner, make sure those other meals are smaller.”
Unfortunately, some folks think they can focus solely on cardiovascular exercise and forego lifting free weights, dumbbells or bars—or doing pushups and using resistance bands. That’s not so, Ciccone points out.
Resistance training should be your foundation, advises the owner of Holistic Renaissance, a fitness training and massage therapy firm in Auburndale. “They are going to have to do resistance training,” he says. “It’s bread and butter as far as weight loss and fitness goes.”
With cardiovascular exercise, “you want to mimic the heat of a sprinter,” he says. “You want to go for a high intensity interval 20 or 30 seconds to begin with, up and down.” He cautions against “that marathon type of cardio” of moderate intensity. “High intensity is what’s going to use energy,” he says. “Moderate intensity for very long times will just eat away muscle tissue. Overall, you’re going to be burning less calories.”
Core exercises are also important to build strength, take stress off the lower back and help prevent injuries throughout the neck and spine. “If you want strong arms, you want strong legs, you have to have a strong foundation,” he states.
Perhaps the most important strategy is staying committed. “Most people have that perceived lack of time to do the exercising,” he says. “They can always alter their schedule and fit it in.”

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