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Fitness Challenge: Home for the Holidays Workout

Don't let the craziness of the holiday season keep you from exercising.
By Jodi Helmer
WebMD the Magazine - Feature

Although holiday shopping can feel like a workout, you don't have to rely on it as your sole form of exercise this busy holiday season. Simply make some space in your living room and try these three moves from Kathy Kaehler, author of Fit and Sexy for Life and a celebrity fitness trainer whose clients include Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, and Kim Kardashian. Do each move three times a week.

Double Leg Lift

"You can do this move during commercial breaks [when you're watching TV]," Kaehler says. "You'll really feel this move toning your waist, especially on the last few reps."

1. Lay on your right side with your legs stacked and rest your head on your right arm.

2. With your ankles together and toes pointed forward, lift both legs toward the ceiling and hold for five seconds.

3. Slowly lower your legs back to the starting position.

4. Repeat 12 times, rest and repeat two more times (for a total of 36 repetitions).  

5. Switch sides and repeat.

Triceps Chair Dips

This move uses the weight of your body to tone your shoulders, back, and triceps, Kaehler says -- "the muscles you'll need to shovel snow and carry heavy holiday packages around the mall."

1. Sitting on the edge of a dining room chair with your feet together, place your hands next to your hips with your fingers wrapped under the seat of the chair. Make sure the chair is stable.

2. Use your arms to lift your hips forward and off the chair.

3. With your back close to the edge of the chair, bend your elbows and lower your hips. Keep your shoulders down.

4. Using your arms, push back up to the starting position. Do not lock your elbows.

5. Repeat 12 times. Rest and do two more sets.

Coffee Table Hip Lift

"As soon as you lift your hips off the floor, you can feel the muscles working," Kaehler says. "This move will make your glutes, hips, and thighs so tight and toned, you'll look better in your jeans by spring."

1. Lay on the floor, bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, and place your heels on a coffee table with your feet flexed and toes pointed toward the ceiling. Make sure the table is stable and won't tip over.

2. With all your weight in your heels and shoulder blades, squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off the floor. 

3. Return to the starting position.

4. Repeat 15 times. Rest and do one more set.

Expert Tip: Staying Motivated in Winter

Q: "I find it hard to stay motivated when it's cold outside. All I want to do is curl up under a blanket and read. What can I do to keep my workouts on track this winter?"

Heather Brooks, 36, product manager, Minneapolis, Minn.

A:  "When it's cold, no one wants to leave the house. So stay indoors. Invest in resistance bands, free weights, and a stability ball to turn your living room into a home gym. Borrow fitness DVDs from the library or download a few from the Web, and follow cardio routines for at least 30 minutes five times a week. It's harder to blow off a workout when the equipment is right there. To stay motivated, set biweekly goals and give yourself rewards for achieving them."

-- Michael George, personal trainer and author of Body Express Makeover: Trim and Sculpt Your Body in Less Than Six Weeks.

Reviewed on September 12, 2012

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