With Christmas fast approaching you are probably getting a little concerned about your fitness regime. High calorie treats are always on offer, Christmas parties are on the horizon and the cold, dark weather makes exercise much less bearable. However, small things can make a big difference during the festive period. Burning just 100 extra calories each day adds up to 700 calories a week and an impressive 3,100 calories over the month of December. That is why today I am going to be sharing with you 10 ways to burn 100 calories or more this Christmas.
1) CYCLE:- Cycling is a great way to burn calories this Christmas. So if you own a bike and live close to work or the shops why not give it a go? If you do not own a bike then try cycling on the exercise bikes at the gym or ask for one as this year’s Christmas present.
Light cycling (between 10 miles per hour (mph) and 12mph) can burn 100 calories in 15 minutes whilst more intense cycling (between 14 mph and 16mph) can burn the same amount of calories in 10 minutes. If you are super fit then cycling at over 20mph for just 6 minutes can burn 100 calories.
2) DO CIRCUITS:- Motivation to carry on doing the same old exercise routines usually dips over the festive period as both the cold weather and other temptations kick in. So if you are lacking the motivation to workout this Christmas try mixing up your exercise routine with circuit training. Circuit training for just 12 minutes burns 100 calories.
When it comes to circuit training your options are almost unlimited. You could do a slight variation on your current workout. For example, if you normally do a three day weight lifting split you could try lowering the weights and then hitting every body part in succession with a high intensity resistance circuit. Alternatively you could come up with your own circuit training workout (see my bodyweight soccer sprints). If you are unsure where to start then you could join a circuit training class at your local gym (body pump is a particularly good circuit training class which incorporates weight lifting).
3) LIFT WEIGHTS:- The primary purpose of weight lifting is to build muscle. However, it is actually quite a good calorie burner too. So if you manage to carry on lifting weights over the festive period it could actually prevent you from piling on the Christmas pounds. Just 30 minutes of moderate weight lifting burns 100 calories. It gets even better if you have an intense workout with 15 minutes of vigorous weight lifting burning 100 calories.
4) JOG:- Jogging is an excellent exercise all year round. It can improve your fitness levels, reduce blood pressure, prevent cancer and even help you sleep. It is also a great way to burn calories with 13 minutes of jogging burning 100 calories.
When it comes to jogging you have plenty of options available to you. You can jog outside or if the weather is too cold you can go indoors and jog around a track or on a treadmill. If you find jogging a bit boring then you can add some excitement by mixing up the pace (sprint for 1 minute then jog for 5 minutes), adding some resistance (jog with a heavy backpack or weighted vest) or even turning your jog into a circuit training session (jog for 5 minutes, stop and do 1 minute of press ups, jog for 5 minutes, stop and do 1 minute of crunches and so on).
5) ICE SKATE:- One good thing about the cold winter weather is that it opens up the possibility of some unique outdoor exercises. Ice skating is one of the most popular winter exercises with many local councils offering residents an ice rink over the festive period. Not only is it a great way to exercise with family and friends but it is also a good calorie burner too. Ice skating for 17 minutes at 9mph or less burns off 100 calories whilst upping the intensity to over 9mph burns the same amount of calories in just 10 minutes.
6) RUN:- Running is very similar to jogging only performed at a much faster pace. It offers similar health benefits and can be performed inside or outside. Plus, if you are not a huge fan of running you can add some excitement by running at multiple paces, running with some resistance or running as part of a circuit. Since running is a higher intensity exercise than jogging it also burns more calories. Running at a moderate pace of 6mph burns 100 calories in 9 minutes. Upping the pace to 8mph allows you to burn the same amount of calories in 7 minutes and increasing the speed even further to 10mph allows you to burn 100 calories in just 6 minutes.
7) SKIP:- Skipping is a fantastic winter exercise. All you need is a rope and you are good to go. You can skip outdoors or indoors and another benefit is that you do not need much space. Skipping slowly for 12 minutes will burn 100 calories whilst skipping at a medium pace will burn the same amount of calories in 9 minutes. If you fancy yourself as the next Rocky Balboa and do some fast boxer style skipping you can burn 100 calories in just 8 minutes.
8) SHOVEL SNOW:- This one is dependent on the weather but if it snows this Christmas you can burn some extra calories whilst clearing your drive. If you are feeling full of Christmas cheer you could even help your neighbours clear their drive, clear the rest of your street or go down to your local car park and help out some of the patrons. Just 15 minutes of shovelling will burn away 100 calories.
9) SWIM:- Swimming is an excellent full body workout. It is a particularly good choice for Christmas as you can avoid the winter weather and exercise in the warmth of an indoor pool. Plus, you can do it with a group of friends or family. 13 minutes of moderate swimming can burn 100 calories whilst upping the pace to a high intensity can burn the same amount of calories in just 9 minutes.
10) WALK:- Around Christmas time you are probably going to be seeing lots of family and friends. So instead of spending your afternoons huddled in front of the sofa why not suggest an afternoon walk? This will allow everyone to get some fresh air and exercise. Walking also reduces your risk of heart disease, reduces high blood pressure and prevents osteoporosis. On top of this it can help you burn some Christmas calories. Walking slowly at 2mph burns 100 calories in 37minutes. Increasing the pace to 3.5mph burns the same amount of calories in 25 minutes.
As you can see the small things can really add up when it comes to burning calories. If you do an intense 20 minute cycling session in the morning (300 calories), hit the gym and lift some weights for 1 hour in the afternoon (200 calories) and then go for a short 25 minute evening walk with the family (100 calories) you will have burnt an extra 600 calories in a day. If you do this 3 times per week over Christmas that adds up to 1,800 calories a week and 7,200 calories over the month of December. With all the extra food and drink on offer around this time of year these burned calories could go a long way towards preventing the Christmas bulge. So pick a few exercises from the table below and see how many Christmas calories you can burn.
|EXERCISE||MINUTES TO BURN 100 CALORIES||CALORIES BURNED PER HOUR|
|Light (10mph to 12mph)||15||400|
|Moderate (14mph to 16mph)||10||600|
|Moderate (9mph or less)||17||353|
|Intense (over 9mph)||10||600|