Stay fit during the holidays; exercise at home

Ashley Hunt

It’s easy to pack on the pounds during the holidays. Students are eating a ton of delicious meals and spending all of the extra time with our families. Many students go home and are away from the ISU recreation centers they normally frequent.

If you don’t have the extra cash to pay for a gym membership in your hometown, don’t sweat it. 

Here are some workouts you can do at home in your own living room for free that will help you keep off the holiday weight.


This quick, four-minute workout is based on the Tabata protocol, a training method developed in the ’70s by Japanese Olympians.

Studies have shown this workout can have even more aerobic benefits than running an entire hour on the treadmill.

The best part? It’s perfect for an at-home workout.

You’ll be doing 20 seconds of rigorous activity, followed by a 10-second resting period. Make sure you have a reliable timer or stopwatch. Most iPods and smartphones have their own timers and stopwatches.


Do mountain climbers for 20 seconds. What is a mountain climber? It is an exercise where you get down into a push-up position and move one foot up on the ground next to your hand — right foot to right hand and left foot to left hand. It will have a sort of running on the ground effect, like you are climbing a mountain.

 Following your mountain climbers, take a 10-second break 


After your 10-second break, do 20 seconds of high knees. Stand in place and alternate lifting your knees as high as you can, similar to running in place.

Take another 10-second break.


Do 20 seconds of burpees. If you don’t know what a burpee is, it’s easy. Begin by standing up straight and reaching your hands above your head. 

For added difficulty, add a vertical jump during this part. Next, get down into a bug position, or a squatting position. Bend your knees so you are nearly sitting on the ground. From here, go into a push-up position. 

Go back into your squatting position and into your jump. The faster you go, the harder the workout. Repeat this as many times as you can during your 20 seconds of activity.

Take another 10-second break.


Your last activity is 20 seconds of jumping jacks. 

Follow this with another 10-second break. 

After your 10-second break, repeat the entire workout a second time. This will result in eight intervals of rigorous activity and a total of a four-minute cardio workout.

 Strength and conditioning

This simple exercise will work your arms and your abdominal muscles.

It’s called a pyramid workout


Do one full situp, not a crunch. Follow it immediately by one pushup. You can do a knee pushup if a regular one is too difficult.


Do two full situps and follow them immediately with two pushups. Continue this process until you get to 10. 

Do 10 situps and 10 pushups. You will then “work your way back down the ladder.” However, this time, instead of doing pushups, you will do triceps pushups.

These entail you getting into a crab-walk position. With your back to the ground and your stomach to the ceiling, place your hands below you with your fingertips pointed toward your feet. 

This will result in you in a tabletop position. Bend your arms slowly for one triceps pushup.


Do 10 situps followed by 10 triceps pushups. Repeat this all the way back down to one.

These two simple exercises will get your blood flowing and your muscles sore. 

If anything is too difficult, slow down or cut back your reps.

Do this exercise every day or at least every other day to keep off the extra pounds these holiday months.