10-minute workouts for the holidays


Eric Ely, senior in psychology, lifts weights from the comfort of his living room to sweat off some stress during finals.

Lea Petersen

While students and staff are busy hanging out under the mistletoe and sipping that thick, smooth eggnog, it’s easy to lose track of time and caloric intake.

Debra Atkinson, personal training director at Ames Racquet and Fitness Center and lecturer in kinesiology, offered advice on maintaining regular fitness levels throughout the holiday season.

“Lot’s of little exercises can add up,” Atkinson said. “Ten minutes a day, a couple times a day is a great way to maintain your fitness routine.”

The recommended amount of exercising is about 300 minutes per week, Atkinson said.

“Doing three to four intervals of 10 minute workouts during the day is easy and meets your daily requirements for physical activity.”

“Putting on your favorite music and get dancing,” said Nora Hudson, fitness program coordinator at the Lied Athletic Recreation Center. “Anything that will get your heart pumping and work up a little sweat.”

Hudson said marching in place, crunches, standing lunges and pushups will help.

“Focus on basic exercises to activate large muscle groups such as quads, abs, triceps and biceps,” she said.

Both Atkinson and Hudson emphasized that quick workouts are not about starting a new fitness program, but more about maintaining one’s current fitness level and not regressing over the holidays.

Both also agreed that going outside and enjoying the fresh air is also important.

“Going sledding with your younger siblings or relatives can be an amazing workout,” Atkinson said. Pulling children in sleds, walking up steep inclines and running around throwing snowballs will surely get a heart rate up, she said.

For an extra leg workout, Atkinson recommends walking backwards up sledding hills.