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Health & Wellness

Four easy exercises to undo the effects of Holiday excess!

Dino Masson and Mélissa Globensky, B.Sc. Kinesiology Comments

It's safe to say that the Holidays probably leave you feeling a bit bloated and heavy, like so many of us. What can you do to repair the damage of all that overindulgence and get back in shape?

Here are four exercises you can try at home or at the office to get the new year off to a good start.

Reduce stress in four breaths

It's the same thing every year: our stress level goes down after a few days of vacation but quickly returns when we get back to work after the Holidays. To start, inhale through the nose, filling your stomach with air, and slowly exhale through the mouth. Do this three more times. Become aware of your body as you're breathing. Feel your stress float away. Do this exercise every morning before checking your emails.

Squat and kick

Squat and kick

To work your thighs and buttocks, there's nothing better than a good old-fashioned squat. To spice it up a bit and get your heart pumping, add a kick. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and sit back, keeping your weight on your heels, your back straight and your eyes straight ahead. Use your thighs to bring your hips forward. When back in the standing position, kick your right leg in front of you. Alternate legs after each squat. Do three sets of 20 repetitions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during your morning break.

Push-ups with hands on desk

Push-ups with hands on desk

Push-ups are extremely effective for strengthening your arms and shoulders. You can even work your abs at the same time. Standing on your toes with your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of a sturdy desk or table, bend your elbows until your chest nearly reaches your hands, then push up as fast as you can to the starting position. Keep your abs tight. Do two sets of 8 repetitions on Tuesday and Thursday before breaking for lunch.

Mountain climber with arms on chair

Mountain climber  with arms on chair

If you're strong and have good abdominal muscles, place your forearms on the seat of a sturdy chair, walk your legs out and stand on your toes, keeping your back straight. This is a variant of the plank exercise. Bring one knee toward your chest and return to the original position. Do the same with the other leg. An easier variant is to place your forearms on a desk or table instead of a chair. Do three sets of 15 repetitions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday before your afternoon break.

There's no need to start the year off with difficult exercises or a complex fitness routine. After the Holidays, your body is relaxed—or tired, depending on the number of parties you went to! So it's best to get back in shape gradually. Just a bit of exercise every day can do a world of good. Try this simple routine! It's also a great way to stay motivated.

Like more tips on how to start the year off right? Don't hesitate to Ask your pharmacist.

Wishing you a healthy, active and happy 2016!

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