Burn calories with 12 days of holiday workouts

Meera Patel, Reporter

In the coming weeks, you’ll have many excuses to drink hot chocolate, devour pumpkin pie and slather whipped cream on everything edible within reach.

Unfortunately, our favorite treats take their toll on our bodies. Every year, it seems we put on a few extra pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, pounds that we have to work hard to get rid of in preparation for spring and bikini season.

But don’t fret! Here are 12 mini-workouts for each of the 12 days of Christmas.

Day one: Do the P90X Ab Ripper X workout once. Stretch afterwards by reaching up to touch the highest holiday decorations you can find.

Day two: Watch “A Christmas Carol,” and every time someone says “Christmas,” do knee-highs for two minutes.

Day three: Run three miles, wearing red and green workout clothes to show spirit. Don’t have red and green workout clothes? You have an excuse to go shopping.

Day four: Do four rounds of three 20-second squats while listening to “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey, and finish all of them before the song is over. (It’s about four minutes long.) Repeat at least twice.

Day five: Do five sets of 10 pushups or five sets of 25 pushups, depending on your skill level. Then reward yourself with some peppermint hot chocolate.

Day six: Because the title has six words, listen to Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” while doing suicide drills — sprinting from a starting point to progressively farther end points.

Day seven: Go downtown and do some sightseeing with the holiday lights and decorations. Speed-walk in seven-minute intervals alternated with one minute of slower walking until you get tired of the festivities. Aim for at least 30 minutes of walking.

Day eight: Write eight holiday cards to people who live somewhat near you, and jog to each of their houses to deliver them. Be sure you jog about two miles total.

Day nine: By now you’re probably tired of watching sappy holiday movies, so take a break and watch “Black Christmas.” Do nine sit-ups every time someone dies.

Day 10: In honor of the song’s lyric “10 lords-a-leaping,” get out your jump rope and do 10 reps of 50 jumps each.

Day 11: Shop at 11 stores, staying out for at least two hours. Walking around, picking things up and trying on clothes does burn calories, and you still get to enjoy the holiday shopping spirit.

Day 12: Go caroling at 12 houses! Make sure they’re spaced far enough apart so that you walk at least a mile in total.

So there you have it: 12 workouts for each of the 12 days of Christmas. Keep these holiday-themed workouts in mind over the break, and you won’t have to regret that Christmas pudding come January.

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