Trainer Donnie Flaherty Will ‘Sleigh’ Your Christmas Conditioning in ’12 Days’

If you find it tough to get out of the house during the holiday season, you may feel like using this as an excuse to skip training, but you can always keep fit from home with this intense “12 Days of Christmas Workout,” a circuit that is sure to burn off some of that Christmas excess and keep you active during your downtime, ready for hitting your stride back in the gym, in 2022.

This fun Christmas workout is your Christmas gift from Donnie Flaherty, a 39-year-old personal trainer from Payson, AZ, who shares fitness and beauty tips on social media. “I have always been really active, playing sports while growing up, but it wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I was introduced to strength training,” says Flaherty. “I fell in love with it, and fitness has been a big passion of mine ever since. I am a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and have a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition management. I teach HIIT classes, so I always love coming up with fun, holiday workouts.”

Bojan Milinkov

Make the 12 Days of Christmas workout a holiday tradition

Making fitness sessions part of your annual festive tradition is a great way to be sure that your levels of activity don’t completely stall during the holidays. “This 12 Days of Christmas concept has been some of my class member’s favorite for many years now!” says the passionate PT. “I have found that when I move my body every day, I feel better! It keeps my stress levels down and I’m able to focus better. When I feel good then I’m able to give more to those around me, and my clients feel the same way; especially during a period like Christmas as it can be busy and stressful.”

With 2022 around the corner, Flaherty is already setting her sights on a productive year ahead. “I try and focus on doing those things that will help strengthen me as a person both physically and mentally,” she says. “I really try to make the most out of my training sessions, stretching and walking every day, and making sure to enjoy those rest days. I have a dream of one day competing in a fitness competition, so maybe with turning 40 next year, 2022 will be my year!”

Try to keep moving every day

Working out to some degree, every day, is a message that this personal trainer feels would benefit all individuals, no matter what their current fitness levels are. “I don’t think a lot of people realize just how much better they would feel if they moved their bodies, daily,” she says. “And it doesn’t have to be something crazy or intense. Walking is highly underrated, but has tremendous physical and mental health benefits. Start with just 10 minutes of activity per day and then work up to 30 minutes each day. It’s amazing what that can do!”

The 12 Days of Christmas Workout

In the spirit of the song, include 12 different exercises as shown below. Starting with the first movement, you will then add another, until you are counting down from number 12. You can assess your ability as you go, and cut the workout down to the first 6 exercises if you are not quite ready for the full circuit. Likewise, you could make further modifications such as reducing the length of the plank, or even increasing it. Now, go burn off some of that Christmas candy!

The 12 steps:

1 60-second plank

2 Pushups followed by 1 60-second plank

3 Genie presses, 2 pushups, 1 60-second plank

4 Squat jumps, 3 genie presses, 2 pushups, 1 60-second plank

5 Burpees, 4 squat jumps, 3 genie presses, 2 pushups, 1 60-second plank

6 Jump lunges, 5 burpees, 4 squat jumps, 3 genie presses, 2 pushups, 1 60-second plank

7 V-ups, 6 jump lunges, 5 burpees, 4 squat jumps, 3 genie presses, 2 pushups, 1 60-second plank

8 Mountain climbers, 7 V-ups, 6 jump lunges, 5 burpees, 4 squat jumps, 3 genie presses, 2 pushups, 1 60-second plank

9 Reverse burpees to star jumps, 8 mountain climbers, 7 V-ups, 6 jump lunges, 5 burpees, 4 squat jumps, 3 genie presses, 2 pushups, 1 60-second plank

10 Curtsy lunge hops, 9 reverse burpees to star jumps, 8 mountain climbers, 7 V-ups, 6 jump lunges, 5 burpees, 4 squat jumps, 3 genie presses, 2 pushups, 1 60-second plank

11 Supermans, 10 curtsy lunge hops, 9 reverse burpees to star jumps, 8 mountain climbers, 7 V-ups, 6 jump lunges, 5 burpees, 4 squat jumps, 3 genie presses, 2 pushups, 1 60-second plank

12. Squat jack touchdowns, 11 Supermans, 10 curtsy lunge hops, 9 reverse burpees to star jumps, 8 mountain climbers, 7 V-ups, 6 jump lunges, 5 burpees, 4 squat jumps, 3 genie presses, 2 pushups, 1 60-second plank

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