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30-minute Workouts to Stay Fit During the Holidays

If you’re looking to continue your exercise routine through the busy holiday season or if you’re just trying to balance out eating extra goodies, these 30-minute workouts are for you.

Woman doing squats as part of her 30 minute holiday workout


Do you want to get in a workout during the holidays but don’t have a lot of time to spend? These 30-minute workouts combine high-intensity cardio and total body movements for quick and effective calorie burning sessions.

Do this workout two to three times a week during the holidays to keep extra calories from sabotaging all your hard work and kick off the new year with a great start.

Each workout is broken down into the following segments:

  • Total Body Warm-Up (five minutes)
  • Total Body Challenge (12 minutes)
  • Cardio Challenge (12 minutes)
  • Recovery (one minute)

Click on the names of each movement for a link to a video that demonstrates proper form.

*If you are a beginner or need lower impact; do a five-minute warmup and do the Total Body Warm-up twice. Do not continue to the Total Body Challenge.

The Total Body Warm-Up

6 x 90/90 Stretch

5 x Glute Bridge

5 x Forward Lunge Elbow to Instep

5 x Hand Walks

6 x Standing T’s

1 x one-minute Pillar Bridge hold (aka “The Plank”)

The Total Body Challenge (for overall toning)

The challenge includes the following five basic elements: An upper body push and pull movement (e.g., push ups), a lower body push and pull movement (e,g., squats, lunges), and a rotational movement.

Starting with exercise one, do 30 seconds of work and recover for 30 seconds. Repeat for exercises two through five.

After you’ve done all five movements, take one minute to recover and then repeat the set. If you feel you need more rest, do 15 seconds of work and take 45 seconds of rest between exercises. If you feel you need less rest, do 45 seconds of work with only 15 seconds of rest between exercises.

Here are two options for your 12-minute Total Body Challenge. Click on each exercise for a link to a video that demonstrates proper form.

Option #1

Split Dumbbell Curl-to-Press

Inverted Row

Dumbbell Split Squat

Physioball Leg Curl

Rotational Row

Option #2

The Cardio Challenge (for aerobic training)

This challenge can be done on any piece of cardio equipment. Choose a speed or level that works you close to your maximum effort each interval, but that allows you to repeat all the intervals (of the same length) with the same intensity.

When you repeat the set from time to time, the goal is to maintain or increase your speed or level on the machine.

Option #1

  • Repeat 5 times [30 seconds high intensity and 30 seconds recovery]
  • One-minute recovery
  • Repeat 5 times [30 seconds high intensity and 30 seconds recovery]

One-minute recovery

Option #2

  • Repeat 2 times [30 seconds high intensity and 30 seconds recovery]
  • Repeat 4 times [60 seconds high intensity all out and 60 seconds recovery]
  • Repeated 2 times [30 seconds high intensity and 30 seconds recovery]

Finish with a deep breath, stretch, and applaud yourself for a great workout. And while you’re here, check out my other articles on healthy living


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The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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Post Author

Cami Flygare

Cami Flygare is a personal trainer and fitness instructor at SelectHealth. She teaches spinning, strength training, yoga, and TRX classes (to name a few). She enjoys cycling, mountain biking, rock climbing, and skiing with her family.