8-Minute Calorie Blasting Holiday Workout

woman doing a high plank

It’s that time of year when extra pounds begin to subtly take residence in your body. From Halloween candy and Thanksgiving feasts to cocktail parties and festive brunches, delicious food is abundant. Unfortunately, the accompanying pounds are also plentiful.

Along with the excess calories comes busy schedules and shorter workouts. But shorter workouts don’t have to equal fewer calories burned. A short, high intensity yoga sequence can burn just as many calories as a longer workout in less than half the time.

This type of workout can help:

  • Boost metabolism
  • Energize your body
  • Build muscle
  • Burn fat
  • Oxygenate your system
  • Keep unwanted holiday pounds at bay

8-Minute Workout for a Busy Schedule

This calorie-blasting yoga sequence can be tailored to fit into even the busiest schedule. By adjusting the pace and repetitions of each exercise, you can customize the workout to your unique bodily needs. On busy days, work intently for eight minutes. If you have some extra time, repeat the entire set up to four times. Remember to stay hydrated, maintain good form, and breathe well.

Warm Up

Time: one minute

Find a comfortable place for your yoga mat and perform sun salutations for a full minute to loosen up your body and minimize your risk of injury.


Plank Jacks

Time: one minute

  • Get into a high plank position, with shoulders directly over your wrists.
  • Jump feet together and apart.
  • Repeat for one minute.

Remember to engage your core and maintain proper form. This exercise will build arm and core strength, while increasing your heart rate. The quicker you jump your feet together and apart, the faster you will elevate your heart rate.


Pushup/Side Plank

Time: one minute

  • Get into a high plank position, lower halfway down. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Push back up to high plank.
  • Spin your heels to the right and raise the left arm to the sky for side plank. Hold for 15 seconds.
  • Return to high plank and repeat on the other side.

When performing a pushup, your shoulders should not dip below your elbows. This will keep the biceps engaged and shoulders injury-free.


Lunge Kicks (Weights Optional)

Time: one to two minutes

  •  Begin in a crescent lunge with the right leg behind you. Arms rest down by your sides.
  •  Engaging your core, step forward onto the left leg while simultaneously kicking the right leg forward and raising arms overhead. Hold for 30 seconds.
  •  Return to starting position and repeat on the other side.

For an added challenge, stay on each side for one full minute.


Mountain Climbers

Time: one minute

  •  Get into a high plank position.
  •  Alternate bringing one knee at a time toward your chest.
  •  Repeat for one minute.

You can move slowly (walking pace) or quickly (running pace). The faster you move, the more calories you burn.


Side Squats with Lateral Leg Lift (Weights Optional)

Time: one minute

  •  Begin with feet slightly farther than hip distance apart.
  •  Sit back as if you are sitting on a chair.
  •  As you stand, lift your right leg, keeping toes pointing forward.
  •  Sit back into a squat and lift opposite leg.
  •  Repeat for one minute.

Optionally, you can hold hand weights and lift the arms overhead during the lateral leg lift.


Rocking Boat with Twist (Weights Optional)

Time: one minute

  • Balance on your sit bones with legs extended to a 45-degree angle.
  • With arms pulled into chest, begin to rotate torso to the right and then to the left.
  • Repeat for one minute.

Keep the hips centered and let all of the movement come from the abdomen. Keep the naval pulled in toward your spine and your pelvis tucked toward the tailbone. For an added challenge, hold weights.
 

Cool Down

Time: one minute

It’s important to cool down your body so your muscles and breath can begin to relax. Like your warm up, perform sun salutations for a full minute.


Finding the Time

The holidays are a busy time, but making sure you take care of what’s most important—your health—will help ensure it’s also an enjoyable time. If you’re having trouble fitting in a workout, remember that you only need eight minutes.

While it may feel hard to find the time to do it, try to:

  •   Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier (this gives you time to wake up and get set up for your workout)
  •   Schedule time between work and home during which no one can bother you (let your loved ones know)
  •   Use part of your lunch break to work out (bring a change of clothes to work)
  •   Turn off the TV and work out in your living room
  •   Challenge your friends or family to also do the workout (this creates accountability and makes it fun)

 


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About the Author

Erin Easterly

Ayurvedic Therapist and Educator, and Yoga Teacher
Erin Easterly is an Ayurvedic Spa Therapist , E-RYT 500 yoga teacher, and Perfect Health educator at The Chopra Center for Wellbeing. She is passionate about helping guests transform their lives through the tools of Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation. As the mother of five children, Erin laughs that her real education began upon entering motherhood. In between yoga classes and diaper changes, Erin is completing work on her first book that explores Vedanta through a Judeo-Christian lens.Read more