As we enter the winter months and the hectic holiday season approaches, have you found yourself unable to get your workouts in? We know that feeling all too well! If you feel the need to take it down a few gears right now, do it. Take care of yourself in the ways you need.
But if making enough time is what you’re worried about, have no fear. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Our Winter Workout Calendar will help you stay active through December without too much effort. We’ll be serving you a mix of short and sweet workouts plus daily mini-activities that are guaranteed to fit into even the busiest of schedules and bring some pep into your everyday life. Have fun and stay fit during the holidays!
Your Winter Workout Calendar: Every Movement Counts
When we think of the end of the year, we probably associate it with celebrations, delicious food, and cozy get-togethers with loved ones. The thought of exercise isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. But staying balanced and active with your winter workouts is a great way to stay present, counteract any holiday stress, and mindfully do something good for your body.
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Even if the holiday rush is the most stressful time to work out, you can still find a way to keep moving. Plus, your resolution to exercise more next year may be easier to keep if you start getting more active step-by-step in December. Being active doesn’t just mean playing sports, it also means everything else you do in your everyday life.
Ever heard of NEAT? In the fitness field, the abbreviation NEAT stands for “Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.” It sounds cryptic, but it simply refers to the calories you burn just going through your day. Remember, every movement counts, and you’ll burn more cumulative energy if you take the stairs instead of the elevator, for example.
This is exactly the principle behind our Winter Workout Calendar, which combines workouts with everyday activities to keep you active this December without much extra effort. Like a traditional advent calendar, there’s a new surprise waiting for you every day. Print it out and hang it on your fridge or take a screenshot on your phone!
Best of all, you don’t need any equipment for these bodyweight exercises and you can do your workout anywhere and anytime that suits you best. One workout lasts about 20 minutes and can be adjusted to your individual fitness level! It will move your entire body, improve your endurance, and strengthen your muscles.
Christmas Countdown Workout: How it works
The first workout is called “Christmas Countdown” and, as the name suggests, counts down the number of repetitions of the exercises. In other words, you do 10 reps of the first exercise, then 9 of the second and so on. Try not to take breaks between exercises. Of course, you can take short breaks if you need to, but the goal is to keep going until the last exercise. Here’s the overview:
As a beginner, start with 1 to 2 rounds. After the first round you can recover for 60 to 90 seconds before starting again. At a more intermediate level, you can do 2 to 3 rounds, and if you’re a pro, try 3 to 4 rounds in total.
For some of these exercises, you have the option between a few variations or modifications. For example, you can choose between classic air squats or jump squats. As the month progresses, you can also challenge yourself further, and try out a different exercise variation or complete more rounds.
If you’re not sure if you’re doing the exercises correctly or don’t know an exercise, we’ve linked all the exercises in the workout table. This way you always get to an article that tells you everything about the exercise: correct execution, videos, and variations for beginners and advanced are included.
Important: before you start, be sure to warm up a bit. You can read about the best exercises to warm up with in our article on warm-ups. Also, bring enough water to drink and wear comfortable sports clothes.
Ready? Have fun with our Christmas Countdown Workout!
Winter HIIT Workout
Our second workout, “Winter HIIT,” requires no equipment and takes a maximum of 30 minutes of your time. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is one of the most popular and effective exercise methods out there. Our winter HIIT workout works your entire body and is sure to burn a lot of calories!
Winter HIIT Workout: How it works
There are 5 exercises in total. Do all 5 exercises in a row for 40 seconds each with 20 seconds rest in between. After that you can recover up to 60 seconds. As a beginner, train a total of 3 rounds. If you’re more advanced, do 4 rounds. Pros, try 5 rounds.
Winter HIIT Workout
Lunges Around the Christmas Tree R + L
Reverse Snow Angels
Snowflakes Sit Ups
Mobility exercises, foam roller
Important: Don’t forget to warm up!
This winter HIIT workout also gives you the option of an easier or a more challenging version of a particular exercise. For example, you can choose between a beginner burpee or a basic burpee (with jump).
A detailed explanation of the individual exercises including videos can be found here:
#1 Star Jumps (40 sec.)
Star jumps are a full-body exercise that will get your blood flowing. Work at your own pace and remember form always comes first – technique before speed!
For beginners: Jumping Jacks
Start standing with your arms beside your body. Now bring your arms together above your head as you simultaneously jump your legs apart. Bring your arms back down as you jump your feet together again.
For advanced or pros: Star Jumps
Start in a squatting position with your heels on the floor, your torso bent slightly forward, and your arms tucked close to your chest. Push off the ground as hard as you can and gain momentum with your arms. As you jump, extend your arms and legs out to the side so that your body forms a star in the air. After the jump, land softly on the floor and drop back into your squat.
#2 Lunges Around the Christmas Tree R + L (40 sec.)
In keeping with Christmas, we’ve picked out the Lunges Around the Christmas Tree exercise for you. You can, but don’t have to, interpret the name of the exercise literally and do the lunges next to your Christmas tree, if you have one.
For beginners: reverse lunges
This lunge variation works basically the same as the standard version. Start standing and take a step backwards instead of forwards. Your step should be big enough that your front knee is at 90 degrees when you lower down in your lunge. Keep your upper body upright. Switch legs.
For advanced or pros: Lunges Around the World
This variation of the lunge combines the step forward, to the side, to the back, and crossed behind. Start standing and take a step forward. Then step back, briefly tapping your foot down and go directly into a side lunge. Push off again with the leg and return briefly to stand.
Then do a reverse lunge straight back and return to stand. Finally step back diagonally as if you were crossing your legs. Then return to stand and start with your other leg.
#3 Reindeer Jumps (40 sec.)
Like a graceful reindeer in the snow, these skater jumps will have you switching from one leg to the other. This exercise trains your leg muscles and stability, and improves your fitness and coordination.
From a standing position, cross your left leg behind you and bend your right leg. Keep your back straight and bend forward slightly with your upper body. Touch your left hand to the floor and extend your right arm above you. Come back to the center and do the same for the other side, this time crossing your right leg back. You can switch between sides with a step or a jump.
For advanced or pros
Perform the jumps as described above, trying to make them bigger. If the exercise still feels too easy, try to keep your back leg in the air as you land.
#4 Reverse Snow Angels (40 sec.)
This is just like making snow angels as a child, if your mat were made of snow!
This exercise is wonderful for beginners. Lie on your stomach on your mat with your legs straight and your arms stretched out in front of you. Lift your upper body slightly off the floor and look towards the floor the whole time. Keep your legs on the floor and raise your arms. Hold them in the air with your palms facing the floor. Bring your arms back to your torso. Turn your palms in towards you, and bring your arms in front of you again.
For advanced or pros
To make the exercise more challenging, you can grab two small weights and hold them during the exercise.
#5 Snowflakes Sit-ups (40 sec)
We’ve renamed this abs exercise Snowflake Sit-ups to match the cold weather and really get your abs burning.
For beginners: crunches
Crunches are good for beginners. Start lying down with your feet on the floor. Bring your thumbs to your temples and point your elbows outward. Keep your lower back firmly on the floor and tighten your stomach. Make sure only your
For advanced or pros:
Don’t do this exercise if you have any issues with your back. Switch it out for crunches. Start on your back and stretch your arms up above your head. Bend your knees to put the soles of your feet together, and let your knees fall outwards towards the floor. Now sit your body up and swing your fingers forward to touch your toes. Breathe out while you’re sitting up, and inhale again while you’re on your way back to the floor.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Stay in motion during the hectic holiday season with a little help from our Winter Workout Calendar.
Staying active will keep both your body and your mind going strong.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a walk more often, or dance around the house – every movement counts!
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