You might be relieved to be avoiding all the IRL drama that can come with holiday family gatherings, but spending the cold winter months with your roommate and their cat can also be stressful in and of itself. No matter how you’re spending this December, a quick workout can help you chill out during the holidays.
It doesn’t take a lot of space to sweat out some stress, and you don’t need that long, either. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, connecting to your body through even short bursts of exercise can chemically help your brain feel better and more relaxed. And even a few minutes of mental exercise through deep breathing can calm your nervous system and remind your body that no matter how stressful family can be, you’ll be alright. Fortunately, even if your childhood bedroom seems smaller than you remember (or your current bedroom feels more claustrophobic than it did in March), you’ve probably got more than enough room to get in a solid, de-stressing workout.
- Low-Impact Exercises
Low- or no-impact movements are easier on your joints, and on someone else’s ceiling if your room is on the second floor. But you can still get a stress-relieving workout in without any jumping around required. “I’d focus on bodyweight exercises,” says Simone Samuels, a personal training specialist and Superfit Hero sponsored athlete. Some of her favorite moves when she needs a low-impact, living-above-neighbors workout are pushups, lunges, glute bridges, squats, and all kinds of crunch variations — no equipment required. You don’t need a lot to customize a quick, de-stressing workout, Samuels says. “Pick three moves, do three sets of 10 reps each, and there you have it — a 15-minute workout that won’t get you evicted.”2High-Impact Exercises
2. If your room is on the first floor and you can make as much noise as you want, this is where jumping jacks come in. They may feel silly (oh, fifth-grade gym class), but they’ll get your heart rate up and give you a good workout in no time. Keep count of your jumping jacks, trying for as many crisp reps as you can. When you’re tuckered out, rest for 45 seconds and start again. Rinse and repeat five times, and you’ve got yourself a full-body workout that literally will have your blood pumping from head to toe.
Feeling extra adventurous? Get your dance on. “Zumba doesn’t take up much space at all,” Samuels points out. “It’s a great de-stressor because of all of the endorphins.” On top of the happy hormone boost, you don’t need to go with a long workout. “You can literally just dance to one song,” Samuels says.3Following Along With YouTube
3. If the pandemic has made YouTube your go-to workout buddy, that’ll help, too. If you’re looking for a new video to help hone your focus and you’re not sure where to turn, think first about your mood: are you looking to punch your stress away or deep breathe to soothe yourself? Once you know whether you’re looking for kickboxing, dancing, or yoga, search for an instructor that fits your style. Body-positive YouTube videos can be hard to come by, but they’re worth the digging — and yes, there are weight-neutral YouTube dance classes and affirming kickboxing vids to dive into. Choose your fighter (erm, instructor), unroll your mat, give yourself some leg room, and follow along as you sink into some sun salutations and pigeon poses to help melt your body release all that seasonal stress.