An Active Advent!

An Active Advent!

For many people, a chocolate-filled Advent calendar is a December tradition, and so many of us stay indoors and over-indulge over the holidays. Doing something every day, on a regular basis, is how habits are formed. Check out these simple steps towards being more active this Advent from World Cancer Research UK (WCRF UK).

Exercise specialist, James Drabble of Positive Impact Fitness, has designed these exercises with World Cancer Research Fund UK who are sharing them with Newcastle Can journey to help us stay active over the holidays. 

If you currently do very little exercise, try repeating each day’s exercise just five times. For those who are more active, James suggests repeating each exercise 10 times, or 15 times for those even more advanced.

Each day starts like Day One, adding move movement each day. You should sit down and stand up between each movement or set of movements. If required, place another sturdy chair in front of you, which you can use for support.

DAY ONE

Stand Up.

Sit upright in a sturdy chair, like a dining chair, with your feet firmly planted on the floor, about hip-width apart. Lean forward and, while squeezing your bottom, stand up. If you can, don’t use your hands to help push you up. Return to a seated position and repeat.

DAY TWO

Ceiling stretch.

Once standing, gently lift both arms straight up in front of you, keeping your elbows slightly bent, until your upper arms are by your ears. Then slowly lower your arms back to your sides. Then sit down, stand up, and repeat.

DAY THREE

Side step.

Once standing, step sideways with your left foot and then bring your right foot over to meet it. Repeat with your right foot stepping first. Then sit down, stand up and repeat.

DAY FOUR

Heel kick.

Once standing, take a large step forward to give you space. Then bend your left foot towards your bottom. Replace your foot on the floor and repeat with the right leg. Then step back towards the chair, sit down, stand up and repeat.

DAY FIVE

Knee raise.

Once standing, lift your left knee so the top of your leg is horizontal to the floor and your knee is bent to a right angle. Replace the foot on the floor and repeat with the right leg. Then sit down, stand up and repeat.

DAY SIX

Heel raise.

Once standing, making sure your feet are hip-width apart, slowly lift both of your heels off the floor as far as you are comfortable. Tensing your stomach and your bottom will help you to keep your balance.

DAY SEVEN

Muhammed Ali.

Once standing, gently clench both of your hands into a fist, and raise your hands so they are the same height as your chin. Extend your left arm out straight, allow your shoulder to move forward slightly. Return your hand to your chi and repeat with the right arm. Sit down, stand up and repeat.

For the next six days, include combinations of the movements previously described.

DAY EIGHT 

Ceiling stretch; followed by a heel kick with the left leg and then the right leg.

DAY NINE

Side step to the left and then the right; followed by a heel raise.

DAY TEN

Knee raise with the left leg and then the right leg; followed by a Muhammad Ali with the left arm and then the right arm.

DAY ELEVEN

Ceiling stretch; followed by a heel raise.

DAY TWELVE

Side step to the left and then the right; followed by a Muhammad Ali with the left leg and then the right leg.

DAY THIRTEEN

Heel kick with the left leg and then the right leg; followed by a knee raise with the left leg and then the right leg.

For the next week, include three of the movements previously described. Remember to repeat movements on both sides.

DAY FOURTEEN

Ceiling stretch; followed by side steps and knee raises.

DAY FIFTEEN

Side steps; followed by heel kicks and a heel raise.

DAY SIXTEEN

Ceiling stretch; followed by knee raises and Muhammad Alis.

DAY SEVENTEEN

Side steps, followed by heel kicks and Muhammad Alis.

DAY EIGHTEEN 

Ceiling stretch; followed by knee raises and a heel raise.

DAY NINETEEN

Side steps; followed by knee raises and Muhammad Alis.

DAY TWENTY

Ceiling stretch; followed by heels kicks and a heel raise.

Congratulations on getting this far! Now you are familiar with all the movements, and as this last block is only four days long, we are going to test you by adding even more movements.

DAY TWENTY ONE

Ceiling stretch; heel kicks; side steps; Muhammad Alis.

DAY TWENTY TWO 

Ceiling stretch; knee raises; heel kicks; side steps; Muhammad Alis.

DAY TWENTY THREE

Ceiling stretch; knee raises; heel kicks; heel raise; Muhammad Alis.

DAY TWENTY FOUR

Ceiling stretch; knee raises; heel kicks; side steps; heel raise; Muhammad Alis.

You can also use WCRF UK’s online exercise calorie counter to see how much activity you need to burn off those festive calories! Visit: https://www.wcrf-uk.org/calorie-counter and follow WCRF UK on Twitter: @WCRF_UK

For more help on staying on track over the holidays, check out our hints and tips and festive food swaps. 

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