Get Moving: Circuit Training for the Holidays

By: CONNIE HO

Winter months can be dreary and tempt you to stay seated on the couch. With this kind of weather, it’s hard to stay energized and work out. Circuit training is a great way to stay motivated, increase your fitness and prevent holiday weight gain.

According to a study by the University of New Mexico, circuit training is a constantly evolving exercise program. The term circuit refers to a number of exercise stations that are arranged consecutively and participants move from one station to the next, performing a number of repetitions or a timed sets of exercises. An aerobic portion is usually added between each of the exercises to increase cardiovascular respiratory endurance.

“I like circuit training because you get a full body workout in short amount of time and it incorporates cardio, which most people don’t like to do,” says Stacy Fields, personal trainer certified with the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. “You can create exercises and stations that anyone can follow, for a beginner or for someone who’s been training for a long time.”With this in mind, you can create a circuit training program that works for you and exercises all of the major muscle groups. Some examples of circuit station exercises  include squats, lunges, reverse flys, push-ups, and pull-ups. Vary it up with cardiovascular exercises such as sprinting in place or performing jump squats.

Jennifer Chen Wu, a recent graduate of the University of California, Davis, says she first learned about circuit training at one of the gym classes on campus. She had heard that it was one of the most effective ways to decrease fat and increase cardiovascular endurance. After just three months, she noticed a difference in her body. Her arms showed more definition and her clothes fit better.

“I get my heart rate up and it adds diversity with exercises like jumping jacks, crunches, and activities that are fun in a shorter amount of time,” says Wu. “I never fail to get a good workout from circuit training.”

For those contemplating circuit training, try it out at home or at the gym. It’s relatively equipment-free and perfect for any fitness level. In a short amount of time you will see the benefits of circuit training.  Get moving and feel great for the holidays.

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