Post Thanksgiving Panic:
How to Work Out without Working Out

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Oops, I just ingested 10,000 calories five days in a row. It happens. In an effort to circumvent the typical 5-10 pound weight gain during the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years holiday period, disciplined exercise is imperative. However, I’ll be honest… I hate working out. I hate it. Unless I’m in the home stretch and have a concrete number of days until I have to be on stage in a swimsuit, it’s extremely difficult for me to maintain a rigorous workout routine for any extended period of time. For that very reason, I’ve compiled a list of fun and easy ways to work out without working out, ie ways to stay active without hitting the gym 5 days a week.



1. Just Dance.

Whether you take a dance class or play an interactive video game, it’s gonna be okay (da da do do). I’ve heard that salsa and swing dance classes are basically jam-packed cardio sessions, and I know from personal experience that you can with games like Just Dance 2014 (available now on PS3, PS4, Wii, and XBox) and Dance Dance Revolution. Also, if you’re in the mood for some extreme calorie burning (we’re talking around 10 calories per minute), give Hip Hop Abs by fitness guru Shaun T a try. Through his program, you learn several hip-hop dance routines, which rev up your metabolism, expand your repertoire of cool new moves, and help tone without ever doing sit-ups, push-ups, etc.

2. Take a hike.

Not only is it great for the body, but outdoor hiking soothes the mind and soul. According to, research shows that just five minutes of exercise in a natural environment boosts your mood, and why wouldn’t it? Lush and seasonal scenery is much more inspiring than awkward people watching and a gym television stuck on the NASCAR channel. Hiking is a also total body workout, which can be customized, varied, and done alone or with a group of friends. Depending on your intensity, speed, and incline, it can easily turn into an exciting aerobic workout.


3. Jump on a trampoline.

My mom is a pediatrician, and she would never let us jump on a trampoline when we were little… apparently they’re dangerous or something.  In all seriousness, children under age 5 are at a frighteningly high intrinsic level of risk, and common injuries in all age groups include sprains, strains, and contusions. They are, however, a ton of fun and a great workout for adults who are jumping responsibly. On average, people burn between 200-300 calories per hour while bouncing. I’ll take that over a jog any day.

4. Go ice skating.

According to my girl O, ice skating burns twice as many calories as speed walking. Not only is it a blast, it’s a great way to work on your balance and grace, both of which I lack, while burning around 500 calories per hour. This nontraditional activity is oh-so-appropriate in the winter and can be done alone or with a huge group of friends. Plus, it’ll give you an excuse to buy a glittery skating outfit.

5. Turn chores into workouts.

Did you know you can burn between 80 and 500 calories doing regular household chores and yard work? Per WikiHow, by expanding upon your daily and weekly cleaning routine, you can develop and tone muscles in your arms, back, legs, and abs. Squat while you mop, dance while you vacuum, stretch as you Windex… be creative!

6. Play tennis.

I could’ve replaced tennis with “any sport,” but I’m partial to being queen of the court. I have app on my iPhone called MyFitnessPal,which factors in the sport and duration of physical activity and approximates how many calories you burned. I surprise myself every time. Through a few social matches of tennis, I can easily break 500 calories in an hour. Basketball, soccer, volleyball, and swimming are also a few of the most fun– and aerobic– recreational sports.

7. Walk.

I watch way too much Lifetime, and I’m convinced that strangers are always trying to kidnap me. Way go to, mom, for over-enforcing the Stranger Danger concept. Because of my irrational fear, I used to never walk anywhere… ever. I work on the beautiful Lake Eola in downtown Orlando, and I recently started venturing out for walks in broad daylight. Immediately, I’ve noticed an improvement in my energy and attitude. Find some cute places that are close by, and plan to walk instead of driving. If you’re a kidnap-phobe like me, tell people when you’re leaving and when they should expect you home.

8. Go rock climbing.

Rock climbing is an absolute blast. Although it can be intimidating at first, once you conquer your first rock, you want to keep climbing, improving, and racing your friends to the top. It’s a rush. I’ve been several times to an indoor rock climbing facility called Auigille, and I consistently leave feeling accomplished and downright exhausted. It’s been proven to improve cardiovascular health, aid in weight loss, and increase muscle tone, and climbing with moderate intensity is said to burn around 400 calories per hour.

9. Stretch.

According to FitDay, stretching is fabulous for five major reasons: increased circulation, flexibility, improved range of motion, reduction of stress, and the alleviation of lower back pain. Plus, it’s crucial in making sure you don’t injure yourself in any of the above activities. Also, it burns calories! Who knew?

10. Laugh.

This sounds cheesy, but there have been proven health benefits to smiling and laughing. Not only does smiling lower your heart rate, but it releases endorphins (exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy… thanks Elle Woods) reduces stress, improves your mood, and casts a contagious aura of happiness around you. You’ll immediately look more attractive, and you may just brighten someone’s day… so smile 🙂


What are your favorite ways to work out without working out? I’m trying to avoid the gym at all costs, so please keep the suggestions coming. Hope you’re all having a fabulous December!  PS- Don’t forget to enter my Preppy Monogrammed Gifts and Winter Wonderland giveaways!

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How to Work Out without Working Out

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