De-stress With This Total Gym Workout

Holiday Heat-Up – Workout The Stress: Week #2

‘Tis the season to be jolly… and BUSY, overwhelmed, and rushed! Never fear, I am here to help you beat the holiday stresses and make you feel good doing it!

The holidays can be stressful

The reasons we get extra stressed during this time of year vary: the thought of driving in traffic, standing in long lines, not knowing what to buy someone, consuming high calorie holiday treats, and very little time to yourself… just to name a few! How do you cope with the season’s hustle and bustle while remaining calm and at peace to enjoy it?

How to “actively” practice a stress-free holiday

Here are a few simple steps to commit to your body and stick to a stress-free life and holiday season!

  • Go slow before you charge… If you are a beginner, build up your fitness level gradually. Excitement about a new program can lead to overdoing it and even injury. Pace yourself and adding vigorous activity as your fitness improves.

    If you are already a fitness nut and are currently involved with a program, keep it going strong by changing up your routine to keep your muscles and mind motivated!

  • Love what you do… Choose an activity that you are interested in and love doing. This will keep your mind entertained and relax into the “fun” aspect of the activity.
  • Make a date with yourself… Your may think your schedule is too busy to even take time for yourself, however, if it’s important to you then you’ll schedule in a few minutes a day for YOU!
  • Plan ahead… Plan your day and your workout the night before. This will help set daily goals, prevent added chaos, prioritize daily chores and set agendas!

Exercise burns calories and combats stress

Regular exercise is a great way to help manage your mental and physical stresses – which are likely increasing with the approaching holidays. Here are some tips to help you stick with a new routine or reinvigorating an old one.

  • Set Smart Goals – Taking the time to write down your specific goals helps raise your interest well as keep you motivated to achieve your set goals. Be sure to make goals that are measureable, attainable, and relevant to your specific needs. Also be fair to yourself to achieve these in a reasonable time frame. If your main goal is to reduce stress in your life with a peace of mind, your specific goals may include committing to cardio/ walking three times a week and some type of stretching. If your schedule is tight due to work or taking care of the kids at home, set aside some time that is for you. Whether you take time before/after work, during a lunch break, by hiring a sitter, or joining a class so you commit yourself, you have put a workout into your schedule.
  • Buddy Up – Make your workout a social event! Working out with a friend can be a fun and powerful incentive for you both. It also makes you accountable and can bring a new level of motivation to your workouts!
  • Change it up – Changing up your routine is key when keeping the body in balance. Try doing the opposite of what you usually do! For instance, if you have always been a competitive in the activities you do (sports, running, strength training), try to do other less competitive options that may help with stress reduction such as yoga or Pilates classes. These types of workouts may enhance your competitive sports while also decreasing your stress!
  • Opt for time saving workouts – For an optimally functioning body, a clearer mind, and less stress, regular physical activity is key! Brief moments of activity are better than none. If a 30 minute workout is tight for your schedule and creates more stress than it’s worth, then try to do some type of exercise for 10 minutes or less! Making regular physical activity a part of your lifestyle is what is most important.

The Stress-Busting Workout

To help you manage your winter worries, I have created a 3-week workout series that will help reduce stress and burn extra calories all while energizing your mind and body! The exercises will change every week, however the format will remain the same. More details on the week 2 workout below.

Each week includes:

  • 2 yoga-strength & plyometrics workouts

    – I call this special workout, YOGA FLOW to LET GO.
    – Perform this series of yoga-strength poses & plyometrics on your Total Gym to free your mind, experience flowing movements in your muscles, and focus on letting go of your stress

  • 1 cardio bonus flow workout

    – I’ve added a bonus cardio workout day if you have the time to squeeze in an extra workout(s) during the week. This focuses primarily on a yoga flow warm-up and cardio to get a quick sweat to leave you feeling invigorated.
    – Strive to work out more than 3 days per week. The more you can commit to, the better your mind and body will feel.

Perform the exercises listed below (Days 1 & 2) on two nonconsecutive days throughout the week. Day 3 is listed as a bonus day to “Sweat Off Stress” if your schedule permits. I also added extra daily cardio guidelines for the days following the yoga-strength workouts. Simply follow the weekly plan the best you can and spend more time when you are able!

Workout Goal

Reduce Stress, Feel Great, Maximize Time

Equipment Needed

Total Gym


Perform each exercise in circuit format for 10-15 reps. Repeat circuit 1-2x
Low-Medium incline with the cable connected for days 1-2.
High incline with the squat stand attached for bonus cardio day 3
Each workout day will add on more exercises with advanced options. Changes are highlighted in BOLD


Refer to the video for exercise demonstrations.

Good luck this week with the workout and managing your holiday stress. Stay tuned for the next workout plan!

Happy Holidays!

Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

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