Post-Holiday Workouts

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Just about everyone loves the holiday season and all it brings with it: family, friends and, of course, food. Unfortunately, your favorite holiday meals and treats tend to stick around long after the holidays end. This means sweating it out into the new year. To help shed some of those unwanted holiday pounds, include some of these exercises into your daily routine.

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Start Warming Up

Before embarking on any exercise, make sure your body is sufficiently warmed up so your muscles are pliable to help you avoid injury. Doing five minutes of brisk walking or slow jogging increases blood flow, sending fluid to your joints and raising the temperature in your muscles. Use that new smartphone to time your warm up and to ensure you get in a full five minutes of activity.

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Get to Stretching

Once your body is adequately warm, further prepare your muscles by performing some dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches involve slow, controlled movements. Samples include shoulder rolls, hip rotations, arm swings, neck rolls and lunges (remember not to stretch and hold, but to stretch and return to the starting position). Do each exercise for 30 seconds, and repeat several times in a five-minute period.

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Try the Circuit

Cardio exercise can boost your heart rate and burn calories, so try circuit training during your workout to shed holiday pounds. Lisa Bruno of Work It Out Fitness Studio in Hoboken, N.J., suggests the following 45-minute routine: 25 abdominal crunches, 10 supermans, 25 V-up crunches, a one-minute plank, 25 cross-body climbers, 20 deep squats, one-minute high knees and 30 burpees. Repeat three times. Use your Gear™ Fit to monitor your heart rate.

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Show Your Strength

Strength training is crucial to weight loss because it builds muscle, which burns more calories when your body is at rest. Using hand weights or dumbbells, perform a strength-training routine for 30 minutes two to three times per week, with at least one day of rest between each workout. Exercises could include push-ups, shoulder presses, squats, leg extensions, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks and upright rows. When exercises become easy, increase your weights.

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Tackle the Intervals

Interval training is ideal for burning more calories and improving aerobic capacity. Combining walking with running provides an effective interval workout in a short period of time. For a 30-minute routine, walk for two minutes, then run for one minute at a slightly faster pace. Repeat this 10 times for 30 minutes. Use the "Exercise Mate" in your "S Health" app on your Galaxy S® 5 to track your exercise activities and calories burned.

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Work Your Core

During the holidays, we put a lot of stress on our bodies when carrying presents, decorating and, of course, overindulging at the table. Having a strong core leads to better posture and a healthy spine and back. To strengthen your core, include a range of exercises that work your abdominal, hip and back muscles. Examples include crunches, torso twists, V-holds, leg reaches, planks, donkey kickbacks and squats. Do five to 10 repetitions of each exercise.

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Be Cool

After every workout, it's important to cool down your body and allow your heart rate to return to its normal resting pace. A great way to do this is with static stretching in which you stretch and hold for 30 seconds. Great static stretches include calf stretches, hamstring stretches, quadriceps stretches, shoulder stretches, neck stretches, and hip flexor stretches. Do a total of five to 10 minutes of stretching for an effective cool down.

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Maintain Daily

Although you may not work out every day, you can still fit some activity into your daily routine now that the holidays are over. The popular consensus today is to walk a total of 10,000 steps every day, which equates to approximately five miles. To help you achieve this goal, count on your Gear™ Fit. Using the integrated Mobile S Health Partner, you can track your steps all day long.

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