5 Gentle Post-Holiday Workouts That'll Ease You Back Into The Swing Of Things

by Georgina Berbari

The holidays are truly a glorious mess of stress, chaos, and just a touch of magic and cheer — all bundled into one. And if you're like the majority of people during this festive season, you probably haven't stepped foot inside of a gym or even onto your home workout mat in weeks. TBH, holiday cookies come way before squats on the list of priorities during this time of year, and that's totally OK. But when the celebrations cease, you might be up for a few gentle post-holiday workouts to ease you back into a bit of movement and restore that feeling of being an actual, functional human being in society.

If you've ever taken a couple of weeks off from a workout routine and then tried to plunge headfirst back into it with an intense HIIT circuit or heavy deadlifting sesh, you know that the results are not pretty. Personally, when I try to go too hard, too fast after a little workout vacay, my body retaliates with aggressively sore muscles, major fatigue, and instant burnout overall.

Needless to say, I've learned my lesson the hard way: maintaining an active lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint, and you have to show your body all the TLC in order for it to love you back.

So, if you've temporarily put your exercise routine on the back-burner to spend time with family and friends during the season of giving, try these five gentle post-holiday workouts that'll ease you back into the swing of things in no time.

Take A Walk

With so many high-intensity, challenging workouts out there to choose from, it can be super easy to forget about the power and benefits of a quality, leisurely walk.

Honestly, it's a little absurd how underrated walking is. A simple stroll can help you relieve stress, boost your creativity, improve your digestion, and more. And, TBH, it's just really relaxing — especially when you need some space from an overbearing family post-holidays.

Lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement, my friends. And if the weather isn't ideal, maintaining a slow and steady pace on the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike is sure to reap many of the same benefits.

Grab Some Kettlebells

Pair a few kettlebells with your simple, at-home, bodyweight exercises. Kettlebell workouts use smooth transitions between each motion that are super easy on your joints while still challenging and strengthening your muscles.

The fluid swinging motion is pretty easy to master if you're a beginner, and there are loads of easy kettlebell workouts that you can try in the comfort of your own home. Because, let's be real, no one wants to hit up the aggressively crowded and stuffy gym come Jan. 1.

Roll Out Your Yoga Mat

A gentle yoga flow can do no wrong after an indulgent holiday season (or really, at any time of the year), so roll out your mat and throw on your comfiest pair of yoga pants, fam.

The physical benefits of a gentle yoga sesh are simply too awesome to ignore, including better and more balanced breathing, increased energy levels, and even better blood circulation throughout your body.

But what's really amazing about this practice is that it includes an array of incredible mental health benefits. A few minutes of yoga can help with your ability to cope with stress, improve your sleep, and in the long run, it can even sharpen your concentration.

Try slipping into these calming wintertime yoga poses, and your body, mind, and soul will feel more unified and relaxed than ever.

Squeeze In A Core Circuit

People often avoid core workouts like the plague, because TBH, they're just not that fun most of the time.

However, a quality core circuit is perfect for post-holiday movement because it can be done literally anywhere, and it's moderately gentle on your muscles, since it's up to you to choose how difficult you want each motion to be on your abs.

Plus, working out your core also helps strengthens your pelvis, lower back, and hips, so that your whole body will be ready to take on any challenges that may come with the more demanding workouts you might experiment with in the new year.

Try incorporating these crunch-free ab workouts into your post-holiday routine, because crunches are boring AF and so last year.

Try Out Some Micro-Movements

Barre-inspired workout moves may seem like you're essentially doing nothing at first, because of the tiny, minuscule movements. But these bad boys will seriously work your muscles, without the use of any weights.

Micro-movements help maintain a functional core and target several different types of muscles in your body, all because of the engagement and focus required to execute the motions. Trying out some basic barre movements may look effortless from afar, but they'll make a world of difference from your head to your toes.

Besides, micro-movement-based workouts preserve that stubborn sense of laziness that we all want to cling to as the year comes to a close. But trust me, even though it feels like you're not doing anything at first, that sore body of yours will speak the truth. Get to it, girl!