This holiday month, it feels like we are all running out time. Racing to the store, last minute gifts, airport pickups and drop-offs and the list goes on, and on, and on. When it’s hard to catch your breath, how are you going to find time to exercise? How do you keep yourself on a workout schedule without losing the momentum you’ve had these past few days, weeks or months – when you haven’t a moment to spare? At holiday time, you’re under the gun and under enough stress already.

So here’s what we’re going to do. No matter how busy things get, we’re going to make sure you still get your sweat on. Whatever your workout is, whether it’s a DVD program you move along with or a class you always take at your gym, you may find you just can’t get there in these next few weeks.

Don’t stress. The last thing your workout should do is make you crazy. So if you find you are about to throw your arms up in the air, don’t. Follow the program below to achieve your goals, or at the very minimum, maintain.

My promise to you: This simple workout will be fun and, most importantly, it will get the job done.


Equipment needed: Stairs, a kitchen chair, you.

STEP 1: GET YOUR CLIMB ON  To warm up your body, climb the stairs as many times as you can, one step at a time, in 1 minute. Up you go to the top, then turn around and head back down. What could be simpler? After a 1-minute break, up and down you go again. After the second round, it’s time for some active recovery. Catch your breath while sitting back against the wall. Keeping your knees bent, comfortably, so you feel your quadricep muscles working (not pain in your knees) and hold for 30 seconds.

STEP 2: IT’S PUSH-UP TIME Time for some power and my all-time favourite exercise, the classic push-up. Before you say you can’t do one, stop and tell yourself you can. Start by trying your push-up from the ground. Lie down and place your palms on the ground next to your chest. Now move them away from your body about 6 inches, still in line with your chest. Straighten out your arms, not all the way, then come down toward the ground without touching it. Note: Push-ups can be done using either your toes or your knees on the ground. If both positions feel too hard, put your hands on the stairs instead. Whichever position your choose, do as many push-ups as you can in 1 minute, and follow the exercise with a 1-minute break.

STEP 3: DIP THEM TRICEPS  While sitting on one of the lower stairs, place your hands on either side of you on the step, palms down and fingers down for support. Lift yourself off just a bit from the stair and drop your body down until you are at about 90 degrees at the elbow (or as far as you can get). Go for as many tricep dips as you can for 30 seconds straight.

STEP 4: PLANK IT OUT The workout ends with a 1-minute plank. Lie down on the ground, hands below your shoulders, forearms flat. Now lift yourself up on your forearms and toes. Hold for 30 seconds. Note: If your back starts to dip or arch, drop right to the ground because your plank is done.

REPEAT THIS ROUTINE 5 TIMES and you will feel fantastic. By taking just a few minutes out of your day, you will find you move faster. You’ll also feel the endorphins keeping you happy and sane and on track throughout the holidays.

What are you waiting for? hoto credit: Keerati,

About the author

Matthew Taub

Matthew Taub is a P90X Master Trainer, International Fitness Presenter, Insanity, TRX, Turbo Kick, PiYo and Spin certified, and Personal Trainer located in Toronto, Ontario. Working with his wife, Felicia Taub, another Master Trainer with Insanity, Turbo Kick, PiYo and Hip Hop Hustle, together they work to help couples and individuals change their lives with a base of fitness. Their framework is based on Banging out a Better Balanced Life.

Get Brazen In Your Inbox

Sign up to receive our daily or weekly newsletter.