As delicious as chocolate may be, the days leading up to December 25th don't need to involve copious amounts of sugar. Dare to be active this holiday season. We put together a fitness advent calendar with 25 workout 'dares'. See if you can commit to our daily challenges - each day of the month will correspond to the number of reps you need to perform, or the duration of a particular exercise. While you're following our fitness advent calendar, be sure to use the #DaringDecember tag in all of your posts. This will help you to connect with other people around the world who are just as awesome as we think you are.
Details for the first 15 days of the challenge can be found below.
Day 1 - Wall-Sits. Press your back against a wall and pretend that you're sitting in a chair. Your legs should make a ninety degree angle with the floor. Hold this position for at least one minute.
Day 2 - High Knees. Run in one spot and kick your knees up as high and as fast as you can for two minutes.
Day 3 - Three Sets of 10 Squats. Begin in a standing position and squat down towards the floor while keeping your back straight. Make sure that your knees don't extend past your toes. Do this for 3 sets of 10 reps.
Day 4- Tuck Jumps. From a standing position, jump as high as you can and tuck your knees as close to your chest as possible while you're in the air. Land softly and repeat four times.
Day 5 - 5 kms of Running or Walking. Go for a five kilometer run and try to make this your personal best! See how fast you can run this distance. Take walking breaks if you need to. What was your pace?
Day 6- Stretching. Make sure that you stretch for at least 6 minutes today. Do this after your workout, or do a yoga routine to fulfill today's challenge. Here's a simple beginner yoga sequence if you're just starting out.
Day 7 - Jump Rope. Grab a skipping rope and attempt to jump for seven minutes straight. If there's a lot of lactic acid build-up in your legs, try to vary the stance and timing of your jumps. You can, for example, alternate each foot, do lateral hops, and more. If you don't have a jumping rope, mimic the movement with your arms.
Day 8 - Sumo Squats. Squat as you would normally, with proper form, but in a wide-legged stance. Repeat this eight times, but do two to three more sets if you want a bit of a challenge. Add some weight to increase the resistance.
Day 9 - Jumping Lunges. Start by stepping one foot forward and the other foot back. Lunge so that your front leg makes a ninety degree angle with the ground, making sure that your knee doesn't extend past your feet. Jump up and switch, so that the opposite foot is now lunging forward. Repeat 9 times.
Day 10 - Take 10,000 steps. Use the pedometer on your phone or FitBit and try to walk at least 10,000 steps today.
Day 11- Meditation. Spend some time with your thoughts. Turn off your phone and meditate for 11 minutes. Use these meditation techniques to help you.
Day 12- Push-Ups to Planks. This exercise will work your shoulders, abs, and back! Begin in a raised plank position, making sure that your shoulders are aligned with your wrists and that your spine is straight. Drop one forearm down to the ground at a time, then place your palms flat on the ground and bring yourself back up to a raised plank position. Repeat 12 times.
Day 13- Jump Squats. Drop down into a squat with proper form. As you raise your body up, hop towards the ceiling, then squat again. Repeat this motion at least 13 times.
Day 14 - Box Jumps. Find a stable, flat and elevated surface and stand straight in front of it. A bench or a stone ledge will work fine for this. Jump onto the surface, then hop back down as softly as you can. Repeat 14 times. For an extra challenge, try jumping onto higher surfaces. Make sure that this is a static jump - you aren't running to gain momentum.
Let us know how you're enjoying our Daring December fitness advent calendar in the comments below! Which challenge was the hardest for you?