Relaxing with family in front of the TV at Christmas is as much a festive tradition as mince pies and novelty jumpers. This Christmas, we thought we’d introduce a new tradition to the mix: the Festive Family Fitness Challenge!
The great news is that it still involves watching TV. We’ve hand-picked some of our favourite festive family films and matched them with a fun exercise for you all to try at key moments in each movie. Think of it as a fun interval training challenge for the whole family.
Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen”, this 2013 Disney classic tells the tale of Princess Anna setting off on a quest to find her sister, Princess Elsa, who has accidentally trapped their kingdom in an eternal winter using her ice powers. Ok, so it’s not strictly a Christmas movie, but there’s lots of snow in it and loads of feel-good, Oscar-winning songs. Which brings us on to the challenge…
The challenge: every time Elsa or Anna sings a song, everyone must rise from their seats and perform a 15 squats. Whether or not you sing along with the songs at the same time is completely up to you!
How to squat: With feet shoulder-width apart and hands clasped together in front of you, squat down so your thighs are parallel with the floor, keeping your knees in line with your feet. Push from the heels as you return to the start position.
The lucky McCallister family are off to Paris for Christmas…well, apart from their eight-year-old son, Kevin, that is. Yes, it’s no spoiler alert to reveal that Macaulay Culkin’s character is left home alone in this Christmas classic from 1990. Some of the film’s most memorable scenes involve Kevin’s booby traps foiling burglars Harry and Marv from breaking into the family home…which brings us on to the challenge!
The challenge: every time Harry or Marv fall, slip or get hit, drop into a plank position and hold for 30 seconds.
How to perform a plank: Get into a press-up position then lower yourself onto your forearms and toes. Keep your core tight by squeezing your bum and stomach muscles.
The Santa Clause
Think you’ve got a busy Christmas? Tim Allen’s is much busier in this 1994 classic which sees his character having to complete Father Christmas’s deliveries after accidentally causing Santa to fall from his roof. Spoiler alert: Tim Allen’s character does such a great job he’s asked to become the new Santa and festive hi-jinks ensue as he tries to convince his family of his new role in life!
The challenge: every time someone says “Santa” everyone must get up and perform 5 lunges each leg.
How to lunge: Keeping your upper body straight and core tight, step forward with your right leg until both knees are bent at 90 degrees and your right knee is above your ankle. Push from the heel as you return to the start position.
We hope you enjoyed this fun take on some great Christmas family time! As always, keep training hard over this period and then you can enjoy the festivities as much as possible without excessive weight gain.