Here in California (unlike sane states like Arizona), we turned back the clocks an hour last weekend.
So once again we all suffer from the bi-annual “It’s only 8:00 but feels like 9:00 because we set the clocks back and that’s why I’m going to bed at 7:00” syndrome.
If you live in a part of the country where winter is an actual change in season, a cold snap can be used to your advantage in a major way.
You can hide a lot under a big wooly coat when it has the wingspan of a pterodactyl.
Giant outerwear can also be used to conceal an 18-lb frozen turkey complete with a side of mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. (I’m not recommending shoplifting your holiday dinner, just sayin’ it’s possible.)
No one would be the wiser. At least not until it all fell out while you tried to make your getaway.
Thing is, you can also hide a weight gain of the same magnitude. It’s a good thing when you’re in the midst of not caring because it’s cold, dark and who sees me anyway? mood.
But then it hits you one day when you’re mid-bite into your third helping of chocolate chip cheesecake.
You suddenly realize squeezing into your little black dress for New Year’s will require 17 Spanx layers and the assistance of the local volunteer firemen.
Then there’s the issue even Spanx can’t resolve (yet): Your arms. That little sleeveless number seemed like a good idea at the time. But that was in July when you were high on watermelon and sunshine.
The good news? It’s not too late. But you need to take action NOW.
Mark three days a week in your calendar from now until New Year’s.
Those are your workout times, to which you will pinky swear to keep. No excuses, barring an F5 tornado, reindeer crashing through your front window or any other equally devastating event.
You must commit if you want to fit… into that dress!
Yes, it’s the holidays, but these exercises can be done quickly… like excuse yourself from the dinner party to use the restroom quick. Just don’t get caught using the guest towels for biceps curls.
Okay, maybe not party-intermission-quick but still.
Once you’ve marked off our calendar, you want to do a TOTAL BODY WORKOUT* each time, but here we’re focusing on arms.
Bonus workout tip: The most effective way to tone any body part involves performing a variety of exercises for the same muscle group. Each move puts a slightly different emphasis on the various parts of the body part (in this case, arms), which gives your arm a better, balanced shape.
The general rules (which pertain to any resistance workout):
Do these exercises 3x/week for 12 to 15 reps, making sure the last three reps are a challenge. If you don’t use enough resistance you won’t see results.
Do one or both arms at the same time; keep elbow slightly bent throughout, raise out to the side until arm is parallel to the floor
Keep elbows stationary by your sides and keep wrists straight as you bring hands up towards shoulders and slowly down to starting position with each repetition.
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Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.