The holidays might be the most wonderful time of the year, but they're also the point where you're most likely to get out of your regular fitness and eating routines. (Been there.) Something that can help ensure you enjoy all the fun and still show up on January 2 recharged and ready to kick ass in 2018, however, is a pre-tox workout and nutrition plan.
In a new four-part series for Well+Good, Tier X Coach at Equinox and fitness model Julie Wandzilak will be sharing intel on foods to eat and moves to master in order to strengthen your immunity, get better sleep, boost your metabolism, and tone your total body.
"There are a handful of ways to improve and speed up digestion," Wandzilak says. But there are three in particular she suggests you start doing today if you want to ban the bloat and not have to roll down the waistband of your leggings at the dinner table. First up? "Tabata workouts are a great way to jumpstart this process," she says. Developed in Japan, they involve rapid-fire sequences of high-intensity interval training. But more on that below.
Her second suggestion is "that you increase your nutrient-dense, whole foods, to help keep things moving. A selection of foods high in fiber has a substantial effect on your gut and how things are processed through your digestive system—I also recommend a daily probiotic, which will improve digestive function, boost immune system, decrease inflammatory responses throughout your digestive tract, and restore the natural balance of your gut bacteria in the system."
Last and most importantly, she says to stay hydrated. "Your water intake has the power to increase the body's digestive performance and the absorption of nutrients into the body. This, in turn, can boost digestion and decrease any bloating or digestive stagnation that may potentially occur during your eating habits." Follow her tips, and it should be all systems, er, go.
Scroll down for a step-by-step guide to a Tabata workout that can help speed up your digestion.
4-minute Tabata workout for faster digestion
Do as many reps of each move as you can in 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds and go on to the next. Repeat the entire sequence for a total of 4 minutes.
1. Air squats
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down, sticking your butt out and keeping your knees over your ankles, trying to get your thighs as close to parallel with the ground as possible. Return to stand.
2. Knee drives
You'll need steps, a bench, a box, or a riser for this one. Stand facing your prop with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step up with one foot while simultaneously using momentum to lift your opposite knee up toward your chest before planting it back down on the ground behind you in a high lunge; repeat. The oomph of the move should cause your standing leg to rise 1 or 2 inches off your prop in a tiny hop.
Stand with your feet wider than your shoulders, crouched in a slightly squatted position. In a lateral motion, hop sideways to your right, transferring all your weight onto your right foot and extending your left leg behind you toward the back diagonal at a 45-degree angle (keep it hovered a few inches off the ground). Then, reverse the move by hopping onto the opposite foot and mirroring your position on the second side.
4. Plank jacks
Start in a forearm plank, pelvis tucked, abs engaged, and equal energy extending out from the crown of your head and the edge of your heels. Without lifting your butt in the air or changing the position of your upper body, kick your legs out and in as if you were standing on the ground doing jumping jacks. Your feet shouldn't extend much past your shoulders at their farthest. Bring your heels back together completely between each jack.
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