Monday, December 2nd

December is here! I love how a city or town transforms in December. Holiday lights and decorations can be found everywhere from your local mall to the neighborhood gas station. Although an incredibly festive month, December also brings on the bitter cold for many of us.

Getting outside to exercise isn’t always easy this time of year, which is why the “Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!” workout is so easy to follow. You can do the program from the comfort and warmth of your own home!

If you started with us on November 1st, you’ve made it through an entire month. Congratulations! You should not only be feeling a sense of accomplishment, but you should also be noticing a change in your body. All the extra calories you’ve burned as well as the load bearing exercises you’ve endured should be having you feeling and looking more firm and lean than when you began. Keep up the good work!

Today’s workout is designed to last 30 minutes and is developed so each individual can exercise at his or her own pace. Each exercise should be performed to failure—when you feel as though you can’t complete even one more rep—or to the max number of reps listed.  For example if the exercise is squat jumps and lists a max of 50 reps, you should do as many reps as possible up to 50. If you complete 10 reps and find that you can’t do another rep while maintaining good form, then simply move on to the next exercise.  If you can complete all 50 with good form, do so and then move to the next exercise.

If you get through all 5 exercises in less than 30 minutes (which should be the case), repeat the cycle until the 30 minutes is up.

Please note: Before adopting any new exercise routine, you should consult your physician.


Today’s full-body, calorie-burning workout:

Exercise 1: Arms Above Head Sit Ups (Perform to Failure or max 50 reps)

Exercise 2: Side Lunges (Perform to failure or max 20 reps each side)

Exercise 3: Diamond Push Ups (Perform to failure or max 30 reps)

Exercise 4: Flutter Kicks (Perform to failure or max 100 reps)

Exercise 5: Tuck Jumps (Perform to failure or max 40 reps) 

A detailed description and accompanying photo is provided for each exercise below.


Exercise 1: Arms Above Head Sit Ups (Perform to Failure or max 50 reps)

How to do it: Lie on your back. Place your arms straight above your head. Bend your knees and plant your feet on the floor. Tighten your core. Slowly raise your head, shoulders and arms off the floor until you are in a seated position. Slowly bring your head, shoulders and arms back to the floor.

Arms Above Head Sit Up_labeled

Exercise 2: Side Lunges (Perform to failure or max 20 reps each side)

How to do it: Stand with your feet hip width apart. Place your hands on your hips for balance. Slowly step to the right.  Shift your weight to your right leg and bend your right knee. Keep you left leg straight. Push off with your right foot and come back to the starting position. Repeat with your right leg for entire series of reps. When complete, switch to your left leg and repeat exercise.

Side Lunges_labeled

Exercise 3: Diamond Push Ups (Perform to failure or max 30 reps)

How to do it: Lie on your stomach. Get in push up position. Place your palms flat on the floor in a diamond shape directly under your chest. Your thumbs and first fingers should touch to form the diamond shape. Push up off the ground so your arms are fully extended and you’re on your toes. Keep your back flat and engage your core. While maintaining a flat back, lower yourself down until your chest hovers over the diamond. Push yourself back up by fully extending your arms. Note: you can make the exercise slightly easier by coming to your knees and performing the diamond push up.

Diamond Push Ups_labeled

Exercise 4: Flutter Kicks (Perform to failure or max 100 reps)

How to do it: Lie flat on your back with your arms tucked slightly under your hips with palms facing down. Lift your feet 6 to 8 inches off the floor. Quickly kick (flutter) your legs up and down, raising and lowering your feet only a few inches. Note: to make the exercise easier, raise your legs up higher than the 6 to 8 inches. To make the exercise more difficult, keep your feet closer to the ground.

Flutter Kicks_labeled

Exercise 5: Tuck Jumps (Perform to failure or max 40 reps)

How to do it: Stand with your feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent. Bend your knees as you come to a squat position. From the squatting position explode up and tuck your knees to your chest.  While in mid air, grab your knees with your hands. Release your knees and extend your legs as you come back down. Allow the knees to bend upon landing. Repeat Note: Do not lock your knees on landing.

Tuck Jumps_labeled

I hope you enjoy today’s workout. Please share your feedback with me by commenting below.


About the Author:

d_stone_headshot_finalDawna Stone is a health, fitness, and wellness expert. Her new book, Healthy You!: 14 Days to Quick and Permanent Weight Loss and a Healthier, Happier You is available on To find out more about Dawna or to view her Healthy Living videos, tips and recipes, go to

An American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified Health Coach, Stone has contributed health and wellness articles to numerous newspapers and magazines. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, and her master’s degree from UCLA. An avid runner and Ironman triathlete, she lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her husband, 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son.

Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide helpful and informative material and is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any health condition, nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician before adopting a new eating or exercise regimen. The author and publisher specifically disclaim all responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence of reading this information or participating in the exercises suggested in this material.

Copyright © 2013 by Dawna Stone

by Dawna Stone

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