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December is here. The lights are shining, the bells are ringing, and the stores are bustling. Everyone seems to be busy busy busy as the holidays are fast approaching. This time of year is prime for letting workouts fall by the wayside. It’s not just you, believe us! This year, instead of allowing the same patterns to take over, why not make use of December’s daily mania?! The good news is that Pilates exercises are functional movements that can easily transfer to your everyday life. Here are some Pilates hacks to working your powerhouse while holiday shopping!

Leg Springs Eternal (Even While Shopping)! Put on some comfortable shoes, score that pathetic parking space at The Grove and walk to your destination. Keep your abs in and up and walk briskly using your glutes. Make sure you’re taking even steps with both legs. To make it more challenging take bigger strides. If a store is only a mile or two away from home, why not ditch the car all together? Double plus – you’ll get your workout in while doing something good for the environment.

There is No Elevator to Success. Take the Stairs! Avoid all elevators and escalators like the plague (unless there is a medical reason) and always take the stairs. Envision the Going Up Front exercise on the high chair. As you soar to the top of the steps engage the abdominals and use your glutes and hamstrings (not your knees) to climb. Double Plus – you’ll work your body without getting stuck in the elevator with that kid who presses every. single. button. (We’ve all been there.)

Shopping Bags Double as Perfect Holiday Heavy Weights! Resist the urge to put your bags in the car after each purchase. Carry your bags around. Distribute the the weight of the bags as equally as possible between both arms. Square your box while pulling in your abs and engaging your upper back muscles. Double plus – as the bags start to weigh more and more, you might want to spend less. 😉

Make Waiting in Line Magical. Waiting on long December lines can make an active person restless to say the least. To pass the time, stand in Pilates stance, equal weight on both feet and squeeze your heels, calves, inner thighs, seat and abs as if there is a magic circle there. For a little extra, lift and lower your heels. You can even try this on one leg. Who cares who’s watching?

Break Lights Holding You Back? Spine Stretch Forward! Push your rearview mirror up an inch or so higher so you will have to lift and lengthen your spine up and over to see it, creating more space in your spine. Repeat this a few times while you’re waiting. Your back will thank you for it.

Take the Push Ups with Presents Challenge. Staring downwards to that wrapping paper and tape can wreak havoc on your neck. Break it up with push ups! For every holiday gift you wrap, do 3 Pilates push ups. The bigger the family, the more toned you’ll be for the holidays!

Happy Shopping, Happy Bodies, and Happy Holidays!