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How to keep the belly fat off this holiday

The holiday season is in full swing and with all the sugars and alcohol consumed, pounds can add up quickly for many people. The belly is usually one of the first places this weight is noticeably gained. The good news is that there are a few simple things at home that you can be do to help minimize some of the weight gain this holiday season and keep your exercise routine somewhat on track.

During the holidays, many people stop exercising because they cannot find the time to get to the gym to do an elongated workout.  What people don't realize is that it doesn't have to be a formal in-depth program in order for it to be effective. Doing even a very brief workout will help minimize weight gain and benefit your body. Just make sure you're doing a routine that gets your blood following and raises your heart rate — regardless of time.

The video below shows five exercises that are primarily targeted to work on the abdominals. While you cannot precisely pinpoint specific areas for weight loss, performing these exercises will really give a full-body workout.  These exercises can be performed at home because they require no equipment and little space, which makes them easier to stick to.  Another thing that makes this series of exercises so effective is that you can choose the intensity. There are different ways to perform the five exercises to make it more challenging if you need it or easier if you are just starting out.  The important thing is that you increase your heart rate and you feel challenged.

The first few exercises are a plank series — front, side and reverse. Whether this move is done front, side or reverse, you can do it on your knees, both legs or just one leg to increase the difficulty.  Feel free to make the plank more challenging by increasing the time that you the position for.  Three sets of one minute each is best, but if you can't last that long, then slowly increase your time until you can work your way up to the full minute.  The last two exercises — mountain climbers and burpees — will add a cardio component to increase the heart rate.  Again, the more repetitions you do and the quicker you do the movements, the greater your heart rate will increase.

Don't let the holidays derail your workout schedule.  While you may not have time for a full routine, doing even a few minutes of activity will help stave off the unwanted pounds that inevitably creep up on us this time of year.

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.