Amanda MacMillan, SELF magazine
If your plans for this Labor Day weekend involve more sleeping, eating and drinking than physical activity, that's okay -- it's a holiday! But even if you don't feel like working out, we've come up with some fun and festive exercises to offset your not-so-healthy habits.
"Studies show that quick bursts of activity, even as little as 30 or 60 seconds at a time, have real benefits in terms of calorie burning and cardiovascular conditioning," says Michele Stanten, a certified fitness instructor and author of "Walk Off Weight" (and SELF contributor!). "Even if you're not spending an hour at the gym, a few minutes of movement is certainly better than nothing." Still not sure how you'll squeeze it in? It's easier than you think.
Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs
Holiday happening: The final summer Friday of the year
Fitness fix: Hit the gym before the bar.
Planning an afternoon Happy Hour with your crew? Invite them to join you for a fun fitness class at your favorite cycling or yoga studio first, then head to drinks together. Working up a sweat will get your mind off of work ASAP, and it'll make that margarita taste so much sweeter.
Holiday happening: Lounging by the pool
Fitness fix: Do underwater exercises.
Every half hour or so, take a break from your chaise lounge and spend a few minutes in the water. You can even do leg exercises -- scissor kicks, treading water, reverse crunches (pulling your knees up to your chest) -- without anyone noticing. Better yet: Got a pool noodle? Try this!
Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss
Holiday happening: Waiting in lines (and eating, eating, eating) at amusement parks or fairs
Fitness fix: Sculpt while you stand.
You may not burn that many calories while you're waiting for those roller coasters, but you can up that number by doing isometric moves like contracting your abs, balancing on one foot, or doing calf raises. Try to mix in some more active amusements -- like climbing a rock wall or trying your luck with the dunk tank -- in addition to more stationary, seated rides.
Holiday happening: A wedding with open bar and endless appetizers
Fitness fix: Get out on the dance floor!
This is an easy one -- and probably something you'd do anyway! Make a deal with your date (or any friend who's game) to dance at least every other song. You'll burn off plenty of those food and drink calories, and you'll be the life of the party.
Holiday happening: A day at the beach
Fitness fix: Take a spin in the sand.
Walking or running in sand works more muscles and burns more calories for shapelier legs. For even better toning, wade into the water so it's about mid calf for added resistance.
Related: Foods That Fight Belly Bloat
Holiday happening: Kids' sporting events
Fitness fix: Leave your chair at home.
Sitting through hours of soccer or softball tournaments won't do your body any good -- but standing, pacing, or walking laps around the field will help you work your muscles while your kids work theirs.
Holiday happening: A potluck picnic
Fitness fix: Take along a toy.
Go ahead, take your famous potato salad -- but also toss a frisbee or a game of croquet in your bag. Declare yourself social director of the picnic, and set up teams or encourage other people to play along after you've eaten.
More from SELF:
5 Simple Steps to Cellulite-Free Skin
3 CrossFit Total-Body Workouts
50 Healthiest Snacks
6 Secrets to Firing Up Your Metabolism
Amanda MacMillan, SELF magazine