Cinco de Mayo Your Workout: 5 Energy-Boosting Workouts
Are you ready to spice up your workout? Or perhaps you’re in dire need of a change.
With Cinco de Mayo quickly approaching on May 5th, it’s about time.
Differing from popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day. Cinco de Mayo serves as a reminder and time to honor an important piece of history - the victory of the Mexican army over Napoleon III’s army at the Battle of Puebla.
Typically, we indulge a little on Cinco de Mayo, with a few margaritas and maybe some tacos. However, the drinks and heavy food may leave you feeling like an afternoon siesta as opposed to a fiesta.
So, before you head to your Cinco de Mayo celebrations, why not squeeze in a quick workout? Amp up your energy. Forego that nap and join in the fun!
Let’s be honest. Exercise can be boring. Often, that is why many of us don’t do it or why we tend to flip-flop on our planned workout routine. It’s repetitive. It doesn’t particularly challenge us. We feel it’s a waste of time. The results take time. We feel discouraged when we don’t see them right away.
That’s okay - you are not alone in your feelings.
Surprisingly, about 80% of adults do not meet the recommended amount of weekly physical exercise. Yet, we know the benefits. Exercise can:
- Improve our mood
- Bump up our energy levels
- Help maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce pain and the risk of injury
- Reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes
- Help improve sleep quality
Whether you are new to exercise or in need of some serious fitness inspiration and motivation, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s spice things up with these 5 quick and easy fitness workouts. These workouts take less than 20 minutes and can give you an endorphin boost and a much-needed burst of energy. That way you can go on to enjoy all your Cinco de Mayo celebrations this year.
1. HIIT It When You’re Tight on Time
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, has taken off in recent years, and for a good reason. It’s quick, burns high calories even after your workout is done, and provides a full-body strengthening go-to routine. You can have your full workout done in 20 minutes or less.
This style workout gives your metabolism a boost, burning calories even after the fact. If you do it on the regular, you’ll feel fitter and healthier. Our quick HIIT workout uses only 6 moves, high knees, the plank, jumping jacks, push-ups, bicycle crunches, and jump squats.
Let’s break these 6 movements down:
High Knees: Begin standing tall, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Drive one knee up toward your chest. As you lower your knee, switch sides, driving the opposite knee up toward your chest. Continue to alternate and switch as fast as you can. Make sure you keep a straight back throughout the exercise.
The Plank: Start face down on a mat or a comfortable surface. Place your hands directly under your shoulders. Lift your upper body up off the mat, straightening both your arms. Your knees may remain on the mat. If they stay on the mat, make sure your body forms a straight line from your knees to your head. If you lift your knees up off the mat, your body should form a straight line from your heels to your head.
Jumping Jacks: Begin standing tall, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your arms high above your head and at the same time, jump your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Continue to alternate between the start position and the jump position.
Push-ups: To perform a push-up, start with your knees on the ground. Keep your arms straight with your hands directly under your shoulders. Slowly lower your chest and chin toward the floor. Keep your elbows tucked in! Slowly push back up to your starting position.
Jump Squats: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly bend both knees, sending your buttocks back. Push off through your heels and jump, straightening your knees.
Bicycle Crunches: Lie on your back. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows bent out to the side. Slowly bend one knee toward your chest. At the same time, lift the opposite elbow forward, bringing your shoulder blades up off the ground, and touch your elbow to your opposite knee. Straighten your leg and bring your elbow back. Repeat for the opposite sides.
During a HIIT workout, you want to make sure you are maintaining proper form, but also giving it your all during each exercise. The key is to move fast. Try 2-4 rounds, depending on your fitness level of the following:
- High knees for 30 seconds
- Plank for 30 seconds
- Jumping jacks for 30 seconds
- Push-ups for 30 seconds
- Jump squats for 30 seconds
- Bicycle crunches for 30 seconds
If you find it easy, increase the time to 45 seconds or 1 minute for each exercise or increase your number of rounds. If it’s difficult, throw in a 15-second break between each exercise.
The great thing about this workout is that no equipment is required. You can add weights or resistance if you have them available, but they are not necessary.
2. The Easy Stair Workout
This stair workout you can do in the comfort of your own home. You can do a similar style to the HIIT workout or go at your own pace. All you need is a set of stairs.
Warm up with jumping jacks, running on the spot, or another cardio variation for 2-5 minutes.
Do 10-12 repetitions for each exercise for each leg, unless you are timing it. Complete 2-3 sets in total for a full lower body workout. The exercises for our stair workout include step ups, step downs, stair jumps, calf raises, and stair lunges. Let’s get started!
Step Ups: Stand facing the stairs. Step one foot up onto the first step. Keep your knee bent and left your back leg up. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Make sure to keep your posture in check throughout this one.
Step Downs: Start on the first step, facing away from the stairs. Slowly begin to step one foot down. Pause just before touching the ground. Bend your supporting leg. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds.
Stair Jumps: Face the stairs. Slowly squat down and jump both feet up to the first step. Hop back down and repeat.
Calf Raises: Stand on the first step, with your heels hanging off the edge. Slowly come up onto your toes, raising your heels up. Slowly lower your heels back down. To make this one more challenging, do each leg separately.
Stair Lunge: Face away from the stairs. Prop your back leg up on the first or second stair. Bend your front knee and lower down into a lunge position. Slowly come back up to start.
With only 5 exercises, you work the major leg muscles and your glutes. Strengthening workouts do not have to be complicated. There are a variety of options you can do within your home and without a pricey gym membership.
3. The Hot Tamale May 5th Workout
Use an exercise ball for this one, preferably one of a smaller size. If you don’t have that available to you, try using a step.
You want to touch the step or exercise ball with your foot and quickly switch to the other foot, doing a quick 20 touches. Act like the step or ball is a hot tamale you don’t want to touch!
After you’ve completed 20 touches, do 1 set consisting of 10 reps of 1 exercise. You could do burpees, push-ups, lunges, jumping jacks, jump squats, sprints, and more. Then, return to the stairs or ball and do another 20 touches very quickly. Remember, it’s hot!
Repeat this for 5-8 rounds. It’s quick. It’s efficient, and you’ll definitely work up a sweat. It’s that little bit of spice you’ve been looking for.
4. Dance into Cinco de Mayo with These Moves
It’s no surprise that many love Zumba-style workouts. Dancing doesn’t feel like exercise. It’s fun and can even be meditative. You feel the music. You move to the music. You get in your zone. At times, there is only you and that beat.
The most basic Zumba move is the salsa. Generally, it consists of 8 counts.
On the first count, step your left foot out to the side. You, then, shift your weight onto the right foot. Your left foot steps back. Briefly pause. Step your right foot out. Same as the other side, you shift your weight onto your left foot. Step your right foot back. Pause, and start from the beginning.
Another option is to step forward and back doing the same style.
Practice alternating between the two on an 8-count beat. Get your dancing on, and let the music guide you.
5. Try a 5 x 5 x 5 Fitness Workout
Rep after rep gets boring. So, let’s continue to mix this thang up! 5 x 5 x 5 refers to 5 stations, 5 minutes, and 5 reps per exercise. Choose your favorite exercises and set ‘em up! And remember, if it’s individual sides, you want to make sure you do them both.
You can also choose to rest for a minute in between each station or power on through. The choice is yours. And remember, there are always options to keep you from getting bored. Find those options and take them. Stay motivated, and you’ll be surprised by what your body is capable of.
Always make sure to consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Drink plenty of water and have some fun. Put on your favorite tunes. Get energized before your Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Earn those margaritas and tacos. You got this. Your body deserves this. You only get one body. It’s up to you to take care of it.
And remember, a strong body equals a strong and healthy mind. Improve your overall well-being and participate in regular physical activity. Find that balance. Your life starts now!
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