The holidays seem a distant thought until the day after Halloween, then they are thrust upon us whether we like them or not.  Inundated with Christmas music, turkey, stuffing, sweets, family, and the best part, stress.  Our bodies are in a relatively stable state 10.5 months then we are tossed into a fanatic state revolving around the previous listLife’s stresses can take a toll on behavior and physiology, resulting in the utilization of coping mechanisms.  Some reactions can include: over eating (the plethora of a holiday spread does not help this) and physical activity or lack thereof. 

flippedWhile there is little someone can do to alleviate all stress, there are ways to mitigate stress during the holidays.  According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (AADA), studies have shown exercise increases overall cognitive function which will help ease the effects of stress.  Exercise produces endorphins, a natural painkiller, which assists in sleep. This in turn has a direct impact on stress levels.   .The AADA states that as little as five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate these anti-anxiety effects of exercise.

Can you find five minutes during the holidays?

Anyone can find five minutes, and I beg someone to explain to me why this is not possible because that explanation right there would be five minutes!  Does this mean five minutes of walking?  While this is better than nothing it is proven that the high intensity format is the best overall format to achieve the desired results which can alleviate the effects of stress (Costigan SA, 2015).  So in comes CrossFit, “…mix these elements (fitness movements) in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow.  Routine is the enemy.  Keep workouts short and intense” (Glassman, 2002).  To help you get that five minutes in during the holidays and avoid the negative side effects of stress, here is an easy to follow chart based on body weight movements and workout formats.

Body Weight Movements Exercise Format
Push up 21-15-9 or any numeric format in a couplet or triplet
Sit-ups EMOM (every minute on the minute)
Burpees Tabata (:20 of work followed by :10 of rest for 8 cycles)
Wall sit AMRAP (As Many Rounds or Reps as Possible in a given time i.e.: 5 Min AMRAP)
Hand stand push up
Bear crawl


Above is a quick reference list, but is by no means all inclusive.  The great part is none of these moves involve machines, just your body weight.  Take any of these movements, any of the formats, and perform as many patterns as possible.  Some examples:

21-15-9 of Squats and Burpees

5 Minute EMOM of 50’ of Bear Crawl

Tabata Burpees

5 Minute AMRAP of 10 Handstand Push-ups and Sit-ups

Stress over the holidays can negatively affect people well into January, either through mental fatigue or physically through holiday weight gain.  Keeping yourself physically active just five minutes a day can drastically help soften the effects of the holidays.  For more information on workouts or CrossFit in general, email

For more information about becoming a member of CrossFit Oshkosh fill out the form below


Works Cited

Costigan SA, E. N. (2015). High-intensity interval training for improving health-related fitness in adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BR J Sports Med (Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis), 49.

Glassman, G. (2002). What is Fitness. CrossFit Journal, 1.

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