Guest Guru: Kate Brown of The Daily Burn

December 14, 2011    |    By +
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Kate Brown is a health expert and certified personal trainer at DailyBurn. Her expert fitness and nutrition tips can be found at DailyBurn Life.

Staying in Shape During the Holiday Season

Between gift shopping, tree decorating, and holiday cookie making, most people have less time to workout this month. But staying fit during the holiday season doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, you can squeeze in an effective workout in just 10 minutes if you perform dynamic, multi-plane exercises at a high intensity.

A short session of high intensity exercise burns the same amount of calories as a longer session of exercise at a lower intensity. So forget hopping on the elliptical while returning emails on your iPhone. Instead, drop down right where you are and give yourself the gift of 10 minutes of focused time.

All you need is a mat, and a weighted medicine ball (if you are an advanced exerciser). Complete 3 sets of 10 reps the following exercises:

Toe Touch

Starting position: Lie on your back and extend your arms and legs away from your torso in a straight line.

Movement: Bend at the hips and the shoulders, and draw the hands and feet towards each other. Try to touch your hands and feet while keeping your arms and legs straight. If you are an advanced exerciser, hold a weighted medicine ball between your hands.

Return position: Keeping your arms and legs straight, slowly return to starting position in a controlled movement.

Plank with a Rotation

Starting position: Get in plank position by planting your hands and feet on the floor as if you are about to complete a pushup.

Movement: Sweep your right arm up and twist your torso to the right. Pause at the top of the movement and sweep your arm back down and under your body to the left, while twisting your torso to the left.

Return position: Bring arm back toward starting position, but do not place hand back on the ground. Instead, continue the movement for 10 reps and then switch arms.

Knee Tuck Jump

Starting position: Stand with your feet hip width apart with a slight bend in the knee.

Movement: Bend slightly at the hips and jump as high as you can while driving your knees toward your chest.

Return position: Land softly by bending your knees as you land on the ground.


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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.