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Add Some Fun Exercise to Your Fourth

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The Fourth of July is notorious for being a day when pretty much all you do is eat, sit around, listen to music, hang out with friends and family, and eventually watch fireworks. In an all-day eating extravaganza like this, it’s easy to consume 3,000 to 5,000 calories – or more! – which can translate to more than a pound of weight gain, plus that unpleasant feeling of being bloated and overly full. Add a short workout or a few fun exercises to your Fourth of July, and you won’t feel so bad about feasting well – and you may just have enough energy to keep up with the kids. (Or have the kids join you for these exercises to help burn some of their extra energy and enjoy an afternoon of well-behaved kids!)

Do a Circuit
One of the easiest ways of getting in a quick workout on the Fourth of July is to do a circuit. Kids actually love circuits because you’re constantly changing what you’re doing, so it’s a great way to get kids involved! Warm up for five minutes or so, then perform each exercise for 45 seconds, followed by a 15 second rest. Do the entire circuit 3 times, and you’re all set with your exercise for the day!

Jumping Jacks
Walking Lunges
Squats
High-Knee Run
Burpees

If you’re not familiar with any of these exercises, a quick YouTube search will turn up a video showing you how to do them!

Resurrect the Sack Race!
We all remember sack races from when we were a kid. As it happens, all the jumping involved in a sack race is actually quite a good workout! (Note: if you don’t have burlap sacks, old pillowcases tend to work pretty well, too!) Do a couple of laps, or run “the best 2 out of 3” to prolong the workout – I mean fun – and get in some good cardio.

Red, White and Blue Tag
Remember flag football? Red, white and blue tag is a similar idea. Give each player a flag of one of the colors, and when they tag someone else, the tag-ee has to pass off the flag. The winning player is the one who has one of each color! Alternately, you can pass out poker chips, one of each color, to every player – when they’re tagged, they have to hand off a chip. This gives each player three chances, and prolongs the game!

Ultimate Frisbee!
Turn the summer fun disk into a team exercise event by starting an ultimate frisbee game. In Ultimate, each team has an end zone and the idea is to get the flying disk down the field and into the opponents’ end zones. One catch, though – whoever has the frisbee can’t run with it – all you can do is pivot and pass. It’s a lot of fun for a holiday, and it can actually be great exercise.

Do you have any favorite Fourth of July workouts or exercises? Any great games for burning calories? Or do you give yourself a “free pass” on this blockbuster summer holiday?

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