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Work Out in No Time

Sneak in these exercises during the holiday rush.

Preparing a Holiday Dinner

Front raises

Hold two 14-ounce cans (pie filling, gravy, etc.), one in each hand, palms down. Raise your arms straight out in front of you until they are parallel to the floor. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times. The benefit: Strengthens shoulder muscles, grip.

Addressing Holiday Cards

Chair squats

Stand in front of a sturdy chair as if you're going to sit down; raise your arms straight in front of you. Bend your knees and slowly lower yourself onto the chair; lightly touch down and then stand back up. Repeat 10 to 15 times. The benefit: Strengthens thighs and glutes.

Waiting for the Oven to Heat

Hamstring kicks

Stand facing a counter (hold on for balance). Shift your weight to one leg, and bring your other heel up toward your buttocks. Hold and squeeze for a few seconds. Return your leg to the starting position, then lift it straight out to the side, and again back down. Repeat 15 times with each leg. The benefit: Works hamstrings and outer-thigh muscles.

Biceps toners

Hold two 14-ounce cans, one in each hand, palms up, arms at your side. Slowly bring the cans toward your shoulders, bending your arms at the elbows. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times. The benefit: Strengthens and tones biceps.

Waiting in Line at the Mall

Calf lifts

Rise up on your toes and hold for 3 seconds. Lower; repeat 15 times. The benefit: Tones and strengthens calf muscles.

Balance challenge

Standing near a counter for balance, shift your weight to one foot and raise the opposite foot. See how long you can keep your balance. Repeat with the other leg. The benefit: Strengthens and tones the supporting leg and improves balance.

Standing at the Buffet Table

Ab flattener

Tighten your abdominal muscles as if preparing to take a punch. Hold and squeeze for 5 to 10 seconds. Release and repeat 10 times. The benefit: Strengthens abdominal and core muscles.

Written by Linda Melone. Exercises from fitness coach Tom Holland; Katie Koch, an exercise physiologist at the Cleveland Clinic Sports Health Center; and Chicago White Sox physical therapist Aaron J. Stoll.

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