If you do not have weights or a medicine ball, don’t despair. Grab a pumpkin (or any type of canned food, water bottle, or even a watermelon) and use it as a weight. If you are just beginning, look for a pumpkin that is approximately five pounds. As you progress, use a heavier pumpkin to make the exercises more challenging. Pumpkins don’t last forever, but they sure are a fun tool to use for exercising around Halloween time. After your workout, eat your pumpkin as part of your healthy meal (see the Tuesday, Oct. 25 Mind & Body post for recipe ideas).
Perform one set of 12-15 repetitions of each exercise. Rest for 60 seconds and then repeat two more times.
Pumpkin Twist (for abdominals)
Sit on the ground holding the pumpkin in both hands. Raise your feet off the ground and with your arms extended, rotate your arms and upper body to either side touching the pumpkin to the ground. One repetition is equal to one twist on both sides.
Wide Squat With A Pumpkin Curl (for inner thighs, abdominals, and biceps)
Standing with feet wide and toes pointed out, hold the pumpkin with both hands, keeping your elbows straight and close to your torso. As you lower down into a plié squat, curl the pumpkin towards your chest. Do not extend your knees past your toes. Your feet should remain firmly planted into the ground. Slowly rise back to starting position and repeat.
Pumpkin Crunches (for abdominals)
Lay down on your back with your knees bent and pumpkin in both of your hands. Crunch up and push the pumpkin up into the air. Keep your chin lifted and raise your chest toward the ceiling. Slowly, lower back down, keeping tension in your abs. To make the exercise harder, do not lower your shoulders to the ground.
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