Welcome to Start TODAY. Sign up for our Start TODAY newsletter to receive daily inspiration sent to your inbox — and join us on Instagram! When you think of "fun" activities, exercise may not be the first (or second, or third) thing on your list. But fitness can be fun, I promise! It just requires changing our mindset about working out and choosing a type of movement that feels enjoyable. And the holidays are the perfect time to make this shift! With all of the hustle and bustle, I encourage my clients to look at their daily exercise as a fun and positive part of their day — instead of another chore in their busy schedule. So this month, we’re moving our bodies in a way that feels good and will help combat the inevitable stress of the season. (We'll save the lofty goal-setting for next month.) Enter: Aerobics. Growing up, I was a tomboy who played a lot of sports. So when I went away to college and didn’t have regular practices or games, I wasn't moving enough and fell out of shape — fast. Add in cafeteria buffets and stress eating and I gained the freshman 15 and then some. I turned to aerobics in my dorm room as a fun way to dance around and burn calories. I loved having fun while working my body, building strength and improving my cardiovascular health. I realized I wasn't the only student struggling with my personal fitness, so I started an aerobics TV show at the University of Michigan called "Big House Beat" (the Big House is the name of the football stadium!) and helped motivate students to exercise in their dorm rooms. Ever since then I have been hooked on aerobics as a way to infuse some fun back into my fitness routine when it starts to feel like a chore. It's also my go-to way to get in my steps during the cold winter months when the weather doesn't allow me to get outside! Benefits of aerobics Just because aerobics is an enjoyable cardio activity doesn't mean it's not a tough workout! I am a real-life example of how a regular aerobics routine can improve your physical fitness and help you lose weight (if that's one of your goals). Aerobics gets your heart rate up and is great for your cardiovascular health. It also builds your cardio endurance and can help lower blood pressure. And that's not all. Aerobics improves mobility and increases flexibility. Plus, it's a low-impact activity so your joints won’t be taking a beating. Research shows that aerobic exercise can also reduce anxiety and depression, too. 31-day aerobics workout plan >>Download a printable calendar For our December workout challenge, I created two 15-minute aerobics routines, plus an ab workout. We’ll alternate these workouts with walking. The first aerobics routine is a slower beats per minute, and the second routine steps it up (literally!) with a faster pace. However, each routine is meant for advanced and beginners alike. The ab routine is only 5 minutes, so it’s easy to sneak in amidst the holiday hustle and bustle. While traditional aerobics doesn’t include weights, you could include a step or grab a set of light hand weights (1 or 2 pounds). But for the sake of keeping it simple and making it easy to exercise no matter where you are this holiday season, the workout routines do not require any equipment. All you need is some room to move around! Aerobics Workout Playlist I put together a playlist of some of my favorite songs to accompany your aerobics routines. Aerobics routine 1 Aerobics routine 2 5-minute ab routine Perform 10 repetitions of each exercise. Basic crunch Lie down on the ground on your back and bend your knees so tht your feet are flat on the floor. Open your feet as wide as your knees, and place your hands behind your head. Slowly exhale as you curl up with your head, neck and chest, and then lower down. Knees up crunch Lie down on the ground on your back and bend your knees so tht your feet are flat on the floor. Open your feet as wide as your knees, and place your hands behind your head. Bring the legs up into a table-top position so that the knees are bent at 90 degrees. Hug your inner thighs together. Slowly exhale as you curl up with your head, neck and chest. As you crunch up, hug the elbows in toward the thighs. trying to touch the knees. Lower down. Leg circles Start lying on your back with the legs straight up toward the ceiling. Hug the inner thighs together. Exhale as you pull your naval in toward your spine and lower the legs down to about 45 degrees. Opening each leg out to the side (and away from each other) draw a circle by reaching each foot out, around and back up to center. Keeping the legs together, exhale back down to the starting position and repeat. To make this more challenging, place your hands behind your head and curl up with your head, neck and chest. Bicycle crunch Start lying on your back with your legs in a table-top position and hands behind the head. Curl up with your head, neck and chest and reach your right shoulder toward your left knee as you extend your right leg straight. Then switch sides, reaching your left shoulder toward your right knee and extending your left leg straight. Continue alternating for 10 repetitions to each side. Frog press Start lying on your back. Bend the knees and pull them into toward the body, opening them to the sides so that they are as wide as the shoulders. Bring the heels together. With the heels together and the knees apart, pull the abs in and press the legs forward to straighten the knees and extend the legs out straight to about 45 degrees. Bring the legs back in to the starting position. Repeat. Scissor kicks Start lying on your back with your legs up toward the ceiling. Curl up with your head, neck and chest. Reach your hands up and lightly hold on to the left shin as you lower the right leg down toward the ground at a 45-degree angle (0r closer to the ground to make it more challenging). Switch legs by bringing the right leg back to start, holding the right shine and lowering the left leg down toward the ground at a 45-degree angle. Continue alternating for 10 repetitions to each side. Reverse leg circles Start lying on your back with the legs up toward the ceiling. Open the legs as wide as the shoulders and lower them down to 45 degree. Then, bring them together toward the midline and back up toward the ceiling. Repeat. Hug and extend Start lying on your back. Hug the knees in toward your chest and curl up with your head, neck and chest. Gently hold onto the shins. Extend the legs out straight to 45 degrees in front of you and reach the arms straight back behind you. Then hug the arms and knees back in to the starting position. Repeat. Lying twist Start lying on your back. Hug both knees into the chest and then gently twist them over to the right, resting them on the ground. Open your arms into a “T” position, and turn your head to the opposite side of your legs. Pause here for a few breaths, and then switch sides.