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Take the Festive Family Fitness Challenge

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Relaxing with family in front of the TV at Christmas is as much a festive tradition as mince pies and novelty jumpers. This Christmas, we thought we'd introduce a new tradition to the mix: the Festive Family Fitness Challenge!

The great news is that it still involves watching TV. We've hand-picked some of our favourite festive family films and matched them with a fun exercise for you all to try at key moments in each movie.

As you won't know when or how often you'll be rising from the sofa to do the exercises...it might be minutes, it might be seconds...think of it as a fun interval training challenge for the whole family.    

Christmas workout challenge

Frozen

23rd December, BBC1, 2.50pm

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Snow Queen", this 2013 Disney classic tells the tale of Princess Anna setting off on a quest to find her sister, Princess Elsa, who has accidentally trapped their kingdom in an eternal winter using her ice powers. Ok, so it's not strictly a Christmas movie, but there's lots of snow in it and loads of feel-good, Oscar-winning songs. Which brings us on to the challenge... 

The challenge: every time Elsa or Anna sings a song, everyone must rise from their seats and perform a squat. Whether or not you sing along with the songs at the same time is completely up to you!

How to squat: With feet shoulder-width apart and hands clasped together in front of you, squat down so your thighs are parallel with the floor, keeping your knees in line with your feet. Push from the heels as you return to the start position.

The Santa Clause

Christmas Eve, BBC1, 10.30am

Think you've got a busy Christmas? Tim Allen's is much busier in this 1994 classic which sees his character having to complete Father Christmas's deliveries after accidentally causing Santa to fall from his roof. Spoiler alert: Tim Allen's character does such a great job he's asked to become the new Santa and festive hi-jinks ensue as he tries to convince his family of his new role in life! 

The challenge: every time someone says "Santa" everyone must get up and perform one lunge!

How to lunge: Keeping your upper body straight and core tight, step forward with your right leg until both knees are bent at 90 degrees and your right knee is above your ankle. Push from the heel as you return to the start position.

How to press up

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Christmas Eve, C4, 6.30pm

Charles Dickens's classic novel got a muppet-makeover in 1992 with cinematic legend Michael Caine taking the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. Apparently, Caine agreed to take the role on one condition: "I'm going to play this movie like I’m working with the Royal Shakespeare Company." Charles Dickens even makes an appearance in this film...played by none other than Gonzo the Great! 

The challenge: every time someone (most probably Scrooge) says "Bah! Humbug!" everyone must drop to the floor and perform a press-up!

How to do a press-up: Place your hands flat on the floor, shoulder width apart and stand on tiptoes in the plank position. Lower yourself until your chest touches the floor, then push up. 

Christmas workout challenge

Home Alone

Christmas Day, C4, 5.50pm

The lucky McCallister family are off to Paris for Christmas...well, apart from their eight-year-old son, Kevin, that is. Yes, it's no spoiler alert to reveal that Macaulay Culkin's character is left home alone in this Christmas classic from 1990. Some of the film's most memorable scenes involve Kevin's booby traps foiling burglars Harry and Marv from breaking into the family home...which brings us on to the challenge!

The challenge: every time Harry or Marv fall, slip or get hit, drop into a plank position and hold for five seconds.

How to perform a plank: Get into a press-up position then lower yourself onto your forearms and toes. Keep your core tight as you hold for one minute. This exercise will work wonders for your core, back, arms and legs.

Jogging

Miracle on 34th Street

Boxing Day, E4, 5.10pm

This Christmas fantasy is no less than the third film on our list to come from the mind of filmmaker John Hughes. Richard Attenborough stars as Kris Kringle, a curious man who claims to be Father Christmas. No one believes him apart from a little girl and lawyer who decide to defend him in court. Is he the real Santa? You’ll just have to tune in and find out. Don't forget to look out for Father Christmas hats though. Here's why...

The challenge: every time you see a Father Christmas hat, stand up and jog on the spot for five seconds!

How to jog on the spot: at a faster than walking pace, alternate from foot to foot bringing each knee up high towards your belly button. Continue for five seconds.

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