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Payback time: 5 easy workouts you need to combat the Chinese New Year snacking

You win some, you lose some

Payback time: 5 easy workouts you need to combat the Chinese New Year snacking
You've had your fill, so now it's time to pay your dues

Everyone knows Chinese New Year is code for piling on the calories. Days of visiting relatives are spent mostly ingesting a wide variety of snacks at Uncle Tan's, before moving on to Auntie Susan's just to stuff your face with the same treats all over again. And all that's only in a day's worth. There are in total 15 days of ongoing feasting — imagine the damage then. 

The good news is, there's still a chance to save your waistline. All you have to do is work (extra) hard after. Below, we breakdown the calories of these five popular snacks, and enlisted the expertise of Personal Trainer at Pure Fitness, Roy Lau, to craft a specific workout to burn off each snack before they actually go down to our thighs. The best part? They're all easy enough to do it from home. It's time to work harder because it's Chinese New Year. 

Snack: Dried Shrimp Roll
Calorie count:  22 calories (per piece)
Exercise: Split jumps 

*Do three rounds of 20 split jumps, with one minute rest in between

Start in a lunge stance, one foot forward with the knee bent at 90 degrees and the rear knee bent at 90 degrees close to the ground. Pushing and extending both legs, jump as high as you can together using your arms to support the motion with a swing. When landing, make sure that both legs absorb the impact evenly and slowly revert back to the starting position.

Chinese New Year Workouts

Snack: Love letter
Calorie count:  32 calories (per piece)
Exercise: Burpees 

*Do four rounds of 15 burpees, with one-minute rest in between

Begin in a squat position with hands flat on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back into a pushup position, engaging the core to protect the lower back. Immediately push forward and return your feet to the initial squat position. From there, push up and jump as high as possible from the squat position.

Chinese New Year Workouts

Snack: Pineapple tart
Calorie count: 74 calories (per piece)
Exercise: Mountain climber

*Do seven rounds of mountain climber, each lasting one minute, with 30 seconds rest in between

Start in a plank position with arms straight. The key is to engage the glutes throughout the movement and ensure the abs are activated. Tuck your right knee to right elbow, keeping the left leg on the ground. Alternate the movement with both knees.

Chinese New Year Workouts

Snack: Kueh Lapis
Calorie count: 157 calories (per slice)
Exercise: Squats 

*Do 10 rounds of squats, each lasting a minute, with 30 seconds rest in between

Start in a standing position, feet shoulder-width apart. Brace the core and maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement. Initiate squats by unlocking the hips and slightly bringing them back allowing the knees to bend. Keep the torso upright and go down to a comfortable position with a neutral spine. Stand up by driving from your heels.

Chinese New Year Workouts

Snack: Bak Kwa (Barbecued pork)
Calorie count: 370 calories (per slice)
Exercise: Rope skipping

*Do three rounds of rope skipping, each lasting 10 minutes, with one minute rest in between

Start off by skipping in a natural rhythm, before randomly mixing these patterns into the workout.

Forward & Backward Jump: A simple movement, jumping over the rope using both feet every rotation. Alternate between swinging the rope forward and backwards whilst in a stationary position at a pace that's comfortable for you.

Crossover: Start off with a forward jump at a comfortable tempo. Between rotations, cross your arms in front of your body (left wrist towards the right hip and same vice versa), and continue skipping at a comfortable pace. Note the size of the cross in the rope — if it's too small, your body might not fit.

Single Leg Hop: Jump on one foot landing softly, using the balls of your feet and knees as shock absorbers. The other leg should be hovering slightly above ground but not too far back where it could potentially catch the rope. Skip at a comfortable tempo while alternating between legs.

Chinese New Year Workouts

Read more Chinese New Year stories.

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Janice Sim

  • Image: Baker's Well, @ollella_singapore, Getty Images
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