Give Clients a Reasonable Holiday Workout Plan

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As a fitness professional you know how frustrating the hustle and bustle of the holidays (therefor the lack of exercise) can be for both you and your clients. Many clients don’t feel like there is time to exercise with all of the other commitments they have during the holidays and then they are unhappy when they return to exercise and their fitness level has decreased.

The truth is that now that Halloween is over….stores have all the Christmas and holiday merchandising up! Yep, Holiday season is upon us so help your clients be proactive and give your clients a reasonable (and simple) holiday workout plan that will make everyone happy. Here is the question I hear the most from clients during the holiday season and I am sure you hear similar things from your clients:

“During the holidays I am so busy. So what’s the least amount of exercise I can do to maintain my fitness so I don’t have to start all over come January?”

It’s true that during the holidays clients can get so busy decorating the house, buying presents, attending parties, and entertaining guests that the last thing on their minds is exercing.  But, if remind them that they have worked hard all year to achieve their current fitness level, the last thing they want to do is take the “all or nothing” approach during the holidays and let it all go to pot.  Starting from scratch come January is never fun! 

Make sure to have a solid holiday workout plan in place that will work with your clients’ schedules and allows them to include enough exercise so they won’t have to start from scratch after the ball drops!

Along with that holiday workout plan….try giving your clients these tips for exercising over the holidays:

  • Having a few days off from exercise over the holidays is OK.  It may help give your mind and body a rest and help to motivate you to work harder in the New Year.  But, if you don’t want to get out of the rhythm of your exercise commitment.
  • Reduce your frequency and time:  If your program usually calls for 5 workouts a week, reduce it to 2 or 3 good, solid workouts during the busy weeks ahead.  If you normally perform an hour workout, reduce it to a 30-minute hard effort.  If you normally do 3 sets of each weight lifting exercise, reduce it to one good, challenging set.  Studies show that if you just do 1-2 hard workouts a week during a busy season, you can maintain your current fitness level for a number of weeks. So instead of doing nothing, do something. Just remember that intensity is the key factor!
  • Exercise in the morning:  If you wait to do your workout later in the day, it’s more likely that an errand will surface that needs to get done.  Your workout will be put on the back burner and you’ll most likely skip it all together.  Instead, set your alarm a half hour earlier and invest this time in yourself.
  • Move more:  When you can’t commit to your normal exercise routine, continue expending calories by ‘exercising’ when you’re not really exercising.  Take the stairs instead of the escalators at the mall.  Park at the edge of the parking lot.  Walk to perform a number of your errands.  All these extra calories add up meaning you’ll be less likely to put on the additional 8-10 holiday pounds that most people experience.
  • Active quality time:  You’ve got family visiting, kids are home from school…how in the world are you going to fit in your workouts?  Schedule a family snowshoe trip on Mount St. Helens, a tobogganing outing at Government Camp, a ski day at Timberline, a walk along the Columbian river, a hike through Forest Park…there are so many active adventures awaiting you here in the Northwest.  Take advantage of the mild winters and get outside and enjoy!

I know it may seem early, but now is the time to talk with your clients about their holiday workout plans! Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

Yours in health, fitness & business,
Sherri McMillan


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