Fit for the Holidays: Easy Ways For Your Clients to Exercise

The holidays leave us all over-scheduled and under-rested. This time of year also takes our clients out of their normal eating and exercise routines (just when they need them the most).

It’s up to you to help your clients keep the busy holiday season from sidetracking their regular exercise routines.

Even if they can’t make it in for a workout, encourage them to use any opportunity to sneak in some brief exercise and experience the many benefits of keeping fit, especially during this season.

As you know, exercising can boost mood and energy. So squeezing in a workout may actually help a person be more productive – and can keep them in the holiday spirit too! The mood-boosting benefits can kick in after just 10 to 15 minutes of exercise. Any kind of heart-pumping aerobic activity, jumping jacks or even climbing the stairs will provide a burst of bliss.

Here are a few little ‘gifts’ you can give your clients:

  • Remind them that exercise is cumulative, so three 10-minute bouts are as good as 30 minutes at one time!
  • Remind them that they don’t want to lose the benefits of the hard work they’ve put in, so anything they can do to keep from taking extended time off from fitness helps to ensure that the investment that they’ve made isn’t lost to inactivity or holiday cookies.
  • Remind them that most injuries occur when you become deconditioned through inactivity and try to return to the level you were at prior to taking time off.

 Smart ways to sneak in your exercise:

You may not have 30 minutes to set aside for working out, but you have lots of little opportunities throughout the day to work in some fitness. Turn leisure activities or household chores into exercise. Here are a few ways to blend exercise with holiday chores:

  • Do kitchen counter or island push-ups while waiting for water to boil or cookies to cool.
  • Decorating and retrieving holiday decorations from the attic or basement? Run up and down the stairs an extra time in between each trip.
  • Jump on a NormaTec or other another innovative product to help maintain flexibility and mobility.

  • Do a 15-30-second plank hold after every two presents you wrap.
  • For every present you put under the tree do a squat.
  • While shopping, park away from the entrance so you get a longer brisk walk into the store or mall.
  • When dusting top shelves or mantels, do a set of calf raises.

The Circuit Workout Your Clients Can Do Anywhere
Short on time? No room in your suitcase for fitness equipment? No problem! You can create a quick, effective five-move circuit workout wherever you are.

Tailor the circuit to your fitness level:

  • Beginners, go through once, doing each move for 30 seconds
  • Intermediate and advanced can do each move for 60 seconds and perform the circuit multiple times.

What makes a circuit workout effective is that you stay active the entire time, and you switch muscle groups back and forth so you get a total-body workout.

Move #1: Tabletop Push-Up
Stand about four feet away from either a countertop, bar top or dining table. Place your hands flat on the surface and lean forward so your shoulders are aligned over your wrists and your body is in a straight line (you don’t want your rear end sticking up or your belly arched and sagging). Keeping your body in this straight line (and your abs pulled in), bend then straighten your elbows.

Move #2: Staircase Step-Up
Do continuous step-ups on the first step of a staircase with an up-up, down-down rhythm; move at a moderate to fast pace (enough to get your heart rate up). Ideally, you’ll have a banister or wall for support; if not, move slowly until you get the rhythm.

Move #3: Chair Dip
Sit on the edge of a kitchen chair (or on the side of a firm bed) with your hands on either side of you, palms flat and fingertips facing forward. Lift your weight onto your hands as you take a few steps out, keeping your knees bent and your rear end a few inches off the floor. Using the strength of your arms (you’ll feel it in your triceps), lift yourself up and down (like backward push-ups).

Move #4: Walking Lunge
Stand with feet together. Step right foot in front (about two to three feet) into a lunge position — your right knee should be aligned over your right ankle and your left knee should be bent behind you, just a few inches away from the floor. From this position, push off your back (left) leg and bring it to meet your front leg as you straighten both. Repeat, this time starting with the left foot. As you “walk” with each lunge, you’ll travel forward. If you don’t have space to travel forward, just alternate your right and left leg, and instead of pushing off to move forward, push to come back to stand in your original spot.

Move #5: Plank Hold
Lie face down on the floor with your toes turned up and your elbows bent under your shoulders, hands either flat to the floor or curled into fists. Press your forearms and toes into the floor as you lift into a plank (push-up) position on your forearms. Keep your body in a straight line from shoulders to feet — don’t let your rear end lift up or your belly sag — and hold (making sure to breathe).

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