ClubSport Trainers’ Tips & Tricks to Stay Fit Over the Holidays

Dec 12, 2016 | Fitness

A collage of ClubSport personal trainers

It can be tricky to stay in shape over the holidays. The weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year’s — and even a few weeks after — are usually full of festive food and merriment, leaving little to no time to exercise. We asked ClubSport personal trainers for tips and tricks on how they stay motivated, healthy, and fit over the holidays, and here’s what they said helps them survive the most dangerous (fitness-wise) time of the year.

Antje Fimmel, ClubSport Oregon

How do you stay motivated during the holidays?

I don’t rely on outside motivation to stay fit and healthy during any season. Motivation is fickle. Personally, it’s habit and self-care. It’s a lifestyle I’ve chosen for myself because nothing beats the mental and physical benefits of training and choosing to live an active life.

What is your holiday sweet substitution?

Really good dark chocolate — but only a nibble! My go-to faves: Lindt A Touch of Sea Salt EXCELLENCE Bar or dark chocolate-covered almonds with sea salt.

What holiday song makes you break a sweat?

Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.”

Andre Farnell, Renaissance ClubSport Walnut Creek

What are some fun healthy activities the whole family can take part in?

As a family, make time to do something charitable like 5K and 10K runs, serve at a soup kitchen, etc. These activities not only impact physical health but also bolster mental and spiritual well-being.

What is your go-to, on-the-run, be-done-anywhere workout?

Do this ladder workout as fast as possible: one push-up, one sit-up, one squat, then two push-ups, two sit-ups, two squats, etc., until you get to 10. Take a break and record the time. Then do it again and try to match or beat your previous mark. It’s a great cardio workout and also a total-body muscle endurance challenge.

What holiday song makes you break a sweat?

“Christmas in Hollis” by Run DMC.

Ann Affinito, Renaissance ClubSport Walnut Creek

What are some fun healthy activities the whole family can take part in?

I love ice skating and skiing. I grew up on the East Coast and that’s what we did. Snowshoeing is fun, too, and doesn’t take much skill. Long walks and hikes are also a good way to spend time together and catch up on life.

How do you stay motivated during the holidays?

For a lot of people, health and wellness get pushed to the side during the holiday season, but having a plan does work. Do something active every day, even if it’s a walk around the block. I know that when I don’t focus on my nutrition, I don’t feel my best even if I keep my regular workouts. I work too hard to stay in shape and I keep that thought in my head when there’s so much temptation around. Sugar is the enemy and everything in moderation is the key!

What holiday song makes you break a sweat?

“Jingle Bells.” I have a cardio Christmas CD that I play every year in my classes and this is the song I love the most.

Cheri Bell, ClubSport Fremont

What is your holiday sweet substitution?

I don’t say no to everything, but I do limit sweets to a small piece or a taste. If I want a piece of pie, I’ll have it, but I’ll make sure it’s a tiny piece and only one. I don’t use the holidays as an excuse to go crazy. I still eat right and only indulge on special occasions. Think cheat meal, not cheat day — and only once, not every day!

What are some fun healthy activities the whole family can take part in?

My family and I hike, walk, and run. We like to do small runs together, like a 5K or 10K. We’re also always having push-up contests at home — my sons are always trying to beat Mom. (sometimes I let them.)

What is your go-to, on-the-run, be-done-anywhere workout?

TRX! I’m known as the kettlebell queen, but I can take my TRX anywhere and hook it up anywhere! Body weight workouts are also a go-to — you can do push-ups, squats, burpees, crunches, jumping jacks, and the like anywhere.

Lori McKee, Renaissance ClubSport Aliso Viejo

How do you stay motivated during the holidays?

The holidays are a rough time for everyone. From food to parties, temptations are everywhere and that may interrupt workouts. I schedule workouts with friends to stay motivated during the holidays because it keeps me accountable. Whether it be a workout in the gym or meeting up at the same cycle or yoga class, if I know I have committed to meet someone for a workout, I won’t let them down. To keep myself motivated with my nutrition plan, I make sure I drink lots of water before and at a party. I also hit up the raw veggies, salads, and healthier protein dishes before I look at the table full of unhealthy options. If I keep filled up with water and the healthy stuff, I’m less likely to reach for the bad stuff.

What is your holiday sweet substitution?

My favorite holiday sweet substitution is a mint chocolate Power Crunch bar or Quest bar. With less than 5g of sugar, it gives my brain the satisfaction of something sweet and fills me up with the fat and protein I need. If I just want a real treat, I’ll have a dark chocolate peanut butter cup or a square of dark chocolate. Freshly ground nut butters are a great option, too.

What are some fun healthy activities the whole family can take part in?

I love getting outdoors with friends and family for group walks or hikes. The holidays are the best time because everyone can enjoy all the holiday lights and decorations while they walk. If you are indoors, I love Dance Dance Revolution. I always work up a sweat from that family dance party! If you aren’t sweating for this game, you don’t want to win bad enough!

Ryan Allen, ClubSport Pleasanton

What is your holiday sweet substitution?

Roasted sweet potatoes!

What are some fun healthy activities the whole family can take part in?

A bike ride around town to check out all of the cool Christmas decorations is a great physical activity for the family.

What holiday song makes you break a sweat?

“Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano — it’s a classic.

Nancy Couper, ClubSport Pleasanton

How do you stay motivated during the holidays?

I schedule more workouts with friends and family. Not only does it hold me accountable, but it also helps me switch up my weekly routine.

What is your holiday sweet substitution?

I love dark chocolate and peanut butter anything! To satisfy this sweet and salty temptress, I make bite-size protein power balls of chocolate protein powder, unsalted almond butter, raw and organic honey, and unsalted sunflower seeds. They are portable and pack a flavorful punch (with just a hint of sweetness).

What are some fun healthy activities the whole family can take part in?

Get out and explore the great outdoors! Go for a family bike ride or stroll along the Iron Horse Trail accessible from ClubSport. Turn it into a scavenger hunt along the way. Go to a local high school’s track and challenge each other in track and field events like the 100M, 200M, or 400M sprint or the 4x100M relay. Go play at a playground together! Find your inner ninja and crawl, climb, and slide to get fit while having fun. Check-in with your local community to see if there are any active charitable activities going on that the family can do together.

Dan Benton, ClubSport San Jose

How do you stay motivated during the holidays?

My family really enjoys getting bundled up when it’s cold and going for a hike in the mountains. Once you get to the top of the trail, you’re usually so hot and sweaty that you walk back down with your jacket off!

What is your go-to, on-the-run, be-done-anywhere workout?

Five rounds: 20 jumping lunges, 20 push-ups, 20 burpees, 90-second rest. Go for a two-mile run after your fifth round and you’re set within 30 minutes!

What holiday song makes you break a sweat?

“Jingle Bell Rock” for sure!

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