Holidays are approaching and, as we head toward the finish line of 2016, I stop and admire the kindred spirit we have cultivated in the studio this year. I see Star clients welcoming new clients with open arms (often literally…) and encouraging each other to their personal best…whether that’s a heavier weight in BodyPump or to venture into a new format for the first time. I see Star Instructors attending each other’s classes — laughing and sweating alongside clients.
In my personal experience as a gym member, fitness instructor, and studio dabbler, this spirit is often absent in other fitness settings as members scramble for scarce real estate or are encouraged to ignore or compete with their neighbors. Whether necessary or well-intentioned, the sharing suffers. This is a huge cost to the pursuit of transformation.
Ahead of the upcoming holiday weekend, several of the Star Instructors (and one Instructor-in-training…) share our holiday tips, rituals, perspectives, and humor…because ’tis the season for sharing…and shining!
I sleep in and make a few bad decisions!” ~ Kelley, BodyPump, BodyFlow
Since Kelley teaches in elementary schools all year round, this is her only true school vacation…and she wants to enjoy it. Her strategies keep her on-track with her fitness while allowing plenty of room to indulge and relax over the holidays:
- At night, I choose either alcohol or dessert, but never both. Creds to Kate Hudson for that tip!
- My husband makes the best cookies, but we’ll eat the whole batch if they’re lying around. So, we prepare a full batch, but only bake four at a time. The rest go in the freezer for the next “D-day”!
- We measure and track everything. This keeps us accountable and self-aware of our decisions.
- Having my husband on-board with me nutritionally makes everything easier — from food prep to willpower!
- I love a good beer…and, for locals, I highly recommend Tenaya Creek Brewery. Check out their Detox to Retox Yoga event on Saturday, January 21!
Keep your body happy, and your mind will follow!” ~ Amanda, Yoga
To keep her body happy, Amanda interjects yoga and at-home spa treatments wherever she can:
- Coffee scrubs in the shower are great for dry skin, cellulite, and an external pick-me-up.
- Coconut oil revitalizes my skin, hair, and nails.
- Candles, along with incense, create a festive and warming ambiance.
- Yoga resolves any holiday-induced aches and pains. For example:
- Sore and stuck on the ground wrapping presents? Do a forward fold and a reverse plank to get the blood flowing again.
- Carried something too heavy? Take a child’s pose.
- Watching a Christmas Special on TV? Do a few neck rolls.
- At a red light? Perfect time for wrist roll-outs.
- Cooking or cleaning? Stop for a mini stretch break.
Amanda says, most of all, she tries not to stress over the little things. If she doesn’t get the right gift, if the cookies turn out funny, or if she eats too much, it’s O-K! (Repeat…it’s okay!) The most important thing, she realizes, is being with her family, friends, and loved ones as they want to be with her – all of her – happy,healthy, and present.
Lots of laughter with my little ones!” ~ Christine, L.I.F.T., Bootcamp, and BodyPump
Christine says exercise of any sort is a boost over the holidays, but yoga feels especially good to her mind, body, and soul. Her other tips are:
- Green tea…it keeps me warm and healthy, and keeps those pesky holiday cravings at bay!
- Water for hydration, digestion, and headache prevention.
- Fresh air…even if it’s cold outside.
- Good music when I’m working out…don’t mind a little profanity!
- Retail therapy…duh, of course!
Most of all, she cherishes her time with the cuties pictured next to her…amen.
Reach out when you’re feeling sad, stressed, or lonely.” ~Camille, Yoga
Camille reminds us of the virtual Rolodex at our fingertips through our phones and social media. Instead of waiting for others to invite you out, she encourages you to do the inviting! This is also a great time of year to “ground” yourself:
- Slow cook. Simply put chicken in water or broth and add an assortment of spices, vegetables, and sriracha. Before long, my home smells amazing, I have a supply of healthy, healing meals all ready to go. The act of cooking is almost meditative and very grounding.
- Walk in the sunshine. The combination of air, sunshine, and movement lifts my spirits and elevates my energy levels.
- Play with dogs. Seeing how excited they get over a rubber ball reminds me of life’s true essence.
Dress like a princess to feel like a princess.” ~Desiree, Instructor-in-Training, Yogi-in-Training, Dancer-in-Training…Potty Training
Desiree loves to wear her princess night gown on the treadmill because it makes her feel special. In broader terms, she triggers the Law of Attraction by suiting up. She encourages you to consider that as you “suit up” for work, workouts, current endeavor or aspiration. Walk as-if. Believe it to see it. Desiree also offers these holiday tips:
- Wear socks with traction. Floors can be slippery.
- If you don’t know how to operate a piece of equipment, ask someone you can trust… “Mama, help me!”
- Watch Disney movies and let the songs move you to dance and sing, and run around with butterfly wings!
- Drink low-carb chocolate milk. I promise you it tastes just like regular chocolate milk, and Mama and Dada smile approvingly even when I spill a little.
Focus on how you want to feel.” ~ Sarah, BodyPump, BodyFlow, The willPower Method, willPower Barre-Fusion, willPower Ignite
The holidays are prime time for self-reflection. I don’t buy many Christmas presents or wear ugly Christmas sweaters, but I do focus on how I want to feel:
- Warm…in all senses of the word. Despite the Irene Cara jabs, leg warmers are my winter wardrobe essential. When I’m on the couch reading or watching TV, there’s a fleece blanket around my legs or my husband’s arms wrapped around me. In the studio, there’s wild mushroom soup with crackers in my over-sized mug.
- Pampered…facial scheduled today, sushi whenever I can, silk pj’s and…silky feet?! My “skater” feet get notoriously dry and cracked, so, before I leave the house in the morning, I massage them in Happy Hippy Body Oil and put on a pair of fuzzy socks to seal in the moisture. Bonus: aromatherapy!
- Spiritual… I read and journal more, and I’m working on “January” in my 2017 Desire Map Planner.
- Festive… I put the string of Christmas lights inside my house so I can enjoy them. In the morning, we have the fireplace and lights on, my mug is apt to be full of hot chocolate (using Desiree’s low-carb chocolate milk), and I’m watching Disney holiday programming with my daughter. I figure, if it’s not snowing outside, at least it’s snowing on TV!
- Victorious…it’s the title of the bicep track on the BodyPump playlist this week, and it’s also one of the ways I want to feel in my fitness. With the holiday class schedule in effect, I have fewer classes to teach and more opportunities to take class. This gives me the chance to lift heavier and truly optimize my holiday physique….a topic for an upcoming blog…stay tuned!