Baked goods, cocktails, creamy appetizers and chocolates are coming to a party near you…

The holidays are approaching, whether you like it or not.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years Eve…  Regardless of religion, temptations are inevitable.  Help yourself and your clients to stay on track this holiday by proposing a friendly challenge.

It’s unrealistic to expect perfection through the many feasts and celebrations, but you can lessen the weight gain and laziness by bringing people’s attention to the obvious.

Fitness Assessments = Accountability

Set a baseline (with measurements) now and be ready to make comparisons during the next few months, with the finish line (final measurement) in January.

Most people want to maintain their waistlines, weight and strength through the holidays but need reminders and guidance.  Knowing what their numbers are now can be just what people need to get inspired to stay on track.  It takes 5-10 minutes to record measurements with each client.  Record them every 2-3 weeks through the holiday season.

The Tools To Use

#1 Measuring Tape.  Record the inches around the waist (smallest part of torso), around the belly button and around the hips (largest part of buttocks).  Make sure the tape measure is straight all the way around, it tends to get caught on the side you aren’t looking at.

#2 Skinfold Calipers.  If you have access to these, measure the tricep, supra ilium and thigh for women and the chest, abdomen and thigh for men.  You can do seven sites if you have time and experience with them.  Click Here for more details on that.  Plastic calipers are fairly inexpensive these days and well worth the investment.

#3 The Scale.  It’s not the best measure for the accuracy of fat, but it can be a subtle reminder each day to make good choices.  Weigh your clients each week when they come in for their session or have them do so at home.

#4 Strength.  Push-ups, Curl-ups, Plank Holds, Wall Sits, Squats.  There are many methods to measure strength.  You can count how many repetitions per minute or count how many seconds of holding a position.  Show your clients where they are now and encourage them to maintain that through the holidays.  Compare the client to themselves instead of the norms.

Christmas Cookie#5 Food Journal.  Use an app or old-fashioned notebook, but write it down.  When it’s written down it becomes real.  You have to face it.  Clients can report to you each week, others can hang it on their fridge for their family to see.  You can offer an extra service through the holidays to have your clients email you their journal or call you once a week to review it outside their normal session.  Maybe they have friends who would want this service from you also!

Health Coaching
Having a discussion with each client about the upcoming holidays is a good way to heighten awareness.  Spend extra time asking them about their unique situation.  Don’t make assumptions about what’s a struggle for them.  It’ll build rapport and help them be more conscious of their choices.

You can also offer health coaching sessions to your community, to bring in new business.  Not everyone needs a trainer to exercise alongside them, some people just need a coach to check in with them. Health Coaching is a growing trend.  Health Coaches help people set goals, find exercise routine variety and make better choices for their individual needs.

Questions to Ask
Do you have any concerns about staying healthy this holiday?
What is the most challenging aspect of staying fit during the holidays for you?
What strategies do you use to stay on track?
Is there anything I can do to support you during the holiday temptations?
Are you interested in taking measurements every few weeks through the season?
Have you ever kept a food journal?  Was it helpful?

[info type=”facebook”]How do you keep clients accountable through the holidays? Come chat with other NFPT trainers on the Community Page. If you’re not NFPT Certified, come chat with NFPT here – we’d love to meet you![/info]

Beverly Hosford

Beverly Hosford, MA teaches anatomy and body awareness using a skeleton named Andy, balloons, play-doh, ribbons, guided visualizations, and corrective exercises. She is an instructor, author, and a business coach for fitness professionals. Learn how to help your clients sleep better with in Bev’s NFPT Sleep Coach Program and dive deeper into anatomy in her NFPT Fundamentals of Anatomy Course.