There’s nothing like a few holiday buffets and travel plans to threaten clients’ progress towards their fitness goals. But what if we started using the most available and immediate tool we have to support and encourage better accountability through the holiday season?

The Power of Social Media


social media

Social media has become a staple – a must – in most aspects of our business and personal lives. Think about it: we can send birthday wishes, schedule meetings, shop, and tweet our cares away via the dozens of different social media apps. The other part – social media NEVER sleeps. So, how can we harness this technology in such a way that it works for us instead of us being worked by it? I challenge all of us to try a new approach to client accountability during this holiday season.

We probably all have clients with similar challenges that threaten to barricade their way to success. Frequent social gatherings with an abundance of drinks and calorie-laden treats, long hours in a car or on a plane traveling to visit family, holiday hours at the local gym, house guests, kids on holiday break from school, childcare centers closed, and the list continues. Before the holiday season hits, create a holiday hack plan to give to your clients so they stay on track (mostly) and come back to a new year ready to tackle their next fitness goal.

Social Media Platforms



Facebook allows for great flexibility in creating groups and events.

Some ways to use it:

  • Create a private group for your clients to encourage each other and share their daily workouts.
  • Hold a competition for most creative “on the road” workout routine and ask clients to post a summary of the exercises. Supply a prize when the winner returns from break.
  • Post daily motivational messages and “trainer wisdom” to send positive vibes to clients
  • Post “exercise of the day” challenges (make sure to include a variety of modifications for all skill levels)
  • Post a theme each day or every few days. For example, “Body Weight Bootcamp”, “Family Fitness”, or “Turkey & Stuffing Detox”. Possibilities are endless- make them fun, make them funny, make them functional.



This social media platform is great for quick pics of post-exercise selfies and healthy meal photo ops.

Some ways to use it:

  • Prior to parting ways for the holidays, provide your clients with a list of healthy “swoptions” (alternative ingredients) and challenge them to recipe remakes. Ask them to post their results and comment on others’.
  • Share pictures of you demonstrating new moves or creative ways to complete at-home workouts.
  • Trend a motivational hashtag related to fitness or healthy holidays.
  • Record a motivational video and post. Ask a question to your clients and get them engaged. For example, “what would you do if you only had 10 minutes to get active?” or “What motivated you today?”



Pinterest is where it’s at when it comes to searching for and cataloging healthy lifestyle ideas, tips, and tricks.

Some ways to use it:

  • Create a private group and share workout ideas, fun food ideas, and healthy holiday hacks.
  • Collect client testimonials or great client quotes and share to a dedicated board for your clients to read (remember to seek permission to share).
  • Collect reliable sources related to stress management. The holidays often result in stress and chaos, don’t forget this aspect when helping clients stay accountable.
  • Engage clients by asking them to share one tip or resource each day to the group.



If you don’t have this app, get it. It’s free and it’s used like a walkie-talkie (sort of). I use this app all the time to leave voice memos to friends and colleagues. It’s more personal than email and it allows you to personalize a message to each person using your own voice. Bonus, Voxer also allows you to share pictures and videos.

Some ways to use it:

  • Send quick motivational messages to clients. Personalize them based on the struggles you know each client will likely encounter.
  • Summarize the progress clients have made thus far and remind them to keep going.
  • Look for a quote or image that reminds you of each person and share it with them to help them recall their individual abilities to persevere.
  • Ask that clients “check-in” with you each day to report what they did for a workout and/or what they struggled with that day. Respond with encouragement and solid advice.


Holidays are a challenge for all of us – even the pros. So, use the technology you and your clients have to stay connected and motivated during the time you aren’t holding regular sessions. The ideas here are just that – ideas. Find what works for you and the types of clients you have. To truly leverage social media, use it as part of your daily practice and business efforts, not just during the “off” times. Here’s to keeping the holidays enjoyable and healthy!

[info type=”facebook”]If you’re an NFPT trainer, join the Facebook Community Group to share. If you’re not, come talk with NFPT here, we would like to meet you![/info]

Erin Nitschke

Dr. Erin Nitschke, NFPT-CPT, NSCA-CPT, ACE Health Coach, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Therapeutic Exercise Specialist, and Pn1 is a health and human performance college professor, fitness blogger, mother, and passionate fitness professional. She has over 15 years of experience in the fitness industry and college instruction. Erin believes in the power of a holistic approach to healthy living. She loves encouraging her clients and students to develop body harmony by teaching focused skill development and lifestyle balance. Erin is also the Director of Educational Partnerships & Programs for the NFPT. Erin is an editorial author for ACE, IDEA, The Sheridan Press, and the Casper Star Tribune. Visit her personal blog at