As we approach the Holiday season, people are consumed by family gatherings, company parties, and festive attitudes. Do we just ride it out on a sleigh of good wishes and say, “I’ll work on my fitness and nutrition come January 1?” How do we, as fitness professionals, instill continued motivation in our clients and class members?
We have to keep in mind, most of our clients are not intrinsically motivated; they don’t, by nature, love to run, workout, or keep to a clean eating plan; and they expect rewards. While rewards might feel good, they should actually be the glow of great health because we’ve chosen fitness. Rewards shouldn’t be, “I can eat that pie or have eggnog.”
Keeping ourselves, as fitness professionals motivated, instills motivation within our clients. Of course we can have a bit of holiday cheer. But we need to set reasonable and healthy limits and teach our clients how to set those balanced limits, too.
I think it is also valuable to remind them gently of their accomplishments. They have worked hard in both fitness and nutrition so they shouldn’t jeopardize their efforts by taking the one day holiday and stretching it out into a week extravaganza!
Here are my TOP 5 TIPS to encourage clients to stay on track this holiday season:
Stick to a schedule! Keep workouts on a calendar like a meeting. We wouldn’t miss a meeting. Fit a walk in at lunch, get up early and workout before work, also many places of work allow time for fitness, but you may need to ask!
Find a workout buddy - this is major! Workout buddies keep us accountable because we don't want to disappoint friends.
Try something new alone or with a workout buddy. Take a Pilates class, yoga, or bootcamp. This alone is so motivating and your clients may find a great class that suits them.
Gently remind clients how great it feels when they stay on track and how bad they feel when they over-eat, put off exercise, or neglect themselves. Encourage them to take care of their body!
Praise them for being committed especially when holiday temptations arise. Send email reminders, or encourage them to text me if they need me a little extra motivation.
Above all, I always remind my clients that they are human and need to enjoy life and not to berate themselves if they have a bad day. Tomorrow will come and we begin again. Let's find the mistletoe...
GETTING TO KNOW SHARI
Fitness has been an integral part of my life since I was a teen. I was an overweight child which escalated in later years. After weight loss, I realized I needed to exercise and became determined to be healthier. In 2002, after a serious health issue, I decided to take a Pilates class. I loved it! My instructor pushed me to become certified. The same year I added personal training. I found a great love. I teach Pilates in two studios, personal/group train 3 mornings a week. I am also a licensed cosmetologist. I own my own salon and work in another a few days a week. I also have a past Zumba certification and taught that for 8 years. I am married with two children, 2 grandchildren, with another on the way. I have a Saint Bernard, Lucie, who we adore. I am currently studying to obtain my Fitness Nutrition Coach certification. Though the biggest news - I am training for my first half ironman July 2017. My life revolves around fitness and it has kept me healthy. It was the best decision of my life to become certified!