9 Holiday tips from our favorite fitness coaches

Christmas and New Year are just right around the corner. We all know what this means – parties, where it can be tempting to binge on food and drinks, are aplenty. So, it’s time to adjust our fitness strategies so we don’t veer away from staying fit without having to decline spending time with family […]

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Christmas and New Year are just right around the corner. We all know what this means – parties, where it can be tempting to binge on food and drinks, are aplenty. So, it’s time to adjust our fitness strategies so we don’t veer away from staying fit without having to decline spending time with family and friends.

If you want to stay on your fitness track or even improve a little more, check out the simple tips that our favorite fitness coaches have shared with us.

Here are their valuable insights.

9. Christmas before calories | Kenneth Salvino; RPM instructor (freelance)

My holiday tip is Christmas before calories. As we get older and mature, we should cherish and prioritize moments with our family, friends and loved ones. So, if the circumstance asks us to eat or drink with them, then do it. But of course, eat in moderation and drink responsibly.

Favorite workout: RPM and weightlifting

8. Stay active | Keiko Tsuji; Group fitness instructor (freelance)

Find ways to stay active during the season, even if it’s only a couple of hours per week. It doesn’t have to be hardcore training, the goal is to keep moving. It’s tempting to just set everything aside and say you’ll start next year fresh – ala “new year, new me” mode, but it is not fair to your body. Chances are you’ll struggle to get back to your fitness regime. Keep active and that way any extra weight you’ll lift next year won’t be (purely) bodyweight!

Favorite workout: BodyPump, BodyCombat, Elev8 SRT

7. Compromise | James Sandoval; Group fitness instructor (freelance)

Compromise. Partying and drinking are hard to avoid especially this holiday season. So, if you are going to a party, workout a couple of hours before, preferably weight training so that you will still burn the calories while your consuming food. Drink plenty of water the next day after a night of drinking to hydrate. Do light cardio if possible to sweat out the alcohol and promote better circulation. Trust me, you’ll feel tons better.

Favorite workout: Functional training and mobility

6. Find a balance between fitness and enjoyment | Bea Torre; Psychology professor (UP), Group fitness instructor (freelance)

Finding a balance between staying committed to your fitness goals and enjoying time (and yummy holiday food!) with your loved ones is challenging and can take a lot of energy–physical as well as mental. Minimize unnecessary stress (i.e. shop for presents online when possible; say no to invitations that you don’t really want to say yes to)–so that you have enough time and energy to workout and make sound decisions about food and drinking. If you know you’ll be going to a party on a particular day, do your best to work out on that same day. And if you do find yourself skipping a workout or two, or eating a little more than you planned–don’t beat yourself up or feel defeated! Roll with it, and get back on track the next day. 🙂

Favorite workout: BodyPump, Elev8 SRT, weightlifting, boxing

Find Bea here and here.

5. Remember the goal for the year | Rudyard Von de Leon; Site Leader (Western Union) and Group Exercise Instructor for Fitness First

Time management, dedication, and balance are crucial during this season. Going all out when celebrating with family and friends is easy to do, with all the parties and gatherings lined up. However, one must simply remember his/her goals for the year. I’ve always been a firm believer that as long as you follow your schedule, stick to your plan (whether it’s exercise or nutrition) and allow a handful of misses here and there.. then everything will be alright. It is a time to have fun after all – one must never feel guilty for indulging every once in a while. As long as you’re doing what you love (through the exercise of choice), it won’t feel like such a burden.

Favorite workout: BodyPump, Elev8 SRT, weightlifting, boxing

4. Follow an IF schedule and do resistance training | January Gabriel; Learning & Quality Manager (Sitel) and Yoga / Meditation Teacher (Freelance)

It could be extremely challenging to avoid non-nutritious food and beverages during the holiday season.  To mitigate, I suggest intermittent fasting; if possible, have your feasting window be 4-6 hours long (and the fasting window at 18-20 hours).  But if the feasting window needs to be stretched, make an effort to have your feasting window be no more than 8 hours long (with the fasting window at 16 hours).  Follow an intermittent fasting schedule for 3-4 weeks, from mid-December to mid-January, when all the holiday parties are taking place. For the days that you know, you will be attending a holiday party in which plenty of non-nutritious food will be served, schedule your feasting window to be during the hours of the party — again, make an effort to keep your feasting window at 4-6 hours, 8 hours maximum.  And after that party, have your fasting window be at least 16 hours long.  (Remember that during your fasting window, you should only be consuming water, black brewed coffee, and real tea like from a teabag — no sugar/sweetener nor milk/creamer.)

When it comes to your workout schedule, this could also be challenging to stick with due to all the holiday-related events and activities, and traffic is more terrible than usual.  I recommend that you exercise every other day (3-4 times per week) over the holiday weeks and that you keep your workout duration at 45-60 minutes, including the stretching/warm-up and cool-down pre- and post-workout.  However, go hard during your workout.  Meaning, avoid the typical cardio on the treadmill, elliptical, or rowing machine and instead do resistance training of some kind — weightlifting or HIIT or functional training with weights.

Favorite workout: Yoga, BodyBalance, and MMA training

3. Indulge and be merry | Viviene Chu; Group Fitness Instructor (Freelance)

Indulge and be merry (it is the holidays after all!), but don’t drop your fitness routine, keep those few hours a week to stay active. It’s often quite feasible to fit in a workout before going out or in the morning, so don’t give yourself that excuse. This will help you feel less guilty, and come January you will be in a good place to start your new year. The added bonus is that group workouts with friends can feel like a party/get-together at times!

Favorite workout: BodyCombat, BodyPump

2. Indulge but be smart about it | Ericka San Juan; Personal Trainer/Group Class Instructor (Kerry Sports Manila)

Don’t stress yourself out trying to be meticulous and rigid with your diet especially this holiday season. You don’t have to miss out on the fun and the gatherings with your friends and family just because you want to stay on the right track with your fitness regime. Here are a few ways to enjoy this season while still feeling less guilty:

1. Indulge but be smart about it. Try to choose/eat nutrient-dense food (vegetable, lean protein, complex carbs, etc) more than the calorie-dense food (sweets, pastries) so that you’ll feel full easily or choose a drink that has lesser calories (ex. Hard drinks over cocktails)

2. Plan ahead. Adjust the quantity of your food intake or omit some of your meals throughout the day so that you can allot more calories for your gathering. Ex: if you have a gathering in the evening, try to omit your breakfast or lessen your food intake during lunchtime

3. Socialize, chew your food and eat slowly. Switch your attention on talking to your family/friends more and savoring the food you are eating. In that way, you will lessen the calories and at the same time, you will feel fuller.

4. Stay active. Doing quick workouts or group classes at the gym will work but if the time doesn’t allow because of the festivities, find few simple ways to keep on moving: Ex: Instead of shopping online, try going out/ walking to buy your gifts. (you might as well complete your 10k steps for the day while shopping and going around the mall)

5. Still, be mindful of your goal. Yes, you can indulge from time to time but you don’t want to blow your hard work from the previous months by overeating and over-drinking alcohol on every single gathering. Stop when you’re satisfied and prioritize the moments and the company with your loved ones.

1. Follow simple steps so you don’t fall too far off track | Michael Montes; Director (Kerry Sports & Recreation)

It’s that time of year again where fitness can easily take a back seat to your Holiday plans. With travel, shopping, and food on the agenda, let’s not forget all that we’ve worked for all year. Follow these simple steps to make sure you don’t fall too far off track and easily bounce back in the New Year:

1. Make a plan
 – A goal without a plan is just a wish. Get it down on paper (or your phone’s calendar). Make sure that your fitness roadmap is always at your fingertips.

2. Ditch the 2-3 hour workouts
 – Since time is of the essence during the Holidays, join a HIIT or any group class where you are in and out of the gym within an hour.

3. Find a workout buddy
 – Always flying solo? A friend can always give you that extra push to stay focused on your goals and keep you in check with what you are eating.

4. Start small
 – No need to wait for January for your goals. Focus on what you can for December. Join a 5k run, try out something new like wall climbing, or start with a goal of completing a 2 day workout week. Small steps lead to big leaps.

5. Go the extra mile
 – Simply parking your car a little bit further from the mall or store can add those steps to your fitness tracker. Going up a floor or going down two? Use the stairs. Burn calories, not electricity.

6. Pick your top 5 favorite exercises 
-  List down your 5 favorite exercises and when you need a blast of movement, do all of them for 30 seconds each. It will be easier if they are bodyweight exercises, but you can use anything as long as they are your favorites.

Favorite workout: Bodybuilding


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