Summer has passed, fall has more than fully set in, winter is already on it’s way in and now the holidays are upon us. Tis the season! Right about now is when everyone is scheduling who they see at Thanksgiving versus Christmas, planning and fitting in festive parties and busting out their “eating pants.” (And yes, we’re all happily guilty of that last one.)
But what else does this season mean? This is the slowest time of the year for our industry in the way of club check-ins and we begin to experience the quiet before the storm. With New Year’s resolutions right around the corner, what are you going to do with this down time while you have it? How are you best preparing yourself to receive your new members coming in January?
As fitness professionals, instructors and leaders, we need to set the example of continuing to better ourselves as we teach to our members. What does your time around the holidays usually look like? Are your morning routines changing? Hitting snooze more than usual, cutting into time you would have spent exercising or preparing yourself mentally for the day? Less meal planning, cooking and more pizzas and eating out so we can comfortably sit in the warmth of our home?
If we lose focus on our own health routines and let our conditioning slide, how can we be available for our members who need us to help them fix just that? Here are three ways to enhance your own well-being in preparation for your busiest time of year.
1. Stay cognizant of your activity.
How is your fitness routine changed by the colder weather and approaching holidays? Now is the best time to focus on staying strong and keeping your conditioning at its peak level, and also being aware that smart rest is essential to long-term success.
Reassess what your 2015 goals were and pick them back up if you’ve gone off track. It’s not too late — set the example to not give up on your goals, no matter how late in the year and how far off track you may have gotten. This goes back again to being leaders and living what we preach to our members — stay on your training schedule. Inspire your members by showing them what really is possible to accomplish and maintain during the holidays.
2. Take care of yourself mentally.
Along with colder weather also comes being inside more and being outside less. Fewer are the days of taking a needed break to go out, soak up the sun and just have a few moments of solitude. So what kind of mindful activities are you doing to ward off the stress of your day and the pending holidays, that you can translate into the new year and beyond when memberships are increasing at a staggering rate?
Ensure that you’re taking time for you. Take a few extra moments in the shower, stay on schedule, getting up on time so you can keep those extra minutes for yourself to keep yourself centered. In addition, carve out time to meet a friend for coffee or a nice weekend brunch. Studies show that spending time with friends can increase your lifespan by a decade. That’s incredible — make time for them for a happier and healthier you. This is old news, but important to remember nonetheless.
3. The 80/20 rule of food intake.
Food is one of the biggest things that brings people together, and it also tends to be one of the biggest sirens calling you off track. So what are we going to do to combat that during the season of food? You already know that food can be our biggest ally, but you also know how absolutely delicious pies are and all the spreads we partake in this time of year. Remember (and enact) the 80/20 rule.
You know about clean eating, finding better recipes for what you like, and you’ve taught it a hundred times. So stick to that for 80 percent of your meals, and give yourself a break 20 percent of the time. Translation: You can eat according to plan during the week, and allow yourself off-plan meals on the weekends. (However, this is not an excuse to binge — keep everything in moderation!)
It sounds simple and it is. Following this will help you stay on track without denying you the pleasures we all look forward to this time of year, all while keeping our bodies strong and continuing to inspire our members who look to us for guidance in this area.
Capitalize on this downtime before the rush to take care of yourself, so you can in turn take care of your staff and members — new and existing. Your colleagues will be happy and your members will pick up on the positive energy at your facility.
Lindsey Rainwater is an experienced consultant and coach to the fitness and wellness industry. She specializes in business development and leadership. Currently she is working with the Fitmarc Team helping health club owners all over the south central region of the U.S. propel their business forward via group exercise solutions. For more information about Lindsey, follow her @lindseyrainh2o.