How to Coach Fitness Clients Through the Holidays

The holiday season is a time for joy, family, and friends. But it can also be a time for stress and worry for our clients as they wonder how to navigate the challenges associated with an abundance of food, travel, and entertaining. As a fitness professional, it’s important to be able to coach your clients through this tricky time of year and stay on track with their fitness and wellness goals.

As you work with clients this season, consider how you will shape the support landscape to effectively guide your clients in a way that allows them to balance joy with practices that sustain their already developed health habits. 

Here are a few tips:

1. Be realistic.

Don’t expect your clients to stick to their usual workout routines during the holidays. It’s simply not realistic. Instead, focus on helping them make small, sustainable changes that they can stick with. For example, suggest that they do a few bodyweight exercises at home instead of going to the gym, or that they take a walk after a big meal.

2. Be flexible.

Be willing to adjust your clients’ workout plans as needed. If they’re traveling, for example, you may need to give them a workout that they can do in their hotel room. Or, if they’re feeling stressed, you may need to suggest some stress-relieving exercises, such as yoga or meditation.

3. Be supportive.

Let your clients know that you’re there for them. Encourage them to reach out to you if they’re struggling. And most importantly, don’t shame them if they slip up. Instead, help them get back on track and remind them of their goals.

4. Offer healthy alternatives.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the holidays without overindulging. Offer your clients some healthy recipes for holiday treats, or suggest some fun activities that don’t involve food, such as going for a hike or playing games with friends and family.

5. Focus on the big picture.

The holidays are just a few weeks out of the year. Don’t let them derail your clients’ progress. Remind them of how far they’ve come and encourage them to keep their eyes on the prize.

In addition to these tips, here are a few other things you can do to help your clients stay on track:

  • Send them regular emails or text messages with tips and motivation (this can also be automated by using software such as Trainerize or My PT Hub.
  • Host a holiday challenge or contest.
  • Offer virtual workouts that clients can do at home.
  • Create a community of support for your clients.

By following these tips, you can help your fitness clients navigate the holiday season and stay on track with their goals.

Here are some additional tips that you may find helpful:

  • Encourage your clients to track their food intake and exercise habits. This can help them stay accountable and make sure they’re making progress. You check out our Nutrition CEC course if you’d like more ideas on how to provide your clients nutrition advice while staying within scope.
  • Help your clients set realistic expectations for the holidays. Don’t expect them to lose weight or gain muscle during this time. Instead, focus on helping them maintain their current fitness level.
  • Remind your clients that it’s okay to indulge a little bit during the holidays. After all, it’s a time to celebrate and enjoy time with loved ones. Just encourage them to do so in moderation.

I hope these tips help you coach your fitness clients through the holidays. Remember, the most important thing is to be supportive and understanding. With a little help, your clients can make healthy choices and stay on track with their fitness goals throughout the holiday season.

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