How do we honour all our festive invites and enjoy all those yummy delights while keeping the Christmas kilos at bay? ZAK JOHARI is a Health and Fitness Elevation Coach at TGIF Studios (Thank Goodness I’m Fit), a former Hip Hop Dance Champion of Singapore and a personal trainer. He shares his tips on how to not feel like a stuffed stocking on Christmas Day!
We love our mince pies, and our mince pies love our waist line. What do we do?
Ha! Every relationship – including the one with mince pies – has to have balance. My advice is to “give and take”. Give me three repetitions of 10 push-ups, 10 squats, 10 lunges and some mountain climbers for every mince pie you have. Is that fair?
Hmm … OK, so we’ve received another Christmas drinks invitation; but we have been over-indulging. Shall we say our personal trainer suggests no?
I’ll ask you this; How can you say “Yes” without feeling guilty? If we go back to our give and take theory, would it work if you agree to a 45-minute to one-hour workout, walk, swim or any activity to get your heart rate up, before permitting yourself to attend the event?
Why not make an agreement with yourself that you will allow you the indulges you want, but only if you give your body some grace in terms of movement first? That sounds like a fair exchange to me, and your body will thank you for it later.
Couldn’t we just attend the Christmas parties and work out later?
You could, if you’re self-disciplined. But most of us like to relax and socialise over Christmas. One way to continue with festivities without the guilt is to adopt a “give first” attitude. If you can train your brain to make your workouts a non-negotiable “gift” to yourself, on the basis that you come first, and your self-care is your top priority, you can go and enjoy yourself without feelings of guilt or shame the next day. Festive guilt is no fun.
That sounds doable. So as a Personal Trainer, what’s your trick to keep your clients motivated with their workouts over Christmas?
My clients and I always have “fun” during sessions. Some sessions are playful, others are more intense, most are full of laughter. Sometimes my clients want to vent or share their frustrations. My job is to meet them where they’re at, and then work with their bodies and their mindsets to elevate them to the next level. There’s always another level.
Any parting workout advice?
I’ve put together a quick and simple personal training workout you can do before you get stuck into your mince pies and mulled wine. This will help you to keep the pounds off whilst letting your hair down.
The most important thing is to enjoy the festive period with your loved ones. The squats can wait till Boxing Day!
Personal trainer Zak’s “Christmas Quickie Workout”:
Each activity should take 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest. Continue for three repetitions per set (or more for our high achievers).
For personal training, group classes, dance workouts and virtual training contact Zak at 9021 7143 or email him.
For busy bees who prefer virtual workout sessions, take a look at Zak’s monthly 30-day Health Elevation Programme. Season 5 starts on 14 December and includes a community, juicing recipes, accountability check-ins and masterclasses with experts. You can register here.