Welcome to the 2018 holiday season!  This is a time to enjoy with friends and family.  This is a time for family get togethers, office work parties and reminiscing with old friends as they come back in town. This is a time for Christmas cookies, Gingerbread Men, Candy Canes, Cheesecake, Hot Chocolate and Eggnog! Unfortunately, all the festivities also presents an annual challenge for our health and fitness goals.  

Don’t stress about that!  Life is about balance and enjoying time with friends and family is great for the soul.  However, it is also important to not fall off the wagon, completely abandon healthy eating habits and lose sight of your fitness goals.  Below find three tips to stay on track for your fitness goals while also enjoying the holiday season.

  1. Stay Consistent, Maintain A Routine but Shorten Your Workout Time

The holidays are a busy time with people’s schedules changing during this time.   When our schedules fluctuate, you lose your routine and scheduling your workout becomes more difficult.  If you have time off from work, I recommend getting your workout done first thing in the morning.  It is inevitable that things will pop up on your schedule throughout the day and if you plan to workout later in the day, the odds are that something will come up that could result in you canceling your workout plans.  In order to get your workout done, I recommend shortening your workout duration.  You don’t need to spend 60 or 90-minutes to complete your workout, especially during the holiday season. A 30-minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout or a simple jog can be a great time saver workout and a way to keep your fitness level up throughout the holiday season.

2.  Workout with a trainer or workout partner

A workout partner or personal trainer can serve not only as a person that motivates you to reach your goals, but also as someone that helps hold you accountable.  If you enjoy training with a workout partner or with your personal trainer, they become someone that you do not want to letdown.  You know that if you cancel a workout, then you’re potentially letting them down.  If you workout with a partner and miss the workout, that could potentially hurt them in reaching their fitness goals. So by working out with a partner or personal trainer, this will help you stay consistent with your training throughout the holiday season.

3.  Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

The benefits of hydration are endless.  Research has shown that staying hydrated and drinking water throughout the day can help with weight loss, help with digestion, improve mood levels, help you think clearer,prevent headaches, keep your kidneys working properly and protect your joints.  More and more people understand the benefits of drinking at least one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight (i.e. if you weigh 150 pounds you should drink at least 75 ounces of water throughout the day).  

When we have a set schedule, it can be easier to get in a routine of drinking water throughout the day.  However, with our schedules thrown off and things being more chaotic during the holidays, it can be difficult to consume as much water throughout the day.  One tip to reach your hydration goals daily is to drink a 16-ounce bottle or two cups of water as soon as you wake up in the morning. The body slowly becomes dehydrated over night because you have not had anything to drink for eight hours. So drinking a bottle of water immediately when you wake up will not only help with dehydration but it will also speed up your metabolism, help flush out toxins and get your brain energized to start your day!

Remember the most important thing about the holidays is that it is a time to spend with friends and family and reflect on all you are thankful for (one being healthy body and mind).  Don’t let the holidays become a time when you stress about your workouts and fitness goals and don’t let it become a time where you lose all your healthy habits.  Follow the simple above tips to stay on track for your health goals while also enjoying a stress free holiday season!

With Basketball season in full swing, check out these two mobility exercises to keep you performing at your best!

Hip Mobility for Athletes

Micah Kurtz, MS, CSCS*D,RSCC*D, USAW, FMS, USAW, NASE-CSS is Director of Sports Performance at Windermere Preparatory School.  In addition, Coach Kurtz serves as the Strength and Conditioning Consultant Coach to the 9-time high school basketball national champions Oak Hill Academy, and also consults on projects regarding youth athletic development education for the NFL, USA Basketball, USA Football and Nike Football. 

Coach Kurtz has won many awards in his field including: 2016 NSCA National Strength Coach of the Year, 2018 National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s Top 40 under 40 Sports Professional; Twice named the South Carolina State Strength Coach of the Year in 2013 and 2014. 

Before joining Windermere, he was the Director of Strength and Conditioning at AC Flora high school (Forest Acres, South Carolina) where over the last six years his teams won 14 team state championships and was twice named the best athletic program in the state.

Coach Kurtz is a National Board Certified Teacher, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with Distinction (CSCS*D), Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach with Distinction (RSCC*D), USA Weight Lifting Sport’s Performance Coach (USAW), Functional Movement Screen Specialist (FMS) and a Certified Speed Specialist (NASE-CSS).

He is active on social media and you can connect with him on Twitter and Instagram @KurtzM3 and visit his website

Bryan Meagher is currently the Associate Head Coach of the 2016 Dick’s High School National Basketball Championship team Oak Hill Academy.  During his coaching career he has coached numerous NBA players that have included Kevin Durant, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith and Ben McLemore.  In Coach Meagher’s tenure, he has been a part of five high school basketball National Championships.  You can follow him on Instagram for workout tips @Bmeagher22.

Coach Hallett is entering his 21st season as the head coach at A.C. Flora High School. Over the past 20 seasons his Falcons have compiled a 441-170 record for a 722 winning percentage. During his tenure at Flora his Falcons have won:

14 Region Championships
13 District Championships 
4 AAA Lower State Championships 
4 AAA Upper State Championships 
6 AAA State Championships 

 Luke Kurtz is the Vice President of Legal Affairs for US Sugar and passionate about helping students maximize their full athletic, academic and professional potential. He played free safety and was named captain of the State University of New York- Albany football team where he won two conference titles and earned the nickname “DB9” for being a team player and aggressive hitter. He played and coached professional football for the Corinthians football club in São Paulo, Brazil. He is an active writer and has delivered speeches and presentations throughout the United States, Brazil, China and Hong Kong.