When fitness takes a happy holiday

Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:26am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - It's the season when yoga classes are canceled and gyms go on holiday schedules, so to avoid the fitness consequences of all those Christmas parties, experts suggest making a workout plan and sticking to it.

"I tell my clients to make sure they have a routine in their back pocket," said Colorado-based fitness instructor Stacey Lei Krauss, "something equipment-free that can be done in a small space, especially if you don't have easy access to a gym over the holidays."

Krauss, who created a fitness DVD called "Willpower and Grace," said those are qualities we're apt to abandon to family and friends during the holiday season.

"It's expected. It's family time; but giving back to yourself is just as important," she said. "Will power leads to self-confidence. Will power is self-control: the ability to manage yourself, regardless of what's happening around you. "

So when Krauss goes home for the holidays, she'll stick to her morning run and skip the big family breakfast.

"My mother will say, 'Oh, do you need to work out now?' I'll say, 'Yes,'" she explained. "We need to stay on track with what works for us."

Connecticut-based exercise instructor Ellen Barrett's yoga-based classes stress the mind-body connection.

During the holidays mental fatigue can weigh you down as surely as that extra cup of egg nog, she believes, but strengthening the spirit may be as simple as downing a glass of water.   Continued...