Four Esses

 

It’s that time of year that fitness professionals need to think about The Four Esses.

I can hear you now: “What the heck are The Four Esses?”

Social Season

Sleep

Sunlessness

 

In the last EQUIP blog post, I wrote about the affects of the Social Season on your clients’ attendance.  Poor attendance will affect their progress towards their goals, and it could also affect your bottom line.  Both of these outcomes are undesirable, so I gave you some tips to remind your clients why it’s beneficial to stay the fitness course even during the busy Social Season.

Another point worth mentioning regarding holidays and parties is that encouraging your clients to keep a food and drink log can help them avoid that sneaky five pound gain that so many people experience between late November and the end of the year.  While nutritional counseling is outside the scope of practice of many fitness professionals, keeping a basic food and drink log should be a regular part of your clients’ healthy habits.  It’s a tool that can be used for planning splurge meals and keeping one’s self accountable during a season of temptation.

One of the side-effects of too many parties and a packed social calendar during the social season is lack of sleep.  Quality sleep is an important component of any wellness program, as the body needs rest to recharge both mentally and physically.  However, it’s not a great idea to sleep in rather than get up and get that morning workout done.  According to this New York Times column,  sleep and exercise feed off of each other.  While it’s okay (even beneficial) to change up your workout to be shorter and more intense if you want to catch an extra 30 minutes of sleep one night, skipping the workout altogether is a bad choice.  Remind your clients to be mindful of continuing to get good sleep and calendaring their workouts so nothing falls to the wayside, even on super sleepy days.

If your clients are too keyed up from partying to sleep well, this may be a good time to introduce them to the benefits of yoga.  If you aren’t qualified to instruct them yourselves, there is certainly a yogi in your area who would gratefully accept your referral.  Yoga can be an excellent way to wind down, especially for people who are drawn to movement rather than stillness.

Finally, as we move toward the winter solstice, sunlessness can affect your clients in profound ways.  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a well-documented condition, and many clients who may not present as being affected by depression may very well suffer during the winter months.  SAD is especially prevalent in northern locales, where the lack of daylight is more profound.  It is appropriate to acknowledge your client’s condition if s/he raises the issue with you, and remind them how important regular exercise is to combating the negative effects of SAD.

Also, if your clients like to exercise outdoors– particularly walking, running, or cycling– this is the time of year to give a friendly reminder about wearing reflective clothing and/or safety lights.  It’s better to risk sounding like a hounding mother than to have one of your clients injured due to a preventable accident.

These last weeks of the year are a busy time, but keeping fitness a priority– both for you and your clients– is worthwhile.

How can I EQUIP you for success?

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