Fitness In Between The Feasts

Sherri Todd Christmas 2017We all just enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Feast and in one month, we’ll be back at it during the Christmas and New Year’s dinner, get-togethers and parties. It’s easy to see why Americans gain so much weight during this time of year. The holidays can be a stressful time trying to keep up with the endless responsibilities from getting your holiday cards out, baking, cooking for friends and family, decorating the house inside and out, shopping for the perfect gifts for your loved ones and attending every social party and get-together! It’s no wonder workouts tend to get pushed to the back burner. Add in all the temptations and indulgences and the weight easily creeps up.

Here’s a list of action steps to keep your health and fitness a priority and help avoid the typical holiday weight gain.

Focus on what you need to eat versus what you can’t eat

Instead of saying you aren’t going to indulge in any holiday treats and drinks, instead focusing on Drinking 100 ounces of water every day, consuming 10 different types of vegetables and fruit each day etc. If you focus first on consuming what you need to be healthy, you can still have the treats but you’ll be less likely to over-indulge.

Go short and hard

It can be hard to find the time to get in your full workout, but if you tell yourself you’re only going to do 20 minutes, it will be a lot easier to stick with it. So opt for a quick 15-30 minute express workout to keep your energy levels up and you won’t feel like you’ve got to start all over in the New Year.

Sign up for some type of holiday challenge

There is nothing like a tangible goal to keep you on track. There are plenty of holiday challenges circulating on the internet such as a Holiday running or workout streak where you challenge yourself to workout or run every day over the whole month. Or perhaps challenge yourself to sign up for a new activity or class you’ve never done before every week over the holidays so you’ve got something fun to look forward to. Maybe you always do spinning classes, so you decide to sign up to try a Bootcamp, Rowing or Muscle Strength class. Maybe you’re ready to try the Barre class that everyone has been raving about. Or maybe it’s a great opportunity to register your family for a rock-climbing course. Perhaps you and your partner would enjoy signing up for a dance class.

Families that Sweat Together, Stay Together

It’s easy to use “Family is in town” as an excuse to skip workouts but instead, include them. Many gyms and training studios will allow you to bring in a friend for free – especially during the holidays. It can be a ton of fun and you’ll be more likely to stay on track!


Plan active outings with your friends and family. It can be as easy as going for a walk or hike, or maybe plan a snowshoe trek or Ski outing. The fresh air will be good for all of you and will be a great opportunity to try something new and adventurous.

Just Move

The reality is that you probably won’t have the time to exercise as much as usual so instead focus on incorporating more ‘non-exercise’ movement. For example, go for a walk with your family and friends, in the mall take the stairs instead of the escalators, and park at the back of the lot.  The little bits of extra activity will help you feel better and make up for the fact that you’re not adhering to your normal routine.

Yes, you can have Desert at the Parties

But…before desert is served, insist everyone go for a beautiful walk around the neighborhood.  Or plan some fun activities while you allow your body to process the meal.  For example, plan a fun game of charades, perhaps a quick game of basketball, frisbee, or flag football.  Bottom line, desert is okay but you’ve got to earn it. Move your body and you’ll feel a lot better!


If you’re tired, stress appears worse than it is and you just won’t have the energy to do what you need to do. Additionally, a lack of sleep has been associated with weight gain so be sure to clock your 7-8 hours every night.

Enjoy a Happy…AND Healthy…Holiday!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio  to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.


Couve Run 2017


Join us for the COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES on March 24th, 2019 in downtown Vancouver, WA.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with us at the 5th Annual Couve Clover Run. Wear your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party, but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.



Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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