The holiday season happens every year, bringing an annual challenge to our nutrition and fitness routines. Between travel, busy schedules, festivities, and a celebratory spirit, it’s no wonder many of us struggle to stay on track, vowing to get back on a healthy plan after the first of the year.
There doesn’t have to be a need, however, to forgo holiday enjoyment in favor of health habits or toss them to the side until the calendar changes to January. How? Enter the Holiday Hustle program.
Led by Coach Lo, the 30-day Holiday Hustle (complimentary for Life Time members) is the newest addition to Life Time’s suite of digital weight loss and training programs. It’s designed to be a low-stress approach to helping you navigate this time of year and have fun while staying active. Plus, it provides healthy versions of many of this season’s favorite recipes, along with practical tips and tricks to handle holiday stress and travel with ease.
Who is Coach Lo?
Lindsay Ogden, or “Coach Lo,” is one of Life Time’s feature coaches for several digital program offerings, including the 10-day Sugar Fix, six-week Fit + Focused Program, and the 30-day Holiday Hustle. She’s a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, and manager for content and coaching at Life Time.
(You can get to know Coach Lo better in this piece about her signature Fit + Focused program.)
Why do the Holiday Hustle program?
It’s tempting to put health on the back burner during the holiday season and restart fitness and nutrition commitments with a New Year’s resolution.
However, Coach Lo and our team of weight-management experts at Life Time have successfully guided thousands of clients through the holidays to stay or get fit — without sacrificing the celebrations and joy of the season. Fitness and fun do not need to be mutually exclusive.
This month-long approach is packaged up to provide you with the exact strategies that clients have implemented to enjoy the season — and set you up to come out of it on January 1st ready to take on the New Year without feeling behind with your health and wellness.
What’s included with the Holiday Hustle program?
Delivered through the Life Time Training App, the Holiday Hustle program offers a flexible, but effective, pick-and-choose approach to exercise and nutrition throughout the holidays.
Coach Lo designed themed workouts to do using a variety of movements to keep your routine fun and fresh. They mix in different equipment, including dumbbells, resistance bands, mini bands (sometimes called glute bands), and a slam ball.
The season-inspired workout themes to pick from include:
- “It’s that Time of Year:” Get sweating with timed sets and rounds. You’ll be provided with blocks of recommended movements with short breaks in between.
- “Traditions and Tabata:” You’ll get tasked with 20 seconds of work paired with 10 seconds of rest with various movements to increase your heart rate and give you a great challenge.
- “’Tis the Season for Supersets:” This will give you blocks of two movements, perfectly paired together to do without rest in between.
- “Let’s Celebrate with Core and Cardio:” The name for this theme speaks for itself. Get ready for a creative way to get in your cardio and feel your abdominals working.
- “Party Time Pyramids:” These workouts reduce the repetitions with each movement set, then build them back up to provide you with a satisfying exercise to-do list to complete for the day.
- “Holiday Hustle with Your Coach:” Join Coach Lo in a guided video format to bring up the energy and keep you motivated.
- “Home Sweet Home:” This theme is your exercise home base to help you relax and recover. It focuses on dynamic stretching, core, and upper-body movements for the perfect weekly reset.
Each day you’re ready to sweat, you can select one of the themed workouts based on what you’re ready for that day. There are 30 workouts available in total, each falling into one of the seven themes listed above.
Nutrition for the Season
Since the holidays do not usually sync well with the high amount of structure and rigidity of a meal plan, the program provides a more flexible approach that still keeps you on track.
You’ll receive guidance on healthy baking swaps and what to prioritize eating to feel your best. The program also comes with 30 delicious and festive recipes to choose from. Some of our favorites include a flavor-packed harvest chicken salad and a savory healthy green bean casserole with shallots. There are also some impressive sweet treats to make and enjoy: think whole-food pecan bars and Coach Lo’s favorite gingersnap shake.
You’ll be able to celebrate and enjoy the season without sacrificing your health or nutrition approach.
There’s no doubt that this time of year can throw some curveballs — including everything from out-of-whack travel routines and seasonal parties with more sugar and alcohol than usual to unwelcome nutrition advice from relatives during holiday meals.
Coach Lo offers expert tips to help you realistically navigate each of these potential pitfalls to help you feel your best. You’ll learn the best ways to manage stress specific to this season, plus get insider tips on what snacks to pack when you’re traveling and exactly what to say when you encounter a naysayer at your next family get-together.
Support of Real Nutrition Coaches and Trainers
The program is delivered digitally through the Life Time Training app, and you’ll receive messages to help you stay motivated and on track.
Most people are pleasantly surprised to learn that they can engage in the app messaging feature and chat with Life Time’s credentialed weight loss and training experts for support — including nutrition coaches, trainers, dietitians, and Coach Lo herself.
If I’m interested in the Holiday Hustle program, how can I get started?
Open the Life Time Digital app and click “Weight Loss and Training.” Select “Explore Programs” and you’ll be able to choose the Holiday Hustle program to enroll in. You can also visit this page on the web.
How Coach Lo Navigates the Holidays
1. What’s the most challenging aspect of this season for you personally when it comes to health and fitness?
When it starts to get colder and sunshine is rare, all I want to do is sleep in rather than waking up early to work out or cozy up next to the fireplace instead of preparing healthy meals. The challenge is to not give into those wants or blame it on not being motivated. The majority of the time, I’m not motivated. But I have established habits and try to keep promises to myself that align with my health goals. I can either have short-term pain for long-term pleasure or short-term pleasure for long-term pain. I want my future self to thank me.
2. What’s your best tip for navigating holiday parties?
Holiday gatherings can quickly turn from enjoyable conversations to overindulging on sweets, drinks, and the like. Filling up on the good stuff first is key for me. This may look like eating before going to an event, bringing a healthy dish to share, or filling my plate with mostly protein or veggies. This ensures I’m getting nutritious foods in first before reaching for my favorite seasonal treats. I’m also less likely to overeat them if I’m already full.
3. What are your top three non-negotiables to maintain your health year-round?
Prioritizing sleep: Regardless of the time of year, sticking to a sleep schedule is important to me. Of all the healthy habits, getting quality sleep affects me the most. If I don’t get enough, I don’t have the energy to go about my day and I definitely don’t recover as well between workouts — or family gatherings.
Daily movement: Typically, getting workouts in is easier for me than getting 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. I have to make it a priority by breaking up my day to ensure I’m not being too sedentary outside of my workout time. Steps as a cool down post-workout, mini work walks after lunch, and afternoon dog walks help me get those steps in. And over the holidays, I enjoy getting fresh air and movement after the big family meals.
Meal planning and prepping: I find people over-index how much exercise matter sand under-index how much nutrition matters when it comes to their health. But when you break it down, workouts are maybe one hour of your day, while eating effects multiple hours a day. Planning ahead (whether you’re eating at home or out) and prepping when possible is a game changer in overall health and achieving fitness goals.
4. How do you stay consistent with workouts when you travel?
I always check out the area ahead of time to get an understanding of what will be available to me. Will there be a Life Time nearby? If not, is there a local rec center or gym I can use? Or is it that I will be working out in Grandma’s basement? Based on the equipment I’ll have available, I program ahead of time so I’m not showing up spending half the workout figuring out what the heck to do. I also try to recruit friends or family to join in with me!
If you’re not sure where to start with your travel routine, I highly recommend checking out one of our Life Time weight loss and training programs in the Life Time Digital app. Our team did a great job creating workouts that can easily be done at (or away from) home or with minimal equipment.
5. What’s the one holiday indulgence you enjoy as-is — no healthy spin needed?
Grandma’s sugar cookies, hands down! It’s a tradition every year after we eat to get out all the frosting and decorations to set up our sugar cookie assembly line. She makes the cookies from scratch (yes, with lard!) as well as the frosting. It’s fun to put on the Christmas tunes, take time to decorate them with family, and enjoy a few before winding down with a holiday movie.