Holiday Body Balance: Tips to Keep You on Track this Season

Valley personal trainer and founder of Thrive Specialized TrainingRyan Read, shares his expert advice on enjoying the indulgences of the holidays while maintaining body and food balance. Plus, 4 quick at-home workouts to squeeze in anywhere during the busy holiday season, no equipment required!

As a personal trainer, I always encourage my clients to fully enjoy the holidays when it comes to food. After all, many of our favorite holiday traditions and activities revolve around delicious seasonal treats! Holiday dinners, pumpkin spice lattes, baking and decorating cookies. There’s no reason we can’t enjoy these activities while also maintaining our health and fitness. After all, the holidays are a time to savor and fully enjoy with friends and family. The key is very simple — balance!

Tip #1

My top tip for body balance during the holidays is to savor your indulgences! There are no taste buds in your stomach, so chew slowly and truly enjoy what you’re eating/drinking. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to register that you’re satisfied. Chewing slowly and taking a moment or two between bites will allow you to truly enjoy delicious holiday meals and treats over a longer period of time, but you will feel satisfied with less food. This is because you’re giving your brain time to catch up with your stomach!

Tip #2

My next tip for maintaining body balance during the holidays is to make time for movement! The holidays are the busiest time of the year, we all have gifts to buy, parties to attend and meals to prepare. It’s very easy to get distracted and fall of the wagon, which means the gym is often put on the back burner for a couple of months. If this is the case for you, I have a few at-home workouts you can incorporate into your daily routine this season to get your heart rate up every day. You can squeeze in these workout moves anywhere, anytime, without equipment!

  • Squats – these can be done with zero equipment and strictly body weight. A great booty-building exercise, you can also incorporate a jump at the top to help increase the heart rate and caloric burn. Thrive Tip: Make sure to stay in your heels for proper form.
  • Walking Lunges – I always have my clients start with these as a dynamic warm-up exercise. It gets the blood flowing and prepares the body to get ready to work! You can do them with or without weights! You could even hold a gallon of water in each hand or something you have around the house if you want more of a challenge. Thrive Tip: Keep an eye on your knees, they should not be extending over the feet so that the main focus is on the glute.
  • Planks – this is a great full-body exercise that many think only works the abdominals, but it actually works the entire body. You can do this with zero equipment starting at around 30 seconds and then work up to more time. I love incorporating planks into routines, especially for those with lower back issues, as it really helps to tighten and support the core. Thrive Tip: If you’re new to planking, you can start with your knees on the ground to build up strength before switching to feet on the ground.
  • Thrive Cardio Circuit – if you have a treadmill and about 20 minutes, you can do my Thrive Cardio Circuit. This HIIT circuit is perfect for a quick and effective cardio session, getting your heart rate up and ensuring you burn calories throughout the day. This is the exact same circuit so many of my Thrivers swear by and has helped many of them build endurance and slim down. Thrive Tip: To purchase my Thrive Cardio Circuit, please email

About Ryan Read 

Known for his cutting edge training techniques, viral female fitness community and local pop-up events, Ryan Read specializes in female physique training and empowers women throughout The Valley to not only crush their fitness goals, but to love and embrace their bodies in every stage of the process. With three Valley locations in Scottsdale, Chandler and Phoenix, Ryan has helped many women throughout Phoenix overcome various health and eating disorders by transforming their relationship with fitness, nutrition, and exercise. The Thrive team recently opened their first national location in San Diego in Sept. 2019. | IG: @ryanreadthrive | FB: @ryanreadthrive | Twitter: @ryanreadthrive

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