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Healthy Holiday Tips from the ACC Fitness Center

Yoga mats rolled up in front of person practicing yoga.

Holidays can bring a lot of joy and love, but also stress and disruption to your healthy routines. We asked our ACC Fitness Center team for some tips to keep up or begin healthy routines during the holidays. They provided us with some great ideas and resources to help you stay healthy during the holidays.


Live with an intention and a purpose to feel and be the healthiest you can be. Don’t wait for ANYTHING – start now, start today, start big or small … just start!

  • Be intentional. Start with a plan. Adopt one, write it down and stick to it, remind yourself of your plan daily.
  • Measure your progress and success.
  • Be realistic with your goals. Don’t go extreme one way or the other.
  • Remain in a positive mindset. When problems arise – immediately seek solutions.

Important reminders for you during this time and anytime!

  • Any movement is good movement. Walking your neighborhood, walking the dog, playing sports, mall walking, yard work, exercise.
  • Hydration! You must drink enough water (especially here in Colorado). We should be consuming on average at least ½ our body weight in ounces per day. On workout days, it should be even more.
  • Quality sleep. It is easy to get out of sleep habits and routine while on break. Make quality sleep a priority during the holidays. Stay within 1 hour of normal bed time and wake time. (remember – no extremes either way)
  • Do not eat or drink alcohol within 3-4 hours of going to sleep. You body needs to focus on recovery while sleeping, not food digestion or toxin expulsion.   
  • Limit alcohol consumption. You can still enjoy your favorite holiday beverages without over consuming. Alcohol will also disrupt your sleep pattern and dehydrate you.  
  • Check yourself on sugar consumption. Everyone wants to blame salt, but sugar is the evil culprit! Be conscious and aware of how much sugar you’re taking in.
  • Pay attention to food labels. Stay away from artificial ingredients, sweeteners and partially hydrogenated oils.
  • Control your food portions and don’t over eat. Pace yourself.
  • Avoid ‘Blue light’ and electronics 1 hour before bed and 1 hour after waking.
  • Have a good / positive book to read from before going to sleep.
  • Journal your positive affirmations before bed or after waking in the morning.
  • Try meditation and breathing exercises when waking in the morning.

Studio SWEAT onDemand

FREE for ACC students and employees…

This FREE program offered by The Fitness Center at ACC and has every kind of workout from free weights, to body weight, Yoga, and Pilates. From beginner to advanced, it offers workouts from 10 minutes on up. 

Create your own at home routine

Tips for Holiday eating from Living Healthy Chicago

Office / Desk Exercises

Making time for exercise can be tricky this time of year. Make time during your workday with these office / desk exercises. 

Warm up

  • Seated in chair - Neck stretch – Drop head to one side and extend opposite arm straight out. Hold 15 seconds on each side, repeat 3x sets
  • Shoulder rotations – Hands touch shoulders making a “v” shape with arms. Rotate arms forward 15x reps and reverse 15x reps repeat 3x sets
  • Straight arm shoulder rotations – arms extended straight out roll arms forward 15x reps and reverse 15x reps. Repeat x3 sets
  • Seated heel toe tap – seated extend one leg at a time and tap heel, then toes. Repeat for 1-3 mins on each side x1 set

Chair Moves

  • Back rows – Extend arms in front of face with thumbs up. Pull arms / elbows back, squeezing shoulder blades together. 15x – 20x reps for 3x sets
  • Shoulder raise to press – Lift shoulders up laterally bend elbows press overhead. 15x – 20x reps for 3x sets
  • Bent leg lift hold – Knees bent at 90° lift one leg at a time and hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 3x on each side
  • Bent leg lift hold with leg extension – knees bent at 90° lift one leg at a time and hold and extend leg straight out for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 3x on each side
  • Arm hold with tummy twist – Arms stacked in front with bent elbows, twisting at hips engaging the core muscles. Hold twist for 2 second count and twist to opposite side. 15x – 20x reps x3 sets
  • Seated crunch – Hands behind head. Raise left knee while lowering right elbow. Alternating sides 20x reps (10x each side) x3 sets
  • Seated 2 leg lift – Sit forward in chair with hands at sides. Lift both legs at same time and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10-15 reps x3 sets
  • Seated jacks – Knees bent, marching legs, with arm jacks in air. 20x reps for x3 sets
  • Chair bike – Sit forward in chair hold sides with hands. Lift legs and pedal legs like riding a bike
  • Relaxed lower back stretch – Seated spread knees, raise hands in air, exhale reaching through legs and hold for 3 seconds. Repeat for 10x reps for 3x sets
  • Seated knee pull tuck – Sit forward in chair, lift 1 knee and hold for 3 second, and change sides. 10-15x reps for 3x sets
  • Ankle circles – Extend one leg and roll ankle back and forth 10-15x reps for 3x sets

Standing Moves

  • Standing leg extension behind – Standing on 1 leg, extend opposite leg backwards and hold for 3 seconds. Alternating sides. 15-20x reps x3 sets
  • Chair dips – Chair dips (DO NOT USE CHAIR WITH WHEELS) Sit forward in chair with glutes off edge, lower glutes while bending knees and elbows raise back up using triceps muscles
  • Standing calf raises – Raise both heels off ground up on toes and back down. 20x reps x3 sets
  • Hamstring curls – Holding on to a desk, lean forward and raise one leg, bending knee curling hamstring. Hold for 3 seconds. 15-20x reps 3x sets
  • Desk push-ups – (MAKE SURE DESK IS SECURE) this can be done off a wall as well. Lean forward lowering chest to desk bending elbows and pressing back up. 15-20x reps x3 sets
  • Squats – Standing with feet wider than shoulders. Sit in chair and stand back up using only your leg muscles (quadriceps) 15-20x reps 3x sets
  • Alternating side lunges – Standing with wide leg/feet. Bending right knee to side hold 2 seconds and switch to left. 20x reps (10 each side) 3x sets

The ACC Fitness Center is open and ready to help you stay healthy and strong all year long. They offer numerous assessments and staff are on-hand to help you learn the equipment and give you tips. Find the fitness options that work for you at the ACC Fitness Center, like:

  • Circuit Training Weight Machines
  • Individual strength training machines
  • Stationary upright and recumbent bicycles
  • Expresso video upright bikes
  • Indoor spin bikes
  • Treadmills
  • Elliptical crosstrainers
  • Free weights
  • Free Motion cable machines
  • Wheelchair accessible weight machine
  • Stability balls, bosu balls, balance disks, kettlebells and more
  • Indoor Basketball and Pickleball courts
  • Outdoor tennis courts

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