How to do a post-holiday mental (and physical) detox

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Whether it’s from too much holiday cheer (code word: champagne) or too much stress (ahem, the online shopping struggle) a January reset is not just advised—it’s necessary.

And with New Year’s Eve just around the corner, it’s smart to get a head start on giving your workouts (and your self-care game) a tune-up before the clock strikes 12.

So we turned to the experts: the 12 next-level finalists for America’s Most Inspiring Trainer.

Here’s the deal on America’s Most Inspiring Trainer: We scoured the country with Reebok to find the best of the best—as in, the instructors who don’t just talk a mean training game, but actually make your life better (and you nominated nearly 5,000 of them). From there, the field was narrowed down to 12 finalists, and we asked you to throw your support behind one trainer by casting your vote.

And now, more than 130,000 votes later, our seasoned panel of judges is in the process of determining the ultimate winner. What’ll they get? A one-year contract with Reebok and major media coverage on Well+Good. (Translation: It’s a big deal.)

In the meantime (we know it’s hard to wait), we’re dropping this go-to guide for how to recover from post-holiday overload—top trainer style.

Scroll down for tips on navigating your New Year’s Eve bash and reviving your wellness routine—all from the 12 finalists for America’s Most Inspiring Trainer.

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Bri Jackson

Personal trainer, RYT 200, and founder of BrittGotFit.com

How do you mentally detox after the holidays?

The yogi suggests staying anchored in the present. “For me, that translates to a New Year’s Day yoga session with lots of grounding asanas, followed by seven minutes of free writing and reflection and the creation of some type of vision board for 2017.”

Jackson says it doesn’t have to be a super-artistic undertaking, with multiple trips to the crafts store, for the ideas to stick. “The takeaway is to have a written copy of the things you’d like to manifest in the upcoming year in a journal, on sticky notes, in your phone, anywhere as long as you can get back to it frequently.”

Photo: Island Boi Photography



Dennys Lozada

Trainer at The Fhitting Room

How do you switch up your workout routine in the new year?

“Whether it’s the holidays or not, you should always switch up your workouts to better your fitness level,” Lozada advises. “Sometimes when you do the same thing over and over you can feel like you’re in a rut.” Been there.

His solution? “Try new things that you can incorporate into your fitness routine. I like to mix boxing in with my HIIT and strength workouts. I get something very different from each of those workouts, and I love the variety.”

Photo: Lisa Haefner



Anne Reuss

Personal trainer at Equinox and #beastmaking lead at Lift > Live > Lead

What are your tips for navigating a New Year’s Eve party?

Yes, you want to have fun. No, you don’t want to be bedridden the next day. And luckily, Reuss has a plan. “My favorite tip: Drinking water in between boozy beverages is good and sort of helpful—and most [people] don’t actually do it. So I set a reminder on my phone on the hour: ‘Drink water, ya sexy animal’ and it works!”

On top of avoiding sugary mixers (Reuss sticks to sparkling water), she advises eating a meal packed with protein and healthy fats before the party. “If I don’t have time to cook, I usually go to Chipotle and order a chicken bowl with no rice, a small dose of beans, extra fajita vegetables, and guacamole.” Totally doable.

And lastly, a training tip: “When in doubt, deadlift,” says Reuss. “Deadlifts work muscles from head to toe in minimal time, release endorphins, and leave you feeling like a badass. You’ll have a glow when you head out to celebrate! Lift at least four hours before you have a cocktail so you don’t inhibit protein synthesis.”

Photo: Spartan Reebok Race




Willie Holmes

Trainer and instructor at SoulCycle

What’s your advice for rebooting nutrition in 2017?

“Fiber is a must,” says Holmes. “In the morning, oatmeal sweetened with honey and fruit is what I go for after overindulgence. I like unsweetened Greek yogurt for a snack and I add honey or fruit. I incorporate beans and vegetables into my meals attempting to keep the fat low, but the protein and fiber high.”

Holmes is all about the spices, too. “I like to make my meals a bit spicy to pep up the metabolism and reduce inflammation and pain from getting down on the dance floor,” he explains. “To incorporate everything, I like a meatless chili with black beans and peppers or cayenne pepper.”

Last thing? Remember to hydrate. “If I drank the night before I rehydrate with coconut water,” Holmes says. “If I wake up with an upset stomach—which seems to happen a lot after big parties—I use ginger in whatever way I can: tea, smoothies, or cooking.”

Photo: Willie Holmes



CJ Frogozo

Instructor at barre3 and founder and president of Drake Communications

How do you switch up your workout routine in the new year?

The key to avoiding burnout is to make it a social occasion, Frogozo says. “Instead of meeting friends for drinks, meet them for a class,” she says. “Have you always wanted to take a hip hop dance class at Alvin Ailey? Do that!”

And remember—working out should be fun. “Fitness shouldn’t be punishment for eating an extra piece of cake on Christmas Day or drinking too much on New Year’s Eve,” she says. “I think we should reframe that attitude and just make it part of our lives, something that’s social and enjoyable and brings us closer to our friends and our community.” Amen.

Photo: Seamus Mullen



Maillard Howell

Owner of CrossFit Prospect Heights

How do you mentally detox after the holidays?

“[One of] my staples is maintaining a regular sleep pattern nightly,” Howell says. “Sleep has the amazing regenerative ability to not only ease a sore body but also helps reset the central nervous system.”

Howell also treats himself to periodic sports massages and Russian steam room sessions. “I tend to tell my athletes, ‘Gains don’t come by crushing yourself daily in the gym—they come when you detox and rest.'”

Photo: Austin Canales



Nicole Sciacca

Yoga teacher, personal trainer, and chief yoga officer at PLAYLIST Yoga

What’s your advice for rebooting nutrition in 2017?

“Start with warm lemon water and use a straw to limit the stripping of enamel off the teeth,” the yoga guru recommends, calling it the ultimate daily reboot and explaining that lemon “interacts with your digestive system to alkalize your body, clear your mind, lift your mood, and hydrate your biggest organ: the skin.”

Sciacca also recommends a fridge clean-out. “I also get rid of all leftovers by donating them to a homeless shelter or giving them away to family and friends,” she says. “It pays to have a clean fridge and a clear plan in place so that you can stay motivated.”

Photo: Caddie Hastings



Sultan Malik

Vice president & senior trainer at ConBody and featured trainer at YG Studios 

How do you switch up your workout routine in the new year?

“If I’m finding myself in a post-holiday slump, I strategize,” Malik says. “Going to sleep with—and waking up with—my workout clothing is a great way to reconnect with my fitness goals. It’s all about mindset.”

The fitness expert also schedules his training sessions according to different days, times, and modalities. “If I know I need something more to reattain the level of health I had pre-holiday, I increase the intensity of my sessions with heavier weights, higher reps, and reduced rest periods,” he explains.

Photo: Erik Tanner



Stephanie Shames

Master instructor and teacher trainer at Redbike Studios

How do you mentally detox after the holidays?

“The holidays have always been an emotional roller-coster for me,” Shames admits. “Instead of focusing on the good, I would focus on all the goals I didn’t accomplish. In specific, I’d dwell on the weight I didn’t lose and the shape I didn’t get into. Part of detoxing your mind is letting go of any thoughts or feelings that end up hurting you in the long run.”

Instead, Shames chooses to focus on gratitude and acknowledge potential setbacks without the judgment. “Waking up with a fresh perspective every day, especially around the holiday season, and focusing on present-moment goals, self-appreciation, and mindfulness techniques—just jotting some notes down in a notepad about what you’re feeling grateful for does wonders,” she says.

Photo: Marisa Matluck



Harry Rosedale

Founder of Rosedale Fitness, LLC, and instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp

What are your tips for navigating a New Year’s Eve party?

“I have a ‘rule of four,'” Rosedale explains. “This means any combination of drinks and treats (cookie, brownie, etc.) that add up to four. Could be two drinks and two treats, four drinks only, or four treats only.” Sounds like a game plan.

“If drinking at a New Year’s Eve party, definitely go for low-calorie, low-sugar drinks,” he advises. One example: vodka with soda water and lime. “When choosing between a glass of champagne or a glass of wine, go for champagne—it has less calories and less carbs.” Cheers to that.

Photo: Jeffrey Beasley



Katie Dolaher

Trainer and cycling instructor at B/SPOKE

How do you switch up your workout routine in the new year?

“Holidays were meant for excess and indulgence,” says Dolaher. “However, balance is key to me. I will challenge my muscles and body using different workouts during this time rather than sticking to the weekly routine. Boxing and interval training are two I make sure to add in.”

Dolaher suggests finding a new class or modality to inspire you. “Staying motivated is the constant fight of the season,” she says. “Grab a buddy or team up to try their workout and have that extra inspiration to take on your week.”

Photo: Nick Cosky Photography



Shaun Chambers

Owner of BODYROC

What’s your advice for rebooting nutrition in 2017?

“Start slow. Trying to go ‘cold turkey’ will send you backsliding before you can even reap the benefits of your changes,” Chambers advises. “Slowly remove some of the ‘toxic’ items out of your diet (fried foods, condiments, sugary beverages, fast food, etc.).”

Chambers also recommends eating multiple, smaller meals to boost your metabolism. “Remember the acronym G-BOMBS: greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds. These foods are packed with antioxidants and nutrients to curb food cravings.”

Photo: Keith Clayton/TimeFrozen Photography

Want more America’s Most Inspiring Trainer intel? Read up on all of the amazing finalists here and stay tuned—our panel of judges will be crowning on January 9! 

Top photo: Reebok

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