Holiday Tips from Shay Kostabi


- By Shay Kostabi, YG Studios

I love holiday treats as much as the next person. But it is so easy to go completely off track and fall into the mind-set of, "Well, I already cheated on my diet, so I might as well go for that extra (insert indulgence here). I'll just restart in the new year. Now is my time to relax!" Hello? The partying starts around Halloween and a few candies can turn into ten and that can turn into half a pumpkin pie which could lead to daily egg-nogs and ice cream. Un-training your body works exactly the same way as training does. Your seemingly harmless and temporary daily activities can create long term unhealthy habits. October 30th to January 1st is 63 days. More than enough time to create hard to break rituals that can linger around long after the New Year. If you really want resolutions that stick, start planning now. 


Whenever I go to a holiday party, I negotiate with myself ahead of time. I don't like to feel deprived and I hate saying "no, sorry, I'm on a diet," and having to explain myself. So, I decide to only go for one "treat." If I have bread at dinner, I'll skip dessert. If I know I want that pumpkin pie, I stay away from the potatoes. If I want to have a few drinks... I load my plate up with greens to skimp on the carbs. Nobody else notices, and I feel good about keeping a promise to myself while still having fun.


Make sure you're doing something active everyday. It's hard not to want to hibernate. But the last few months of the year make for perfect winter hikes, ice-skating with friends, impromptu pajama dance parties, and at home workouts with your kids or spouse. The trick is to keep it fun and keep it balanced so you can indulge yourself in holiday cheer without feeling guilty. 


Warm Up. Before going for an outdoor run or workout in the winter months, make sure you warm up before going outside. Spend at least 5 minutes getting your heart rate up and warming up your entire body. Jogging in place, Jumping Jacks, Squats, and Mountain Climbers can all be done in the living room and will raise your body temp quickly. First of all, when you step outside, that cold air will feel refreshing instead of intimidating and you'll get a surge of energy to push you through the beginning of your warm up. 

Drink plenty of water.  Just because the temperature dropped and beads of sweat aren't running down your face doesn't mean that you can't get dehydrated. The air is dryer in winter months, and it takes a bit more internal energy to regulate your temperature. 

Cool Down. Cooling down is just as important in cold weather so that you don't strain your muscles or get cramps. Once you've finished your workout do some low impact moves, brisk walking, lateral lunges and sun salutations are all great ways to bring your body back to rest and regulate your body temperature. 


Pack lightweight, portable fitness equipment and take it with you on the go. Gliders, resistance bands, the TRX and my ReXist360 Training System are all great options you can use in your hotel room, family guest room, or outdoors. 

If you forget to pack some gear, basic bodyweight moves are all you really need. Squats, Sumo Squat Jumps, Jumping Jacks, Lunges, Bridges, Jack-knife sit ups, Planks, Pushups and Tricep Dips are all great options. Pick 5 of your favorites and set a timer. Do each exercise for 30 seconds if you are beginner and 1 minute if you are more advanced. Rest for 30 seconds in between exercises. Repeat the round 3-5 times depending on your time available and your fitness level. 

About Shay Kostabi

Shay Kostabi is bi-coastal fitness pro and personality. An ACE Movement Specialist, Master Trainer for ReXist360 and a background in dance training and choreography, Shay's methods blend the best of functional strength and graceful movements with heart pumping beats. 

ReXist360 Program Director + Master Trainer. Instructor at Booty Works, BeSpoke Premium Cycling + YG Studios. New Balance Fitness Ambassador. Essentia Water, Mwitoxcell + Sparkly Soul Ambassador. Inspiring Strength + Grace through Movement + Music. 

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