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On cold dark mornings the temptation to bury yourself beneath the doona is strong. Rosemary Marchese has some advice to help your clients be even stronger.

Hit the snooze button or hit the gym? When it’s shiver material beyond the doona cover it’s all too easy for your clients to count reaching over to turn the alarm off as their sit-up for the day – but you know their body’s not buying it. As Ned Stark predicted, winter has come, but this is no reason for clients to put their health on the backburner. Here are seven tips for helping your clients keep their training on track.

1. Make sure that they put their training sessions into their calendar!

While you may not be their lifestyle advisor, it can be handy to lead by example and ‘share’ this information with them. Clients that cancel often haven’t truly made a commitment to exercise. Encourage the use of one calendar for their entire life, not several. Get them into the habit of sitting down once per week and scheduling in exactly when they are going to train, even without you.

By locking it in, they have made the decision and planning happen in one hit rather than continually contemplating it and making excuses for doing it another time. Clients that don’t schedule their training tend to overthink it – and overthinking drains motivation. ‘Should I go to the gym in the morning?’; ‘Oh, it’s going to be cold in the morning…maybe I should stay in bed’ and ‘How dark is it in the morning?’ I’m exhausted just typing it… imagine what it’s doing to clients’ willpower having those thoughts running around their head each day. It’s even worse if you train them at night because they have all day to talk themself out of it if it’s not in their schedule. Oh, and automatic payments might help motivate them too!

2. Gear up!

I’m not exaggerating when I say overthinking it will drain energy. This also goes for getting training clothes organised. Set an example by laying out your training clothes, shoes and socks the night before and posting a picture of it on your social media pages to encourage your clients to do the same! If they are scheduled to exercise in the morning, with or without you, encourage them to get dressed in their gym gear as soon as they get up. If you’re training them later in the day, make sure you encourage them to have everything they need packed and ready. This includes, towel, drink bottle, car keys and anything else they need! The less they need to think about it the next day, the less of an obstacle to their training.

3. Avoid muffins …and the muffin top

Okay, maybe not all muffins are bad, but the point is that you need to encourage your clients to eat healthily. Making poor food choices more often in winter will increase sluggishness. You know that clients can’t expect to wake up energised to exercise if they’re not nourishing their bodies with energising foods – so make sure they know it too.

4. Get enough sleep!

I’m not going to preach to you about sleep when I don’t always get enough myself, but I do try. It’s easier to wake up raring to go to a pre-sunrise workout if you’re not sleep deprived. Everything is better when you have enough sleep. Encourage your clients to hit the sack at the same time each day to make sure that they wake up energised.

5. Make training and healthy eating habits, not options

What’s the main difference between those who are fit, healthy and lean and those who are not? Habits. Healthy habits as opposed to non-healthy ones. Do your clients want to make a habit of showing up to the gym or hitting the snooze button? Have you really got to the bottom of why they practice unhealthy habits rather than healthy habits? You wouldn’t choose whether or not to brush your teeth – you just do it (I hope!). Encourage your clients to realise that they need to do the same with their training. Take the first four points of this list and make them your clients’ healthy habits.

6. Keep goals in mind

Before you know it you will hear your clients saying ‘I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas’ and the next few months will be gone. Get them to contemplate what their health and fitness will be like in six months’ time if they don’t keep their training and healthy eating on track. Remind them that there is no magic pill that can give them all the metabolic benefits that exercise can.

7. Embrace winter

No, I’m not going mad. Personally I would choose a Hawaiian getaway any day over freezing my butt off at the snow (although I do love both), but the reality is that a change of season can be refreshing. It was only a short time ago that many people were complaining about the hot weather. It is what it is. Don’t overthink it. Remind your clients of this, or even better, don’t talk about how cold it is. Focus on how easily they can get their body warm with exercise!

It’s true that marketing and lots of other strategies can help your business boom, but the main key to success and growth is clients getting results. If your clients don’t show up, they won’t get results – and that’s not good for business.

Rosemary Marchese is a physiotherapist and fitness industry advisor with 20 years’ experience. She is the author of The Essential Guide to Fitness and The Fit Busy Mum: Seven habits for success. For more lifestyle tips visit or

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