We are proud to introduce FFC On Demand, a revolutionary extension of our clubs, giving you exclusive virtual access to FFC classes, instructors and fitness plans. With FFC On Demand, you can follow your favorite instructors from anywhere, at any time, with an ever-expanding library of classes and workouts.

To help further support your wellness journey, there’s also a full virtual library of nutrition tips and tricks (including recipes and meal plans), lifestyle modification tools (think free messaging with an RD), and fitness/habit tracking (sync your Myzone belt, Fitbit or other fitness tracker).

We’re offering a 2-week FREE trial to experience the FFC On Demand Essential Access package. What are you waiting for? Download it today at ffcondemand.com.

We wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season! Please find our holiday hours for all FFC locations below. If your home club is closed, you will be able to access any club for the day of the closure. Have a great holiday!

Tuesday, December 24
All clubs: Close at 5 PM

Wednesday, December 25
Boystown, Old Town, South Loop, Union Station: Closed
East Lakeview, Elmhurst, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Oak Park, Park Ridge, West Loop: 7 AM – 1 PM

Thursday, December 26
East Lakeview, Elmhurst, Oak Park, Park Ridge, West Loop: 4:30 AM opening
All other clubs: Regular club hours

Tuesday, December 31
All clubs: Close at 6 PM

Wednesday, January 1
Old Town and Union Station: Closed
All other clubs: 7 AM – 5 PM

Thursday, January 2
East Lakeview, Elmhurst, Oak Park, Park Ridge, West Loop: 4:30 AM opening
All other clubs: Regular club hours

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the gift card promotion is here! Whether for a loved one, friend or yourself (we won’t tell), gift cards are a great way to give the gift of fitness. Starting today, you’ll receive a $25 bonus card for every $100 worth of gift cards you purchase! Offer expires 12/31/2019.

*Limit of up to 4 cards with $25 bonus, $100 bonus total 

Click here to purchase gift cards!

We’re giving one lucky winner two free all-access 1-Year memberships – one to keep and one to give away. To spread even more cheer, we’ve also wrapped up a ton of other amazing prizes including 30-day memberships and exclusive offers.

Enter the contest today for your chance to win!

Looking for an excuse to pamper yourself? We can help. Check out these great spa offers for December!

3 pack of 60 minute massages for $305

Making time for yourself can be challenging during the holidays. Give yourself the gift of relaxation this year with our 3 pack of massages!

Services expire one year from date of purchase. No two discounts apply. Offer valid at all FFC locations.

3 pack of FFC Facials for $280

It’s no secret that winter can leave your skin dry, cracked and irritated. Keep your healthy glow all winter long with our 3 pack of FFC Facials!

Services expire one year from date of purchase. No two discounts apply. Offer valid at Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, West Loop, Oak Park and Park Ridge locations.

3 pack of No Chip Manicures for $125

Keep your hands holiday party-ready this year with our 3 pack of No Chip Manicures!

Services expire one year from date of purchase. Offer valid at FFC Lincoln Park. No two discounts apply.

Nutrition Tips for the Holidays by Mike Glab, RD at FFC East Lakeview and FFC Boystown

Can you believe we’re already approaching the holidays and the close of the 2010s decade? For many people, holiday gatherings with rich meals, desserts and boozy drinks can lead to unnecessary stress surrounding weight, diet and appearance. This is largely based on the misconception that you will pack on the pounds this time of year, but did you know the average American gains one pound during the holidays?

It’s hardly worth flipping your existing nutrition routine on its head for a potential one-pound weight gain, so this post will look beyond the plate to provide guidance. Use one, some or all of these tips during the holidays, but always remember the most important tip of all: Enjoy your holiday meal!

Avoid making any drastic changes
Around the holidays people like to cut out carbs, start fasting or skip meals entirely. Their thinking is that these changes are going to offset the overindulgence of food and drink that occurs during the holidays.

My advice is to stick to your routine as much as you possibly can. Making one of the changes above can lead to unintended consequences such as undernourishing your body, underfueling your workout, low blood sugar and worst of all being HANGRY.

You can try something new when you can fully commit the time and resources it takes to see sustainable, healthy, habit changes. Working with a dietitian can provide you the guidance to achieve that!

Keep your routine consistent
Eat your familiar meals and snacks as close to the times you normally do leading up to the holiday meal. Provide yourself the level of nourishment you generally expect, and you may not be as tempted to overindulge at holiday meals.

This gets a little more tricky if you travel for the holidays. Bring balanced snacks for the plane or car ride like a banana and almonds, beef jerky and an apple, a cheese stick and baby carrots or a turkey sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread.

Bonus: Here’s an example of a balanced, nourishing meal that requires very little prep in a travel situation: One whole wheat english muffin topped with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and banana slices. Wash it down with an 8 oz glass of cow’s, soy or pea milk for extra protein.

Practice mindful eating
Mindful Eating is a strategy used to call your full attention to the present meal. You can try one or more of the following strategies to help you eat more mindfully.

  • Eliminate distractions like your phone, television or computer.
  • Pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues.
  • Focus on all sensory aspects of the meal: taste and flavor, mouthfeel and texture, smells, sounds and the colors on your plate.
    Appreciate food as fuel for your body.
  • Coping with (and eventually reducing) feelings of anxiety and guilt with food.

Mindful Eating is a great technique to use during the holidays because you are not required to significantly alter your diet. You are simply being more present at the meal and fully immersing yourself in the pleasure of eating. The goal is to replace any negative feelings with more self-control, awareness and positivity.

Hydrate with non-caloric beverages
Liquid calories are the sneakiest of calories. According to one study, liquid calories make up 22% of calories in the average American diet. For some perspective, that is 440 calories per day in a standard 2000 calorie diet or 3,080 calories per week!

Soda is basically liquid candy and empty calories. One 12 ounce cola is 150 calories, exclusively from added sugar. Fruit juice isn’t much better, even if it’s 100% derived from fruit. One cup of apple juice contains 115 calories. When it comes to alcohol, on average, a 12 ounce beer is 153 calories, a 5 ounce glass of wine is 125 calories and 1.5 ounces of hard liquor is 100 calories.

Try hydrating with non-caloric beverages or, at the very least, alternate the above high calorie drinks with non-caloric beverages. Non-caloric beverages include:

  • Water
  • Sparkling water
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Black coffee

Enjoy the holidays!
Holiday weight gain is drastically overhyped as the average American gains about one pound during this time of year. The strategies above will provide you guidance and help alleviate any food-related stress during the already stressful holiday season. Enjoy your time with family, friends and food during the holidays.

Mike Glab is the RD at FFC East Lakeview and FFC Boystown and can be reached at mglab@ffc.com. Contact Mike or your FFC RD to help you work through these strategies and more!

Sources:
Stanford
Live Science
Healthline
Reuters
Healthline

Looking for new workout tunes? Look no further! This month, we’re featuring Victor Virgilio’s workout playlist! Victor is the Operations Manager for FFC Park Ridge. After working in hotel management, Victor decided to follow his passion and work in the health and wellness industry. He has now been with FFC for 5 years, working at Gold Coast, Old Town and West Loop before landing at Park Ridge.

Check out Victor’s featured playlist on our Spotify channel.

Victor Virgilio

Don’t spend the holiday season in pain! Here are some things our Physical Therapists can do for you:

  • Physical therapists are trained diagnosticians. You do not need a physician’s referral to start physical therapy with our clinical experts…visit us today!
  • Physical therapists treat balance disorders. Avoid slips and falls with a balance test and put aside fears, improve strength and coordination and lessen symptoms.
  • Physical therapists treat neck pain and headaches, too. Don’t let holiday stress get the best of you, physical therapists can often stop headaches before they start.
  • If you are experiencing any of these issues or have sustained a recent injury, please see one of our clinicians for a complimentary injury screen and experience the power of physical therapy!

Injury Screen Times:

  • FFC Boystown: December 17, 4 – 6 PM
  • FFC East Lakeview: December 9, 3 – 4 PM
  • FFC Elmhurst: Walk-ins Welcome
  • FFC Lincoln Park: December 12, 4 – 5 PM
  • FFC Oak Park: Walk-ins Welcome
  • FFC Park Ridge: December 4, 7:30 – 9:30 AM; December 11, 5 – 7 PM; December 18, 4 – 6 PM
  • FFC South Loop: December 11, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
  • FFC Union Station: December 18, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
  • FFC West Loop: December 10, 4:15 – 5:00 PM

Love Zumba? Now’s the time to become a Zumba instructor, or just enhance your skills, and learn the formula that has built the biggest dance fitness craze to hit the fitness industry!

Zumba education specialist Jenna Bostic will be joining us at FFC Union Station to teach the introduction course for the Zumba brand: Zumba Basic 1 License.

Join us on Saturday, December 14 from 10 AM – 7 PM at FFC Union Station. For details and pricing, please visit the Zumba website.

Fitness Formula Clubs has been awarded Best Gym in Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago 2019 issue! We were also recognized as a finalist for Best Pilates Studio. Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for FFC!

You can read the issue here.