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TRX Bands hanging from rack

December is here and so is a brand new Workout of the Month! FFC Austin Head, personal trainer at FFC Union Station, has designed a well-rounded routine for you to try featuring the TRX Atomic push-up , which is a great way to shake up your routine and movement patterns. Check out the full workout here:

Movement Highlight: TRX Atomic push-up = start the movement in a “hands and toes” plank while feet are in the TRX loops. Place hands directly below your shoulders, with your spine in a neutral position. Perform the push-up, then drive knees into the chest, return back to the “hands and toes” plank position and repeat.

Pilates Exercise of the Month: Lower/Lift = lying on a mat, lift the head and shoulders. Place the hands behind the head, stacked with wide elbows. Extend legs to 90 degrees. Lower the legs to 45 degrees, and lift back up to 90 degrees. Do 4-8 stretches.

Nutrition Tip of the Month: During the holidays, pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues by eating slowly and appreciating the different tastes and qualities of your food. Skip the guilt around eating and enjoy!

Smoothie of the Month: Gingerbread (almond milk, banana, vanilla whey, chai, oats, nutmeg and ginger powder)

Group Exercise Class of the Month: Critical Mass = this total-body workout is designed to build muscular strength, increase bone density and maintain lean body mass with the emphasis on full range of motion exercises done with heavier weights and less repetition.


The holiday craziness is here and so is the need to take time for self-care! It’s important to make sure you’re not getting burnt out, between work responsibilities, family gatherings, holiday parties and everything else that comes with the season. Take advantage of these specials for December!

2 90-Minute Deep Tissue Massages for $250
Sessions expire one year from date of purchase – available at all spas except Elmhurst.

FFC Facial & 60-Minute Massage for $180
Sessions expire one year from date of purchase – available at West Loop, Oak Park, Park Ridge, Lincoln Park and Gold Coast locations.

Ortanic three pack of tans for $125
Package must be purchased in December and expire one year from date of purchase. Ortanic is available at FFC West Loop, Lincoln Park and Gold Coast.

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 can help with a cardiovascular program and improve your sport performance.
  • Physical therapists treat balance disorders. A balance test with a physical therapist is a great way to put aside fears, improve strength and coordination and lessen symptoms.
  • Physical therapists treat neck pain and headaches, too. By getting to the root cause of headaches, physical therapists can often stop them 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!

  • FFC East Lakeview – walk-ins welcome
  • FFC Boystown – December 11; 4 – 6 PM & December 19; 4 – 6 PM
  • FFC Lincoln Park – walk-ins welcome
  • FFC Oak Park – December 18; 4 – 6 PM
  • FFC Park Ridge – December 11; 2:30 – 4:30 PM
  • FFC South Loop – December 4; 4 – 6 PM & December 27; 7 – 8 PM
  • FFC Union Station – December 12; 11:30 – 1 PM
  • FFC West Loop – December 11; 4:15 – 5 PM
Friends cheering with wine glasses

Whatever holiday you celebrate in December, I can bet there will be food, drinks, and desserts involved. As a Registered Dietitian, I have seen firsthand the challenges that come with the holiday season, and I can also guarantee that those challenges won’t end once January 1st comes.

There will always be challenges, and learning to enjoy the holiday or event without overdoing it is a year-round skill. Now is a perfect time to start practicing mindful eating, to help you avoid having to “cleanse” in January. Here’s a few tips to get started:

  1. Live in the moment. Remember that holidays are about family and friends, and practice that at each event. Spend time making connections and catching up, not standing near the appetizer table. Make memories you’ll remember, not ones that alcohol will make you regret.
  2. Enjoy your favorite foods. For some, this might mean bringing a favorite vegetable dish to share with the family. For others, this might mean feeling absolutely no guilt for enjoying a slice of your favorite pie, as long as you chew slowly and savor every bite. The point is – you need to decide what’s truly important to you to indulge on, not what everyone else wants.
  3. Get to know your own hunger cues. With my clients, I use a hunger scale to dive deep into how they’re actually feeling throughout the day. To make it easy. here’s 2 guidelines:
  • Always ask yourself “am I really hungry?” before grabbing for a snack or an extra serving. If you’re just bored or stressed, try going for a walk. If you really like the taste of the food, pack some to go to save for later or the next day when you can answer “yes” to that question.
  • On the same token, make sure you eat when you are truly hungry. Have a snack filled with protein and fiber an hour or so before an event. If you show up hungry, that appetizer table will look much more enticing.

Enjoy the holidays without guilt, and without a need for “undoing” it come January. Balance is key! See an RD at FFC to help you maneuver the holidays while still enjoying them.