Walking The Tight Rope Of Holiday Season Fitness – Part II

As much as we don’t want to physically resemble that stuffed turkey that we’ve just consumed at many of our holiday meals, nor do we prefer to opt for the shimmery yet concealing sweater and dark pant combo, come New Years Eve, over the fabulous cocktail dress, we all know it’s a very delicate balancing act.

Luckily, we can still enjoy those festive foods and drinks that we all love  and look forward to, and balance it out with the strategies of these fitness pros.

3.  Johnny Rhodes, Founder & President – Next Level Living – Miami, FL


Johnny was born in the City of Brotherly Love, known as Philadelphia. Combining his 17 years of experience in the health and fitness industry along with his stellar reputation as a top indoor cycling instructor in South Florida, Johnny founded Next Level Living LLC, his four stage program that focuses on empowering the mind while strengthening the body. John began his indoor cycling career with the certification of Johnny G, creator of Spinning, in 1998 and later became a personal trainer by completing the American Council on Exercise in 1999.

John has a unique method of inspiring and motivating his clients for maximum results, via his Above & Beyond Cycling, “The conditioning starts when your body wants to stop” and his Body Demolition full body workout with light weights, consisting of 30% upper body, 30% lower body and 40% core based training which is designed to remodel different body parts and focus on the core muscles.

He’s the first trainer to ever get me absolutely hooked on spinning, with his intense approach that makes the class almost feel like you’re one on one, but better, holding you accountable to your peers, yet, always focusing on great playlists to get you through the torture, after all, it is South Beach!  Having tried other personal training methods with Johnny as well, from boxing styles to different resistance training, we’ve always wrapped things up with the feeling that my limbs were nearly about to fall off…which means success.

My mission statement is “Wake Up, Workout, No Excuses!!!

Johnny’s Holiday Fitness Tips are equally as No Nonsense:

1. Exercise in the morning because it leaves you with a great sense of accomplishment for your day, an open evening calendar for Holiday parties and helps encourage you to be well rested at night, aka, early departure from those parties.

2. Stick to the browns…Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, grain cereals and whole wheat breads so you’re feeling more satiated after meals and less likely to snack at events.

3. Holidays are about fun so do your favorite activities, like riding a bike, swimming, jogging or tennis. It does not have to be the gym.

Adjust your mindset to “No Mercy Mondays” and follow Johnny on Twitter at @IamJohnnyRhodes for more fitness motivation.

Haydee Maa Durga and Anne Bauche DeLong – Yoga Therapists – Spirituality Riviera Maya – Riviera Maya, Mexico


Fantasies of practicing yoga on a white sandy beach in front of a clear blue ocean and the sound of waves in the background are now a reality with Spirituality Riviera Maya’s retreats!

Providing you with a fantastic environment where you will be able to relax, open your heart and your soul and enjoy yoga classes just in front of the sea, while they take care of the organizational details, is the absolute definition of Holiday Wellness or Wellness Holiday, whichever way you look at it.

With multiple location options throughout Riviera Maya, you can choose which beach is perfect for your Wellness Retreat and work with amazingly talented and English speaking therapist and instructors at any level, that will allow you to feel reborn when your journey is complete.

Two of the top yoga instructors working with Spirituality Riviera Maya, Haydee Maa Durga and Anne Bauche DeLong have put together their thoughts on maintaining your wellness from the inside out, during the holidays.

Haydee began practicing yoga when a doctor recommended it after experiencing back and neck pain from a car accident. Years later, she traveled to India to receive her Yoga Therapist Certification from Paramanand Institute of Yoga Sciences & Research, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Through Therapeutic Yoga, Haydee creates a practice according to her practitioner’s condition or need, including Pranamaya, breathing exercises, Asanas (postures), meditation, mudras and mantras. For groups, she gives Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga classes.

Desire to convey this ancient knowledge of yoga to all people and sharing her experience and benefits of the practice have been Haydee’s goals, recognizing that through the practice of Yoga, you have a better knowledge of your body, balance of your mind, improved relationships and greater success of achieving your dreams.

Teaching Vinyasa Flow and Ashtanga Yoga from experience and understanding that comes with travel and training around the world and, Anne takes the steps to get a practice that promotes health, balance and peace of mind and spirit. Taking into account the different expectations of each student.

Anne creates a healthy and clear relationship with the students where words and actions build a safe, adequate and reliable space for everyone.

Maintain Your Inner Balance During the Holidays with These Tips From Haydee and Anne:

1. To maintain body, mind and spirit during your holiday travel you need to eat healthy (plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber), exercise (yoga of course!), breathe consciously, practice brief meditation during sunset or sunrise, which has a special energy that will fill you with the most positive vibe.

2. Do something risky that you haven’t done before, we don’t remember the days we remember the moments, so do something memorable, like practice head stand on the beach, maintaining the posture for longer than ever, or any posture that demands more effort. This will make you reach a new limit and motivate you to go further in the future, plus you will feel very vigorous activating your nervous system.

3. Keep yourself well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and juices from local fruits, most of the fruits and plants have tremendous detox power. If you happen to travel to Riviera Maya, detox your body with a Mayan fruit and plant smoothie, using local plants like Chaya, Jaimaica (Hibiscus), Horchata, Rambutan, Pitaya and Tamarind.

4. Have plenty of rest. Enjoy a good book. Try something new. Release your expectations so you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest.

5. When traveling, have an open heart and calm mind as you often encounter circumstances beyond your control. Maintain a positive mind, as anger and anxiety only block your energy, and the key to maintaining wellness in your body is maintaining wellness in your mind.

Namaste. Hari Om!…

To have the ultimate Holiday detox, book a New Years Yoga Retreat with Spirituality Riviera Maya and request Haydee and Anne. For your daily dose of Zen direct from paradise, follow @SpiritualityRM on Twitter! Haydee (info@shaktiyogaplaya.com) and Anne (baucheanne@hotmail.com) are also available for private yoga therapy the next time you’re in town.

Javier Lerma – Spinning Instructor and Personal Trainer – Barcelona, Spain


From an early age, in Palma de Mallorca, Javi was always partaking in swimming and soccer competitions, but once reaching adulthood, his interests changed to the love of Iron Man and Ultra Trail competitions. He also knew that physical fitness was the only career path for him, studying human health and completing a Masters in nutritional science.

This obvious love of cycling and his work translates directly into Javi’s spinning classes, which are some of the best spinning and overall workout experiences I’ve had the world over. From pushing his students to go beyond their limits and sharing the pain with them, cycling harder and faster as any good leader would do, yelling and cheering you on to keep up as you’re climbing the highest peak, almost makes it impossible to slack off. Even during those moments when you think your legs may fall off, Javi’s perfectly coordinated playlist of hip hop, pop hits and dance music gives you that last ounce of motivation that you’re searching for deep inside, as your pedals match the beat of the song and allow you to complete the class.

It also is a huge help that Javi’s spinning classes at Holmes Place Urquinaona are always packed, so you can find cyclists of all levels participating and easily pace yourself off of your neighbor, when searching for the last bit of motivation.  Javi’s devout followers are there at least 2-3 times per week, which is extremely rare in a non-gym culture and considering he often has a line for his classes with more people than in the entire rest of the gym, that’s a good sign!

Here’s How Javi Fit’s Exercise and Activity to His Holiday Travel Schedule:

1. If you’re traveling for the holidays take this opportunity to try a different sport or even a physical activity that you know well, like running or walking, but in a new place. This is a great way to discover a new city or discover new places in a hometown that you return to once a year.

2. I recommend low intensity / endurance activities during the holiday time if you’re exercising alone, as this is a great way to take a little time for yourself often when surrounded by so many others and a good opportunity to think, talk to yourself and reflect on the year that you’ve had.

3. The holidays are all about family and loved ones, so what better way to spend time with them than an activity together, whether it’s a sport outing like skiing, cycling or a football game, or even a simple walk together in the afternoon, exercise can also be great quality time.

If you’re looking to burn off all of those extra calories consumed over the holidays in the shortest amount of time, my suggestion, if you’re in the vicinity of Barcelona, would be to attend Javi’s spinning class, daily at Holmes Place Urquinaona, who knows, you may just bump into me there as well…or if you’re just wanting to pick his brain on the latest spinning music, he can be reached at javier.lerma.bauza@gmail.com

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