Health and fitness trainers probably have seconds, too

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Thanksgiving 2010

OK, don’t tell US that health and fitness trainers wave off turkey and all the trimmings when the holidays roll around — they’re human, too, right? We bet if you look close enough next time you run into them at the gym, you might even spot a gravy stain or two on those Spandex tights of theirs.

All right, all right. Maybe not. We’re just saying …

But even though fitness is a lifestyle value — and a career — for these folks, you might be surprised at some of their stay-in-shape tips.

Three of North America’s top fitness pros — Jason Karp, Nicole Nichols and Leigh Crews — recently talked motivation, workouts and ways to take the high road with Florida’s Sun-Sentinel newspaper.

Holiday dinners or no, here are a few of their suggestions:

Take a day off once in a while, urges Karp, who works out of San Diego and focuses on runners. And if you’re trying to change a sedentary lifestyle, don’t be too hard on yourself, he says. Ease into it.

Cincinnati’s Nichols, named “America’s Top Personal Trainer to Watch” by the American Council on Exercise and Life Fitness, counsels against exercising on an empty stomach and extols the virtues of walking. And, because she favors working out first thing in the morning, she suggests sleeping in your gym clothes to add motivation and reduce excuses when you wake up.

Crews, a 55-year-old Alabama gym rat, emphasizes choosing activities you enjoy — otherwise you won’t stick with it, no matter how good your intentions.

So go ahead — enjoy that turkey. Have some pie. Live a little.

But if you want to live even better, just make sure your fitness program’s effective, rewarding and enjoyable enough to keep you going.

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