The Best Workouts after Thanksgiving

The Best Workouts after Thanksgiving

Ah, yes, the Thanksgiving Day meal, that time of year when we luxuriate in mountains of delicious food and then collapse on the couch, groaning to ourselves “what have I done?”

But Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be the death of your diet and fitness plans. Turns out, there are three simple to follow strategies for staying fit through the holiday season (no matter how many mash potatoes and gravy servings you have).

Read on to learn more about the best workout and fitness strategies to incorporate this Thanksgiving season and beyond…your gut (and butt) will thank us later.

Strategy #1: Burn off Those Mashed Potatoes

For some folks, the most upsetting thing about overindulgence is the prospect of weight gain. You’ve just consumed enough calories to power Baton Rouge for a year, so you’d better do something special to burn all that off before it turns to fat and sticks to your thighs! Actually, human health is a bit more complex than that, but if you want a more intense workout than normal, we do have you covered.

Try a circuit of eight different exercises in eight minutes, with three minutes of rest before the next circuit. For each “stop” of your circuit, do between 15 and 30 reps. The time limit is there to keep the intensity up. But “rest” doesn’t have to mean sitting down, either. Try walking it out, or even some light pedaling on a stationary bike.

Any eight exercises will do, as long as you know how to use proper form and the whole group together targets each of your major muscle groups. Think squats, lunges, and lifts. You shouldn’t need any equipment besides a medicine ball and a couple of dumbbells, but there are plenty of places in Baton Rouge to buy gym equipment if you need to, such as Fitness Expo Stores.

Go through the entire cycle three or four times. That’s roughly a 40-minute work-out. Quick, easy and effective. Best of all, this routine can easily be completed with home fitness equipment.

Strategy #2: How Do I Exercise When I Can’t Get Off the Floor?

If the idea of an intense work-out sounds just about impossible right after Turkey Day, you’re not alone. If the food coma doesn’t do you in, exhaustion from having to cook for and host 489 of your favorite relatives just might. Maybe you read our first suggestion and thought “yeah, right,” but you still want to get your body moving again. And that’s totally valid.

What you need is a gentle, low-impact work-out, preferably one you can do without leaving your living room floor. It’s the work-out for when you don’t feel like working out, but you know your body will feel better once you’ve done it.

Focus on core-strengthening exercises, like bird-dogs, pelvis-lifts, and planks, along with push-ups and the Superman (lie on your tummy with arms and legs extended like the Man of Steel in flight. Then lift your arms and legs so only your middle is on the floor). Pick five and do each for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 more seconds. Repeat the circuit five times. There, you’ve done a complete work-out in 15 minutes. Go read a book.

Strategy #3: How About Don’t Feel Awful to Begin With?

We know eating yourself into a groaning coma on Thanksgiving is a kind of tradition, but do you really want to do it? If feeling like you’re about to burst is your idea of pleasure, then go for it, but what if it isn’t?

Believe it or not, you can enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner without over-eating. Using smaller plates helps, as does making plans to keep plenty of left-overs—spread out the fun out over two or three meals, and you won’t feel like you have to get your full dose of cranberry sauce for the year in all at once. You can also develop an exercise routine that you can continue right through the holidays, even on the day after Thanksgiving.

You’re going to want work-out options you can do every day, even while traveling, and that you can do with friends and family (nobody wants to leave the party to hit the gym alone). Most folks are busy over the holidays, so work-outs that you can incorporate into other activities can be a big help.

There are plenty of ways to exercise in Baton Rogue even without home exercise equipment. How about committing to at least one of the following every day for the months of January and December:

Walk outside, or at the mall, or wherever works for you. Walk with friends and family. If you’re traveling, walk somewhere you’ve never been before and see the sights. Set a minimum number of minutes for walking per day, whatever works for you.

Run with friends or run alone. Running can be a great way to clear your mind of holiday stress. Sign up for a race in January if you need added motivation.

Dance counts as exercise, too! You don’t have to be good at it, just get up, get moving, and have fun. Wear ankle weights and wrist weights, if you want an added challenge. Again, set a minimum time, perhaps 30 minutes, but feel free to go over if you want to!

If walking or running outdoors isn’t an option due to the cold or weather, hitting the treadmill for a light workout session might not be a bad indoor alternative.

Consider the Horizon Adventure 3 Treadmill for an exceptionally quiet and superbly cushioned experience.

Keep It Simple

It’s a little-known fact, but thinking takes energy, just like muscular activity does. Over the hectic holidays, mental energy can be at a premium, so logistically challenging work-outs (remember the car-keys and the water-bottle and the change of clothes and…did I turn off the stove?) might leave you too tired to exercise. Plan for success; keep it simple.