I’ll admit, even as a fitness instructor, just researching and writing this story was a little depressing. But if you do a little writing of your own in a Thanksgiving exercise journal and add the “two-a-day” football trick, reading it doesn’t have to get you down. Before you turn the page in a huff, hear me out.
It’s hard to believe, but according to the Calorie Control Council (a trade group that studies Thanksgiving over-indulgence), the average person eats between 3,000 to 4,500 calories in one Thanksgiving meal and about 230 grams of fat.
Walking off a 3,000– to 4,500–calorie feast takes about ten hours for a 180-pound adult. Jogging off the meal takes about six hours, or about five hours of high intensity interval training (HIIT). It sounds daunting if you leave it all for Black Friday. So, my advice is to break it down into smaller workouts throughout the week. Here are some helpful tips.
If you don’t generally work out much during the week, try walking an hour in the morning and an hour at night (a “two-a-day workout” like the football players do) Monday through Friday of Thanksgiving week. Make it fun by treating yourself to an audiobook while you stroll. The new habit might just stick, and you can finally start that gentle workout routine you’ve been putting off.
FOR MODERATE EXERCISERS
If you currently work out three days a week, consider doing your normal cross-training routine early in the day and adding an hourlong afternoon jog with weightlifting or body weight intervals daily during Thanksgiving week.
FOR THOSE WHO WORK OUT 5 TO 6 DAYS A WEEK
Plan for some spinning, running, power yoga and weight training early in the day, then add some HIIT workouts in the afternoon or evening all week. Sign up for that Turkey Trot, and after the big meal, try my power yoga gratitude flow or Slimnastics HIIT/yoga fusion workouts. Traveling? You can still meet your goal with my Fit Travel Workout video that requires no equipment. A bonus for all these groups is that after putting this much time into fitness during the week, you may think twice about putting second helpings on your plate.
Find Nikki’s videos on instagram @nikkifitness or on the NikkiFitness App.
HOW DO YOU GET INSPIRED?
Keeping a journal and enlisting a workout buddy are two great ways. Add one to ten things you’re grateful for in that journal to help stave off holiday stress.
Consider healthier recipes for traditional favorites.
One of my favorite ways to re-create a healthier and delicious option for Thanksgiving stuffing is an apple, apricot and almond stuffing from the Frog Commissary Cookbook. And it’s pretty! The red, orange and brown ingredients give it a festive autumn look.
THANKSGIVING DISH-TO-EXERCISE BREAKDOWN
APPLE PIE (1 slice)
5K Turkey Trot (35 min.)
PUMPKIN PIE (1 slice)
Yoga (60 min.)
Flag Football (20 min.)
SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE (1/2 cup)
Spinning (18 min.)
TURKEY BREAST (6 oz.)
Ice skating (50 min.)
EGG NOG (1/2 cup)
CrossFit (13 min.)
STUFFING (1/2 cup)
Stair running (10 min.)
CORN BREAD (2 oz.)
Swimming (15 laps)
RED WINE (6 oz.)
Walking (35 min.)
MASHED POTATOES (1/2 cup)
Weight training (35 min.)
GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE (1/2 cup)
Dancing (15 min.)
GRAVY (1/4 cup)
CRANBERRY SAUCE (1/4 cup)
Source: The Daily Burn