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Thanksgiving Workout Plan: Fit Check
Be thankful for workouts like these, which will let you have a guilt-free Thanksgiving Day meal. By Melissa Romero
Comments () | Published November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Workout Plan

The Day Before

The Morning Of

The Day After

From Turkey Trots to a nice fall stroll through the neighborhood with family, there are plenty of ways to keep the pounds off this Thanksgiving. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Steve-h

The holiday season is a great excuse to eat heartily with family and friends—but none of us want that bountiful meal to end up on our hips. The problem is, a 160-pound person would need to walk 30 miles to burn off the average of 3,000 calories eaten on Thanksgiving Day. Yikes!

To stave off some of that potential weight gain, local trainer Allyn Blind of Synergy Training Solutions offers three workouts to do the day before, of, and after Thursday’s meal. Each routine will keep the calories burning and help you feel better about your Thanksgiving meal decisions—plus they’re a “great way to catch up with family and get healthy,” Blind says.

• • •

THE DAY-BEFORE-THANKSGIVING WORKOUT

Use the circuit below, which requires no equipment. It’ll raise your heart rate and burn calories, and it only takes about 20 minutes. With all that extra time, consider increasing your activity throughout the whole day. Even running last-minute errands counts—park farther away from store entrances, or pick up the pace while cleaning before guests arrive.

Reps: One minute each exercise. Perform the circuit three times, with one to two minutes of rest in between.

Warmup: High-Knee March in Place
Run in place, bringing your knees up so your quads are parallel with the ground.

Exercise One: Front Plank Lateral Walks
Begin in a full pushup position with hands directly beneath your shoulders. Keeping your arms straight but not locked, “walk” to the left 3 to 6 inches. Repeat to your right.

Exercise Two: Alternating Lunge Forward
Begin with feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping toes pointed straight ahead, lunge forward with one foot, keeping your core engaged and torso upright. Making sure your back knee does not touch the ground, push with the front leg back to the starting position, and repeat.

Exercise Three: Pushups (modified or regular form)
Get in the pushup position, keeping your body straight and hands shoulder-width apart, directly under your shoulders. Lower your body to the ground by bending your arms, then straighten arms back to starting position. Repeat. For a modified pushup, rest your knees on the floor.

Exercise Four: Squat or Jump Squat
Begin with feet shoulder-width apart and toes facing forward. Lower your hips to the ground without allowing your knees to extend past your toes. Raise your hips back to starting position. Add a jump to kick things up a notch.

Exercise 5: Burpees
Begin in a pushup position, jump to your feet, jump into the air, and lower back down to pushup position. Repeat.

• • •

THE MORNING-OF-THANKSGIVING WORKOUT

We know getting a workout in today won’t be the first thing on your mind, but Blind says even just an hour of activity before the meal will suffice. “The morning of this holiday is a great opportunity to get active with friends and family,” he explains.

Keep the workout easygoing today by entering a fun run or a turkey trot. Too ambitious? Play a touch football game, or plan a family walk before dinner.

• • •

THE DAY-AFTER-THANKSGIVING WORKOUT

Use the circuit below to get your heart rate up, burn calories, and work off Grandma’s pumpkin pie. Add a 30-minute walk or jog for a highly effective post-dinner session.

Reps: One minute each exercise. Perform the circuit three times, with one to two minutes of rest in between.

Warmup: Jump Rope
Grab a jump rope and jump for one minute. If there’s no rope at hand, simply mimic the motion by jumping up and down for one minute.

Exercise One: Squat with a Front Leg Kick
Begin with feet shoulder-width apart and toes facing forward. Lower your hips to the ground without allowing your knees to extend past your toes. Raise your hips back to starting position. Kick one leg out in front, alternating sides after every squat.

Exercise Two: Front Plank Forward/Backward Walk
Begin in a full pushup position with hands directly beneath your shoulders. Keeping your arms straight but not locked, “walk” forward 3 to 5 feet, then backward to starting position.

Exercise Three: Jumping Jacks
Start with feet together and arms at your side. As you jump, kick your feet out to the sides and bring your arms up. Return to starting position and repeat in a fluid motion.

Exercise Four: Squat thrusts
Start in a pushup position. Jump your feet forward to a squat position and then back. Keep hips as low as possible. An alternative method is to bring one leg forward at a time (also known as the “mountain climber”).

Exercise Five: Pushups (modified or regular form)
See description under the “Day-Before-Thanksgiving Workout” section.

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Fit Check Fitness
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Posted at 12:32 PM/ET, 11/23/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs