Oh Thanksgiving. It’s the biggest feast of the year, where there’s no shortage of all our favorite foods: mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, dessert pies, and not to mention, all the wine and holiday cocktails.
To keep your holiday a little healthier, we created a coach-approved Thanksgiving Guide full of crowd-pleasing recipes. And of course, we couldn’t leave out the exercise either.
Why You Should (and shouldn’t) Workout on Thanksgiving
To be honest, you really don’t have to work out on Thanksgiving. While we always preach the benefits of regular exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle, we want you to make sure you’re working out for the right reasons.
Don’t workout on Thanksgiving to:
- “Earn” your meal
- Punish yourself for indulging
- Obsess over calories
Do workout on Thanksgiving to:
- Clear your head of holiday or family stress
- Boost your mood and energy to host or socialize
- Rev up your metabolism and healthy digestion
- Maintain your health regimen
- Be thankful for your health and ability to exercise
No Turkey Trot, No Problem
During the Pre-Covid era, the go-to Thanksgiving day workout was the Turkey Trot. Thousands of people would gather early on Thanksgiving morning for a citywide fun run/walk to burn some pre-feast cals.
Unfortunately, due to our “new normal,” most turkey trots are cancelled this year. Side note: you can still attend virtual trots and donate to charity (check your local site for deets).
To compensate for this, we’ve selected some of the best Turkey Trot alternatives for working out on Thanksgiving day.
Turkey Trot Alternative Workouts
Let’s be real, any workout that raises your heart rate is a good one, especially ones that you enjoy. So whether that’s going for a walk outdoors, dancing to your favorite playlist, or jumping on a trampoline, we’re here for it!
But if you want to know what we would do, it’d probably look something like this:
HIIT: Quick and Effective
HIIT, or high intensity interval training, workouts are the best bang for your buck when you’re short on time. You burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time, while training both strength and endurance. And what’s more, you’ll continue burning a higher amount of calories for the rest of your day.
Read more on the benefits of HIIT workouts.
At-Home Turkey Trot
Like we mentioned, there are several virtual Turkey Trots you can still do from home if you don’t want to break tradition.
Like this 1 or 2 Mile Walk with Coach Becky:
Did you know that you can burn a decent amount of calories doing normal tasks too? According to Harvard Health Publishing, people will burn the following calories doing these Thanksgiving-related tasks for 30 minutes:
- Help with the cooking: Burns 75-111 calories
- Do the grocery shopping: Burns 105-155 calories
- Playing with the kids: Burns 120-178 calories
While you wait for something to boil or bake, you can also sneak in a few sets of squats or push-ups.
It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and you’re still probably feeling a little full. And if you did a HIIT workout the day before, maybe a bit sore too.
This day would be perfect for an active recovery. This includes activities like:
- Long stroll through the neighborhood
- Yoga for digestion (this can be done the night of Thanksgiving too)
- Taking a hike and breathing in the crisp fall air
- Mobility and stretching exercises
Final Thoughts: Thanksgiving Workouts (that aren’t the Turkey Trot)
Getting in movement before your Thanksgiving meal reduces stress, increases your energy, and gets you in the feel-good mood. And whether your goal is to stay healthy during the holidays or relieve stress, remember to give thanks for what your body can do.
If you’d like to know more ways to stay healthy through the holidays, try Yes Health free for 14 days, and see what your health coaches recommend for you.
Yes Health is a low-cost, weight loss and diabetes-prevention program committed to helping everyone live healthier, happier lives.