8 Tips for an Active & Healthy Thanksgiving

By |2018-11-19T17:35:31+00:00November 19th, 2018|

It’s no secret that Thanksgiving centers around eating. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pie – it’s enough to send even the most dedicated exerciser to the couch for a carb-induced nap. The good news is that you can still stay active this Thanksgiving. Just incorporate these 8 tips into your holiday gameplan!

Tip #1: Make Cleaning Your Workout

Hosting Thanksgiving this year? You’re probably overwhelmed by the amount of cleaning and cooking you need to do, and a trip to the gym is the last thing on your “to-do list”. Do yourself a favor and make cleaning part your workout. Grab your headphones, crank up some music, and increase your heart rate by vacuuming, scrubbing, and sweeping. We promise you won’t miss the gym!

Tip #2: Embrace Grocery Shopping

A pre-Thanksgiving trip to the grocery store can be an exercise in patience, so multi-task by turning your shopping into exercise. Park as far from the store as you can and carry your heavy groceries instead of using a cart. You’ll finish your shopping, get a good workout, and relieve some holiday stress – all at the same time.

P.S. For extra cardio, try tackling those Black Friday sales!

Tip #3: Find a Turkey Trot

Turkey Trots (Thanksgiving morning runs/walks) have sprung up across the country and are an amazing opportunity to start your day with a fun, family-oriented burst of exercise. Many races also offer complimentary refreshments and a festive atmosphere (you may even see a few turkey-themed hats), so find out if your community offers one of these events.

Tip #4: Plan a Family Workout

If it’s too cold for an outdoor run or walk, plan a Thanksgiving morning trip to the gym. Many fitness facilities offer special early-morning classes on Thanksgiving, such as Turkey Day boot camp classes or extended group cycling sessions. If going to the gym isn’t feasible, meet in the living room for some yoga or a bodyweight workout. The possibilities are endless!

Tip #5: Cook with Music

Cooking a large meal is a lot of work, but music makes everything better! Put on some holiday tunes and enjoy cooking with your family. You may even find yourself moving and shaking off some extra calories.

Tip #6: Take Breaks

If you’re too busy to squeeze in a Thanksgiving workout, incorporate some 10-minute activity breaks into your day. Take some time to stretch, shake out your legs, or just take a quick walk around the yard. These activity breaks will refresh your body and your mind.

Tip #7: Go for a Post-Meal Walk or Play Games

Fitness professionals have long suggested walking after a heavy Thanksgiving dinner, and for good reason! Research shows that walking after meals promotes digestion and blood sugar control. You can also grab your family and head outside for some active games. There are loads of fun games to play on Turkey Day, including capture the flag, tag, hide-and-seek, or the classic Thanksgiving Day staple – football! If you live in a cold climate, building a snowman or sledding may also be a great option.

Tip #8: Find a Black Friday Boot Camp

If Black Friday sales don’t sound appealing, check out the schedule at your local gym. Many studios offer special classes, such as Black Friday boot camps, to help you digest that extra stuffing. You may even want to invite a friend or family member to join you.

Remember, VHP is here to help you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving! Download the VHPGo app for live and archived fitness classes, 24/7. We can help you stay active throughout the holidays and well into the New Year.

About the Author:

As a former overweight teenager, Meghan discovered the transformative power of good nutrition and exercise. In a quest to help others transform their lives, Meghan earned an MS in Applied Nutrition from Northeastern University and a dual-certification from the American Council on Exercise in personal training and group fitness instruction. In addition to writing, Meghan teaches virtual fitness classes and provides 1-on-1 training sessions via VHPGO. Meghan resides in Charlottesville, VA and loves spending time with her husband, infant daughter, and toy poodle.