Thanksgiving dinner can be a tremendous joy for your mouth and a considerable stress for, well, the rest of your body. The holiday feast can easily contribute not only to some physical discomfort, but also to feelings of shame and guilt. But not to worry, because with this Thanksgiving day workout routine you'll boost your metabolism and your mood to prepare yourself for the joyous evening.

There are always ways in which you can trim down your calorie intake. Refraining from pre- and post-dinner snacks and drinks is a huge help to your body. Why not just fully enjoy the main home-made meal? But before you sit down to devour the turkey and the gravy, have this extra intensive fat-burning workout routine the day before, the day of, and the day after the holiday.

Thanksgiving-themed workouts

The day before

long brisk walk

On this day, just before Thanksgiving, you want to have a longer session of cardio. This will burn quite a lot of extra calories to make room for your huge and guilt-free meal the next day.

Running is the best and most efficient option in this case. If you're traveling to see your family, it means that you don't want to drag your equipment along with you. If running doesn't sound appealing, opt for a long brisk walk in the fresh air, perhaps together with your favorite family members to work on re-bonding while you're at it.

The Thanksgiving day itself

Do your Thanksgiving workout first thing in the morning to give your muscles some time to relax and repair. You want to work your whole body. Repeat this cycle 4-5 times. Try to rest as little as possible in between exercises to increase your heart rate and calorie burn.

10 jump squats

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Quickly squat down and swing your arms back. Then jump upward as high as you can, stretching your arms up and overhead. Land softly, reset, and repeat.

20 jumping jacks

Start with your feet together, arms at your sides, knees soft. Simultaneously jump your feet apart and raise your arms overhead. Then, quickly, jump them back right in place again.

10 push-ups 

Lie on the floor, face down. Lift yourself with your hands straight under your shoulders. Keep your head, hips, and heels aligned and your core engaged. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Then press yourself back up again with force.

20 squats

Thanksgiving Squats

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Squat down with your whole soles firmly pressing the floor. Avoid your knees going too far forward over your toes. Go as low as you can. Stand back up and repeat.

10 sit-ups

Start by lying down on your back with your legs bent and the soles of your feet firmly on the floor. Slowly, one vertebra after another, curl your head, shoulders, and your back up. Let your palms slide through the sides of your thighs. When you reach the sitting position, go back down, one vertebra at a time.

10 butterfly crunches 

Lie on your back. Keep the soles of your shoes together, let your knees fall open, hands reaching toward your feet. Sit up by slowly curling your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor. Try to reach your hands to touch the floor in front of your shoes. Slowly curl your spine back down. Repeat right away.

20 mountain climbers

Mountain Climbers

Start in a high plank position with your hands slightly wider apart than your shoulders. Draw one knee towards your chest and quickly move it back. Switch legs as soon as the balls of the first feet touch the ground. Keep alternating quickly.

10 burpees

Start in a high plank position. Drop yourself down to touch the floor with your chest. Do a push up to return to the plank position. Then, jump your feet in toward your hands. Explosively jump into the air, reaching your arms straight overhead. Lastly, squat down, place your hands on the floor in alignment with your feet, and jump both feet back, so you end up in the plank position again.

20 alternating lunges

Start standing tall. Step forward with your left leg so that the knee is approximately over your foot when you bend it. Slowly lower your upright torso until your right leg creates a nice 90-degree angle. Your rear knee should be just slightly off the floor. Keep your palms on your hips for better balance. Pause, slowly come back to the starting position and do the same with your left leg. Continue to alternate back and forth.

Don't forget to do a quick warm-up before and a nice calming full-body stretch after your training.

The day after

When the holiday is finally over, you want to help your body to burn those extra calories faster. This is why it is essential to do interval training today to increase your metabolic rate.

This is, again, easiest to do with running. Try sprint running for 45-60 seconds. Allow yourself to rest for 90-120 seconds and go back to running again. Do up to 10 repetitions.

Don't forget to warm up before and cool down after your training session.

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Written by Audra Bajori
Audra is a writer, an ethical vegan, a compulsive self-experimenter and health-hacker, who plans on living for at least 100 years. She's also a cinephile,...
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