Post-Thanksgiving: Let the Workout Begin

November 29, 2013

It’s officially the day after Thanksgiving, and you know what that means (besides Black Friday shopping): it’s time for the dreaded post-Thanksgiving workout. The food-induced coma and tryptophan has worn off, but your clothes still feel a bit tighter around the mid-section. With your body feeling sluggish and heavy, working out is the last thing on your mind.

But if you want to avoid the seemingly inevitable holiday weight gain, strap on your sneakers and hit the gym, or maybe your living room with a workout DVD in-hand. Here are a few tips for a slow, but beneficial post-Thanksgiving workout:

Prepare Yourself
A meal of such gigantic proportions is bound to have side effects, and one includes energy depletion – the after Thanksgiving sluggishness is in full force.

The secret to begin your post-Thanksgiving workout is to ease into it. No one wants to jump out of bed and hit the treadmill running, which is why walking is a great, low-impact exercise. You may have a treadmill desk, so you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your living room. But if not, bundle up and take a quick walk around the block.

Choose Low Impact
Other than walking, there are other low impact after Thanksgiving exercises you can perform that won’t over stress or strain your body. Head to a yoga class or pop in a yoga DVD to assist digestion. Twisting and maneuvering the body compresses your organs, like the stomach and intestines, to help reenergize the body and digest those four dinner rolls you ate yesterday.

Since your energy is low, allow your body to catch up, by starting at a slow pace and working your way up to a peak workout. You won’t be able to burn off the large amount of calories you consumed yesterday. Don’t try to prolong your workout or dramatically increase the intensity — that will only end in tears and a stomach ache. And always stay hydrated during your post-Thanksgiving workout.

Eat a Healthy Meal
It’s always best to avoid crash diets or skipping meals altogether, so to counteract the indulgent meal you consumed, choose healthy foods today. A solid, post-Thanksgiving breakfast of oatmeal gives you plenty of fiber, and it’s nice on a cold day. You’re probably going to be dehydrated too, so drink up!

Try to eat small snacks throughout your post-Thanksgiving hangover, versus three set meals with larger portions. This allows you better portion control and keeps your metabolism up.

If you want to avoid the post-Thanksgiving blues next year, try to go into the holiday with a prepared mindset. Set boundaries and focus on portion control, so the next day won’t be so difficult. Don’t make the day entirely about eating and drinking, it’s about spending time with friends and family, and taking a moment to recognize what you have to be thankful for.

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