Thanksgiving weekend is a time when we indulge and is totally fine as long as you stay healthy before and after your feast.
Spending time with family and friends is really important, and being able to enjoy yourself with them without feeling restricted is also important. Thanksgiving and delicious meals go hand-in-hand, so it is unavoidable to enjoy some good food.
It happens each year: The dishes you’ve been craving all season long are finally passed around the table, and before you know it your plate is piled up to your head with turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes — all smothered with a heaping portion of gravy. It’s a masterpiece, yes. But it’s also a single meal that can total anywhere from 2,500 to 4,500 calories, nearly twice the calories recommended daily.
Just a couple of indulgent days isn’t going to hurt, too much at least.
So, it’s time to drag yourself out of bed, put on your gym clothes, and get yourself in Total Shape for your workout.
Step 1: Start Slow
No matter who you are, your body is going to feel it after a night of heavy eating and drinking. You’re not going to be overflowing with energy, as your body will have spent most of the night digesting all of the food and drink you consumed.
Get into your workout slowly, starting out with a walk around the block a few times. Don’t zip out to the gym for a “quick” workout, and certainly don’t jog your normal route. It’s a day to take it slow–you can get back into the hectic pace of full-intensity workouts tomorrow!
Step 2: Get in Your LISS
Low-impact steady state (LISS) aerobics will help to get your body working, your blood pumping and your digestive system rolling. Start out with a bit of cycling–stationary bike or regular bike both work–as jogging or running will probably set your stomach bouncing–definitely not what you want the morning after a heavy meal.
Start your LISS slowly, at a leisurely pace. You’re probably going to be pretty low on energy, so let your body catch up with the workout you’re doing. After about five minutes, you’ll start to feel better, and it’s time to up the speed and difficulty on the bike. Within 10 minutes, you can probably be cycling at full speed–which you should then sustain for the next 15 to 20 minutes for the proper aerobic workout.
Step 3: Time to Train
Once you’ve gotten in your aerobics, it’s time to hit the weights for your muscle-building routine. You aren’t going to have enough energy for a HIIT workout, or for a full-on bodybuilding workout that leaves your muscles shaking and drained. It’s time to go for a circuit training routine that will hit all of the muscles in your body and burn away all those food calories.
Your circuit workout should include (in the following order):
Do this circuit routine twice, and your body will feel so much better!
Step 4: Digest Well
Your digestion is going to be a bit iffy the morning after a heavy Thanksgiving meal, so it’s important that you drink a lot of water, use the bathroom as your body directs, and find a way to detox all that alcohol, turkey and pumpkin pie.
The best post-Thanksgiving breakfast: oatmeal. The soluble fiber in the oats will help to absorb a lot of the toxins, and the insoluble fiber will scrub out your intestines. By the time workout rolls around, you’ll feel much better
Don’t forget to drink a lot of water the morning after! Both heavy eating and heavy drinking can leave your body dehydrated, so tank up on water to avoid problems when it’s time to work out.