5 Thanksgiving Exercises to Help You Prepare for Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is your chance to eat the food you love, so there’s no need to feel guilty about it.

Even though you’re going to have plenty of time on your hands, you can still get a great workout in – and enjoy it. We’ve compiled a list of workouts for you that can give your body a boost and help keep off the pounds off throughout the holiday season and beyond.

Each routine requires no equipment, so you can do them anywhere – whether you are at home, work, or traveling for the holiday – as all you need is enough room to move around. So enjoy the turkey burn by increasing your heart rate using resistance from your own bodyweight.

Best Thanksgiving Exercises to Try Without Any Guilt

Here are five simple moves you can try this Thanksgiving:

1) Air Squat

Air squats, or bodyweight squats, are a common exercise in CrossFit and other training programmes. You can do them during the Thanksgiving holiday on your own, without any weights. Regular squats may involve weights instead of just your bodyweight. You should feel the exercise in your thighs and glutes.


How to do it?

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed slightly outward.
  • Engage your core muscles, and pull your shoulders back slightly to push out your chest.
  • Squat down as if you were about to sit in a chair, keeping your weight in the heels of your feet so that you don’t lean forward.
  • Your hips should move down towards your heels till they are below your knees.
  • Hold for a few seconds, and rise up by pushing through the balls of your feet into the ground and using your glutes to return to a standing position.

2) Mountain Climber

Mountain climbers are a great thanksgiving exercise for building cardio endurance and strength in the core. You work several muscle groups with this exercise — it’s almost like getting a total body workout with just one exercise.


How to do it:

  • In a plank position, with your hands and toes keeping your body in line, engage your abs, and keep your head aligned with your back.
  • While holding the position, pull one knee into your chest as far as possible.
  • Switch legs, bringing the other knee up to your chest.
  • Run your knees up and down as far as you can while breathing deeply.

3) Side Lunge

Side lunges are lower body exercises that primarily target large muscle groups in the legs, such as the hamstrings and quads. They also work the inner thigh muscles, like the adductors and outer glutes.

Side lunges may be gentler on the lower back than squats, but they’re typically more difficult, as they require ample balance.


How to do it:

  • Walk to the side by taking a step with your left foot.
  • Both toes should point in the same direction, and both feet should be flat on the floor.
  • Bend your left knee as you step out, and keep your hips back. It should feel like you’re sitting just one side of your lower body into a chair.
  • Release by pushing off of your left foot to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for additional sets on that leg before switching to the other.

4) Sumo Squat

Sumo squats are great for building strong, shapely legs. They also engage the heavy hitters of the lower body — glutes, hamstrings, and quads — and help you get a nice workout during your Thanksgiving holiday.


How to do it?

  • Do the sumo squat by standing with your feet in a wide stance, with toes pointing out to the sides, and squatting down till your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Press your hips back as you squat, and keep your back straight, abs tight, and knees in line with the toes.
  • As you push through your heels to return to standing, make sure to breathe out.

5) Burpee

Doing a burpee workout can be very beneficial for you and your family this Thanksgiving. This exercise can improve balance, stability, mobility, and strength. The benefits are similar to doing squats: It increases energy, builds confidence, improves coordination, and makes you more mobile.


How to do it?

  • Stand straight with your arms by your sides.
  • Squat down, keeping your knees bent and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Put your hands on the floor behind you, and jump back into a push-up position by thrusting your legs backward.
  • Jump your feet back towards your hands, and jump into the air, reaching your arms above you as you do so.
  • Land in the squat position, and repeat as many times as you can.


Whether you exercise before or after Thanksgiving, or in the days just before, take care of yourself so that you can take care of your loved ones.

You will be more energetic and healthy when you spend time with your friends and family. You may even burn off enough calories to eat a second helping of yams or candied sweet potatoes.

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