Americans on average eat between 3,000 and 5,000 calories according to most estimates on Thanksgiving Day.¬† Some experts even suggest upper limits reaching as high as 7,000 calories!¬† For many, this is more than double the suggested number of calories consumed per day.
Without exercise, a 150-lb female requires between 1,400-2,000 calories per day, leaving at least 1,000 calories of excess energy that will be stored in the body.
During my career in online health and fitness, I have found people are not willing to skip out on their favorites for lower calorie versions.¬† Holidays come once a year and should be embraced, but remember not to over indulge and practice portion control.¬† Incorporating exercise is also very important to maintain your weight during the holidays.
Many cities and small towns host road races called ‚ÄúTurkey Trots‚ÄĚ on Thanksgiving Day morning.¬† These community events are social, fun and most importantly will jump start that metabolism.¬† Not only will you earn a piece of Apple Pie before the in-laws arrive, but you‚Äôll also be more relaxed throughout the day.¬† Between awkward family dynamics and baking disasters, one of the many benefits of exercise helps reduce stress.¬† Visit Active.com or RaceMenu.com to find a local event near you.
If you don‚Äôt have a Turkey Trot near your Thanksgiving Day festivities, start with your own 10K cardio challenge.¬† Bring a sister, son, daughter or family member for company.
If the weather outside is frightful or you are limited to working out in a small room, try completing a Tabata interval workout.¬† The only equipment you will need is a timer, which you will be able to find on most Smart phones.¬† A Tabata interval is a 4-minute long interval that alternates between 20 seconds of intense work and 10 seconds of rest.¬† You repeat this sequence 8 times for a total of 4 minutes.
Studies have shown that this work/recovery timing burns more fat than steady state cardio.¬† It was also found to burn up to 800 extra calories by helping keep heart rate raised throughout the day, making this form of exercise ideal for a day like Thanksgiving.¬† Try doing 4-8 different exercises using the Tabata protocol.¬† Here are my go-to exercises for the Tabata intervals:
‚óŹ¬†¬†¬†¬† Jumping jacks
‚óŹ¬†¬†¬†¬† Mountain climbers
‚óŹ¬†¬†¬†¬† Sumo squats
‚óŹ¬†¬†¬†¬† Single leg dead lifts
‚óŹ¬†¬†¬†¬† Reverse lunges
‚óŹ¬†¬†¬†¬† Russian twists
Another activity you can try to help offset the calorie gorge is playing flag football with the family or going for a walk after dinner.
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