Ramp Up Your Fitness Routine to Prepare for Thanksgiving
by Jennifer Rendfrey, MS Exercise Science
Thanksgiving is a time to sit back and enjoy some time with family, friends and of course food. Well, this tradition sure does conflict with your fitness goals heading into the holiday season. Let’s take a look how you can do some “damage control” heading into the week of Thanksgiving.
Over the next two and a half weeks, here are some tips to add to your current fitness routine or to help you start a new routine heading into the New Year so you can hit 2018 with some solid momentum.
- Track your daily caloric intake and attempt to reduce that total amount per day by 100-200 calories. This way, it’s not too much of a shock to your system and routine but at the same time reducing your weekly caloric intake by up to 1500 calories.
- In addition to tracking your calories and attempting to reduce the overall intake, one of the easiest ways to achieve this is by replacing some higher caloric foods with healthier lower caloric foods. Some ideas include: cutting back on breads and pastas, limiting or cutting out sodas and other beverages that have higher calories and sugar counts and try to replace with water, eliminate fried foods and some fattier red meats, and try to cut out completely or limit foods/snacks with simple sugars and replace with foods that have healthier complex carbohydrates.
- Increase your daily/weekly exercise volume by adding another day or two of exercise or by increasing the duration/intensity of your workout sessions. By changing the variables (frequency, duration, intensity) your body has to adapt to these changes and work a little bit harder in these new environments.
- If you’re not currently on a fitness regimen, start slowly by adding 1-3 light workouts per week (walking, yoga etc.) and slowly add to it as we approach Thanksgiving.
- Decrease your exposure to social events so you’re not confronted with alcohol and foods that are traditionally higher in caloric value and lower in nutritional value.
- Daylight savings just passed and has thrown many people off. We lost an hour of light at the end of the day and this sometimes can affect peoples sleep cycles. Try to stick to your sleep routines and strive for the optimal 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Now that we’ve looked at some helpful (and healthy) tips to incorporate into your life over the next couple of weeks it’s important to remember that not every tip may be right for you and your needs. Make your goal to slowly incorporate as many of these tips into your new lifestyle routine over the next couple of weeks and try to keep them going as we pass Thanksgiving and head towards the New Year. Remember, this is not meant to “cancel out” all the calories you’re going to ingest on Turkey Day, rather this is a way to start your journey to a healthier version of yourself heading into the “gauntlet” between now and the start of 2018. Here’s to a Happy and Healthy Holiday season!