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A Comprehensive Guide to a Guilt-Free Thanksgiving Break

Maintaining a workout schedule during the holiday months can be a daunting task. Many of us are left with the guilt of days off and meals indulged upon before we even partake. It’s time to  proactively prepare and progress, as opposed to retroactively making up for damage done. We encourage you to take the steps necessary to truly enjoy the holidays. Imagine disagreeing with the rest of the table when they say, “I shouldn’t have had that pie,” and instead saying to yourself, “I earned that, and it was absolutely delicious!”

Thanksgiving is a mere 21 days away, and with that comes a handful of days off, decadent meals (and desserts), and for some of you, a lot of travel. Now is the time to plan ahead and set yourself up for success in a way that makes it worthwhile to take a few days off over the holiday.

Below are my top five tips to help you make the most of the next three weeks.

Tip 1: Add Time.

Think about your typical workout routine today. An easy way to up your fitness game is to add an additional 20 minutes of cardio or weight training to each workout during the week. Remember to start slow. The fastest way to injury is to add too much too soon. So maybe add 20 minutes to the end of two workouts this week, and work your way up over the next three weeks to extending all your workouts. 20 minutes of stepmill for the average 150-pound person burns up to 266 calories. If you did this every day until Thanksgiving, that’s an extra 5,852 calories burned – or roughly 18 pieces of pumpkin pie (of which I do not encourage).

Tip 2: Mix it Up.

Try adding new techniques to your routine. It’s easy to get in a rut during the holidays, so now is the time to spice up your regular workout. Try a new group fitness class – if you like to run, jump in a spin class or two. If you’re always on the elliptical, try the stepmill. You might just find a new staple for your week!

I’ve asked my fellow trainers, Denise Sarver and Taylor Deeds, for their help in compiling a list of their favorite classes across cardio, strength and yoga. Remember, Woodside offers over 100 group fitness classes each week. To see descriptions and view class times, bookmark the Group Fitness Schedule.

Denise’s favorite classes for cardio fans:
1. Cycle Express
2. GRIT Cardio
3. Hit ‘n Run

Denise’s favorite classes for strength training gurus:
1. Body Pump
2. Boxing Boot Camp
3. Full Throttle

Taylor’s favorite classes for yogis:
1. Spicy Flow
2. Vinyasa
3. Yoga Basics

Tip 3: Try Density Circuits.

In addition to adding time to your routine, it’s important to keep strength training as a major component of your workout. I’m a big fan of Density Circuits because they allow you to build muscle and strength at your own pace.

Density circuit:
Pick two circuits of four exercises, and set a 60 second timer for each lift. Track how much weight and reps you get for each set (three total). Next time you’re training, increase the weight and attempt to get the same amount of repetitions.

Tip 4: Food vs. Fitness

When it comes to calorie intake, you are basically working within a budget. Every day you have an allotment of calories you can earn, and you spend those on the food you eat. If you maintain your current nutrition, your calorie budget stays the same. Add in the extra time in the gym, and you end up “earning” additional calories that can be spent during Thanksgiving. Without consulting a professional for further guidelines, this method is effective at maintaining, without losing ground.

Tip 5: Work out Right.

Remember it may not always be enough to simply get in extra time at the gym. If you haven’t gone through an assessment to understand your bio-mechanical make-up, strengths and potential weaknesses, you could be working out in a way that isn’t efficient, or worse, could lead to injury.

Woodside Personal Trainers utilize the nationally recognized Ortho-Kinetics® Assessment as a tool to identify the most effective approach to reach your fitness goals. Ortho-Kinetics® uses corrective exercises and specialized techniques to address limitations and other challenges that inhibit optimum performance to unlock your full physical potential and promote your overall well-being. This integrated approach to your fitness program ensures that you are on your way to moving, feeling, and looking your absolute best.

This professional process, backed by science, identifies your unique bio-mechanical factors and develops a foundation to ensure that when you work out, you are doing it the most efficient and effective way possible.

If you’re interested in progressing further and addressing your individual needs or goals throughout the holiday season, contact us today for a consultation!


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