Pre-Thanksgiving Action Plan: Exercise

Exercising the day of Thanksgiving can suppress appetite AND boost metabolism.  Exercising vigorously for 30-45 minutes the day after Thanksgiving can burn at least half of the calories consumed.  If you are like most Americans, you will consume 3,500-5,000 calories on this fabulous holiday. Yes, most of those calories will be stored as fat unless you are Michael Phelps.

Not to fret.  If there is no chance of resisting the 15 desserts on your Viennese Table — there is a way to have your cake and eat it, too.  Follow these simple exercise guidelines and go guilt-free to your Thanksgiving meal.


If you are up for a challenge, most states have the annual TURKEY TROT, which is a scheduled local race the morning of Thanksgiving.  The races are usually three to five miles in length.  A five-mile Trot in Salem Mass called, the WILD TURKEY 5 MILE RUN, is supposed to be a lot of fun. Registration is still open for that race.  Unfortunately, my favorite Trot in Prospect Park Brooklyn is closed out; but other races can be found at

If you cannot find a race near you, you should still exercise that morning.  Anything you choose to do will be better than nothing, whether it is a hard workout of Weight Lifting, Hiit Training and/or Cross Training or something more relaxed, such as walking or jogging. Any physical activity you choose will increase the feel-good hormone (serotonin) and boost metabolism — important for braving your feast of kings.


Cardio is the name of the game.  At least 30-60 minutes of continuous aerobic activity will help blast through your (topped off tank of) glycogen stores and burn through those excess calories from the meal.  Circuit training or weight training is also calorie-blasting, if done vigorously for at least 30 minutes. Take a look at some exercise ideas below:

  • Spin studio: 45 minutes of hard cycling.  [Places in NYC include: Soul Cycle, Flywheel and TheStudioCycle]
  • NxJ gym: 10 minutes rowing, 10 minutes elliptical, 5 min jump-rope, 5 minutes ab crunches and push-ups.
  • Outdoor time: 5 minutes jogging, 20 minute run, 5 minutes jogging.  Or, time your own 3.5 mile run (like we did for the JPMCC).
  • Total body circuit: Squats (1 min); Jump-rope (1 min); push-ups on knees or toes (1 min); plank with leg extension (1 min); lunge with bicep curls (alternate 1 min). Repeat 2-3x.

Comment below to offer some of your exercise ideas to fellow NxJ’ers!


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