Turkey Trot Trade Up

I’ve done my fair share of turkey trots and was even planning on one this year in Jacksonville, FL. However, after an epic asthma attack a mile into the Rothman 8k in Philly last weekend, I decided to forgo the race and get a good couples circuit in with Tim instead.

I’ve had asthma as long as I can remember and while it is often exercise induced, it’s always worst late November – early December. Using weights for a moderate to high intensity circuit puts slightly less pressure on my cardio-respiratory system while still torching calories and boosting strength. Plus, some of these turkey trots somehow don’t even donate proceeds to a charity so put that money directly towards a charity that means something to you (I’ll be sharing all of my favorites for Giving Tuesday).

Many other people don’t enjoy running or due to injury cannot run and feel there are no other options without their local gym when traveling for the holidays. Some, my clients included, feel bad taking time to exercise when staying with loved ones who aren’t as active. No matter the reason, I have some suggestions for keeping activity up no matter who you’re spending the holiday with. For those that who need to keep it up and use exercise for stress and anxiety-management like me, or who are working towards health goals, I have a circuit you can do anywhere with some basic equipment!

Group ACTIVities

  • Start your morning off with 10 minutes of yoga before you leave your room and greet your guests or hosts.
  • Walk the dogs with whomever you’re staying with and take time to play with their dogs outside.
  • Play games like hide and seek or tag with kids that are around.
  • Take a walk after dinner with someone you wish you could spend more time with.
  • Go mini-golfing or bowling with a group the day after Thanksgiving.
  • Play a game of family flag football.
  • Actually go find and chop down the Christmas tree instead of getting it pre-cut!
  • Break out the dance games on Nintendo Wii or PlayStation. Even if it takes you a glass of wine or two 😉

20 Minute Turkey Trot Trade-Up

I don’t care if you are hosting Thanskgiving at your house. You have 20 minutes! If not, do this circuit once through instead of twice and still reap benefits. If you have more time do it a third time through! As I mentioned, exercise isn’t just about calorie burn and physical health but about mental health, too! It can be a great way to blow off any holiday-related anxiety and boost endorphins so you can have a carefree day.

Just in case you’re confused by a few of the exercises with my play-on-athanksgiving-words, I tried to demo below! {disclosure: while I have graduate level exercise physiology knowledge, I am not a certified personal trainer or exercise physiologist}

Sweet potato side shuffle is literally just a side shuffle! Start low key and consider doing this for up to 3 minutes during the first round to warm your body up.  Alternate facing the same direction going as far as you have room to or, change directions every 15 seconds.


Gobble goblet squats. As with any squat, have your core engaged and shoulders back. Be sure your knees don’t go over your toes. Hold a weight (or even a jug of water or heavy item you have handy) in your hands with elbows tucked in and squat as low as you can go! If you have knee problems, do not squat so low that your butt is below your knees however.


If you can’t do a plyo push-up, no biggie! Plyo push-ups mean you use speed and force to push your hands off the ground when you’re coming up. If you can’t do a regular push-up properly (butt is up or hips dip) then keep your knees on the ground and aim to have a straight line between your head, shoulders, hips and knees. Never do an exercise the wrong way just to do it. It isn’t worth the injury risk!!

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Star jumps are my favorite! A minute may be tough so you can break it up with jumping jacks in between. Just don’t stop!


Pulse squats – stay low and do smaller squat movements without coming all the way up. This works different muscle fibers than he goblet squats. Burn your buns not the turkey in the oven! {slightly exaggerated via Boomerang app 😁}

 


Suitcases are just your body closing like an old school suitcase. Start as if you’ll be doing a normal crunch but bring your shoulders off the ground the same time as your feet and have your elbows touch your knees.

I let {made} Mr. Jones model the burpees. I wouldn’t have included pictures had I not taught briefly about plyo in my college course this week and had an overwhelming number of students who had never heard of burpees before. So here ya go!

 

Step ups. Should be self explanatory but you never know! Find a ledge, use some stairs, utilize a local park bench. My inlaws have a brick planter attached to their house that works perfectly! If we were at my parents in CT I would have used a high step on their back deck.


While rows should also be self-explanatory, my experiences with students in my fitness class and adults in wellness programs I’ve run has shown that a proper row must be explained! I often explain it in real life that you should start by having your chest out and butt sticking out too! You want to be sure your back is not curved over and your legs/knees are not completely locked.


Complete your V-ups with core and upper-body engaged.

Finish this up, write a gratitude list, and have a fabulous holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

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