“Should I workout on the holiday?”
Depending on your goals, you might want to take a full day off to enjoy the holiday fully and if you can DO!
Holidays and special events are the days where I think it’s important to embrace the experience, but I know for myself and for others I often feel better mentally and physically getting a workout in on the holiday, even if I don’t “have” to.
If you ARE planning on working out, here are some tips:
1) Check the Gym Holiday Hours!
Many gyms close or have shortened hours on the holiday so check in advance so you can plan accordingly.
If you’re traveling look into different gyms in advance and see if you can do a trial or day pass to save some $
“What if I don’t have access to a gym?”
2) Take Some Easy Workout Props With You
These can fit into any carry on, luggage, etc. easy!
If I’m driving I might even throw in a medicine ball, kettle bell, or light pair of dumbbells!
3) Use your BODY!
First of all, Thanksgiving is an awesome time to just get outside and be ACTIVE.
Maybe instead of your regular workout you just get out for a family fall walk, a jog, or football!
Encourage your family and friends to take part so you can secretly get a workout in but don’t have to miss out on social time.
If you want to get your workout in but don’t have access to a gym don’t stress, you can do a TONNE with just your body or a small amount of equipment, here are ideas for both:
Shoulders- lateral raises, front raises, rear delt flyes, standing/seated press
Arms- bicep curls (traditional grip or hammer grip, seated or standing), tricep kick backs, overhead tricep extensions
Chest– flyes, presses (try wrapping your band around a tree outside for these!)
Back- rows (again, a tree or light post is a great counter weight for these)
Legs and Booty- kick backs with band, squats to shoulder press
Shoulders– dive push ups
Arms- inverted pull ups with a narrow underhand grip (find something to hold onto like a low bar, sturdy table, etc.) for biceps, narrow grip push-ups for triceps, body weight tricep dips (use a chair or bench)
Chest- traditional push ups (try different variations like standing and against a wall, with your feet up on a bench, etc!)
Back– perfect timing to practice your pull ups, OR more inverted pull ups, but with overhand wide grip this time
Legs and Booty– the easiest to work with just your body weight: lunges, jump lunges, squats, jump squats!
Plyo & Cardio:
Burpees, sprints, jump squats, star jumps, jump lunges, mountain climbers, you name it, there’s no excuse not to get your cardio in. Find a great spot to run or a set of stairs, even a stadium and get outside!
Now, About the Food!
“Can I take a rest day and still eat the holiday dinner?”
I personally feel WAY better about enjoying my Thanksgiving dinner if I know I got a good sweat on that day, if I indulge in the full meal deal holiday dinner PLUS don’t workout I know I won’t feel well mentally or physically.
Depending on your goals you may be on a very structured plan in which case I recommended planning in advance and adjusting your training schedule if the gym isn’t open, but most people can be flexible
(remember, 1 day isn’t going to dramatically effect your progress!)
If you’re doing a “diet-friendly” meal, then I think you will feel fine taking a day off to enjoy, but if you’re planning on fully indulging, you might feel best to get a good workout in before the meal and that way you can use those extra calories as recovery fuel 😉
“Should I be doing extra tomorrow to make up for it?”
This creates bad habits in my opinion- I don’t want anyone over eating and then attempting to compensate the next day.
Be moderate with your meal and you shouldn’t feel the urge to do this and stay away from the scale for a few days.
It’s likely if you’re used to a structured diet and have a “free” meal that you will hold water for a day or two afterwards, so don’t stress.
Get back on your nutrition and training schedule, drink lots of water, and get a good strong workout in the next day to use those calories!
“I over did it, did I just ruin all of my progress?!”
Relax. If this is a question you’re asking yourself then you may have over done it in terms of eating, so use it as a learning experience.
If you’re reading this before the holiday I hope it helps you to go in with a level mind and the ability to practice moderation.
If you DID over-indulge, use it as a learning experience and remind yourself of how you felt mentally and physically afterwards so that in the future you can improve on your moderation practices!
Just like you didn’t lose all of your weight/build all of your muscle/etc. in a day, you can’t undo it in a day, BUT this doesn’t mean it’s a free for all. Respect your body and what you’re putting into it.
It’s all about BALANCE. Enjoy the day, don’t over think it, and focus on friends & family!