Burn Off That Thanksgiving Food!

Tonight coast-to-coast Americans will be stuffed full laying on the couch, or sunk down in a chair, in their food induced comas while visions of the delicious food they ate dances in their heads. According to Next Avenue, between the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and miles of pies, the average American eats between 3,000 and 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. That’s a lot considering the typical, moderately-active woman needs around 1,800 calories a day and the average man needs between 2,200 and 2,400 calories a day, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, that’s nearly two days worth of calories in a single meal! Now I’m not one to judge because I go crazy on Thanksgiving because it’s hard to resist all of that amazing food! But, we all gotta burn it off and return back to a normal eating pattern eventually. Here are some ways to help you burn off some of that food!

For perspective, here’s what you’d have to do to burn off your entire 3,000 dinner:

Walking 4 mph (a brisk walk): 10 hours
Running 6 mph: 4 hours
Elliptical trainer (moderate effort): 12 hours
Stationary bike (150 watts, moderate effort): 6 hours
Yoga (Hatha): 17 hours
Step aerobics, general: 6.5 hours
Sitting, watching TV: 42 hours

(Source: The American College of Exercise, based on a 150-pound person.)

Take a Walk

Make it a family tradition or habit to take a walk together after the big Thanksgiving meal to get moving and burn off some of that food. Walking is a low energy way to exercise, so its probably the easiest way to burn off a few of those calories with a stomach full of delicious food.

Dance It Out

A classic in my family! We love dancing it out to classic rock in my grandma’s kitchen after a huge holiday meal, or anytime actually! Dancing is a super fun way to burn off those Thanksgiving calories that doesn’t even seem like exercising.

Group Workout

Group workouts are a super fun way to get some exercise with your friends and family and have tons of fun in the process. Usually lots of different gyms have Thanksgiving burn off sessions that you can look for and take part in. So check out classes in your area!


Yoga is another great, relaxing way to work out with a full stomach. Not to mention you’ll feel fantastic and totally relaxed afterwards!

Shovel Some Snow

Unfortunately here in the midwest we tend to get lots of snow around Thanksgiving time. So shoveling some snow, even though its not the most fun way to get active, is a great way to burn off tons of calories while doing something you kind of have to do eventually anyways.

Mix and match your own food and exercise combo by using this general guideline to see other ways you can burn off some calories:

Yoga/stretching: 179 calories burned per hour
Bowling: 215 calories burned per hour
Strength training (light): 215 calories burned per hour
Dancing: 344 calories burned per hour
Walking (briskly): 358 calories burned per hour
Shoveling snow: 430 calories burned per hour
Group aerobics: 465 calories burned per hour
Stationary cycling: 501 calories burned per hour
Circuit training: 573 calories burned per hour
Cross country skiing: 573 calories burned per hour
Running (5 mph): 573 calories burned per hour

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