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Staying Fit on Turkey Day

When we think Thanksgiving, we think of two things:  family and food. Well mostly food. How can we not revel in all the delicious stuffing, turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes? Oh, and let’s not forget about the pumpkin pie.

So maybe you overindulged in one or two Friends-giving potlucks and Thanksgiving with your family is right around the corner. Staying in shape over this food-filled holiday can definitely be a struggle, especially with the chilly weather. No need to worry, here is a helpful guide for staying fit and energized even through Turkey Day.

Working out at home can be a bit challenging, especially if you don’t have access to a workout facility like the SRSC. Here is an at-home workout that’ll get your heart pumping so you’ll stay in shape and be ready for the holidays.


  • Jumping Jacks – 40 (You can also alternate with a jump rope if you have one)
  • High knees – 30 seconds
  • Butt kicks – 30 seconds
  • Squat jumps – 15
  • Burpees – 15
  • Mountain climbers – 30

* Repeat three times for a mild workout or five times for a longer, more intense workout. Kick up the intensity by going at maximum speed. You’ll burn more calories and have a shorter workout.


  • Squats – 25
  • Lunges – 15 per leg
  • Side lunges – 15 per leg
  • Sumo squats – 25
  • Calf raises – 30

* Repeat three times for a mild workout or five times for a more intense workout. Add dumbbells or weights to really get those muscles working.


  • Plank – 60 seconds
  • Side plank – 45 seconds (each side)
  • Bicycle crunches – 45 seconds
  • Russian twists – 60 seconds
  • Scissors – 30 seconds

* Repeat twice for a mild workout or five more times for a maximum workout.

This is a basic workout guide for those of us who may not have a treadmill or gym membership at home. If you do have a gym membership, try working out with a friend to make it a little more fun. Another less strenuous workout to try is yoga or Pilates. You can do it at home so you won’t have to venture out into the polar vortex if you don’t have to.

Thanksgiving Dinner Tip:  moderation. Yes, Thanksgiving is one of the few times we allow ourselves to indulge without fear of judgment. Don’t be afraid to go for a second helping, but don’t overdo it too much.

Also, remember to drink plenty of water, especially after a workout. While having a glass of wine with Thanksgiving dinner is always fun, it’s important to stay hydrated, too. Even if we do spend a questionable number of hours watching Netflix, try to stay active as well. You’ll thank yourself in the long run. 

Natalie Rowthorn, 20, is a junior at Indiana University - Bloomington. She is a journalism major with a concentration in international studies and a minor in French.She is involved with various organizations on campus. She is on the social committee for Independent Council and Treasurer of Club Field Hockey. Natalie is also the Vice President of She's the First at IU, a non-profic organization dedicated to sponsoring girls' education in the developing world.Natalie is on the Opinion Editorial Board of the student-run campus newspaper, the Indiana Daily Student. She is also a staff writer for College Lifestyles Indiana University Satellite.Her hobbies/addictions include French cuisine, world travel, Cheerios, and spontaneous photo-bombing.
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