7-Day Thanksgiving Exercise Routine 2021

Stay active with our 7-day Thanksgiving workout plan for 2021 so you can enjoy Thanksgiving and all the food that comes with it.

6 min read

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Looking to feel good, reduce stress, and boost your mood as you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast? This 7-day Thanksgiving exercise routine is all you need to help you move your body and feel your best this holiday season!


Should I Exercise On Thanksgiving?

When it comes to working out around the holidays, it’s important to keep everything in perspective.

Squeezing in a quick workout before the big meal isn’t a way to “earn” an extra helping of pie. And you’d be kidding yourself if you believed one single workout could torch all the calories taken in during a typical Thanksgiving feast.

This year, say no to toxic diet culture, and the guilt of years past. A workout or meal fueled by guilt is never a good idea. It’s even worse if that guilt is driving you away from festive times with loved ones or enjoying a special holiday meal.

What exercise is good for is boosting your mood, reducing stress, and clearing your head (1). So, leave your guilt and worries behind. If you’re ready to move your body to feel good this holiday season, you’re in the right place.


6 Tips To Make Your Thanksgiving Meal Healthier

If you’re focused on feeling your best this holiday season, what you eat is just as important as a regular exercise routine. Here are six tips to help you eat a little healthier while still enjoying your Thanksgiving meal and holiday festivities.


1. Choose White Meat

White meat has less fat and fewer calories than the darker meat, so go for a lighter cut, like turkey breast or chicken, to put on your plate.


2. Load Up on Veggies

It’s important to eat a balanced plate. Sure, grab some of your mom’s favorite casserole, but balance it out with some fresh veggies like these Air Fried Brussel Sprouts or Broccoli.


3. Bring a Salad

Were you tasked with bringing a side to go with the meal? Bring a salad like this crowd pleasing Strawberry Spinach Salad! It’s the perfect fresh offset to a heavy plate, and odds are you won’t be the only one who’s happy about a healthier addition to the big feast.


4. Save Sweet for Dessert

While that sweet potato casserole loaded with marshmallows may be calling your name, an easy way to keep your meal healthier is to save sugar and treats for dessert time.


5. Stay Hydrated

When the holiday parties commence, the wine flows. I don’t make the rules, that’s just how it goes. So, next time you find yourself enjoying a few holiday beverages, try to match each alcoholic beverage with one glass of water to keep yourself hydrated and minimize your hangover.


6. Skip the Bread

There are endless opportunities to get your carbs in on Thanksgiving. My advice? Skip out on everyday carbs like bread or crackers and focus on those you may only get a few times a year like potatoes and stuffing.


Your Thanksgiving Exercise Routine

If you’re ready to get some movement in and feel fresh all week long, this 7-day Thanksgiving fitness routine is where it all starts.

Over the following week, you’ll find a blend of both strength and cardio workouts to help you get the most out of your routine.

Each workout ranges from 15-30 minutes. Each workout is intentional and efficient, designed to make the most of your time spent exercising so you can get back to preparing for the meal, spending time with family, or Black Friday shopping.

This routine includes exercise before, on, and after Thanksgiving Day to help you breeze through this holiday week feeling your best. Check out your week of workouts below!

MON. Strength Workout 1: 15-Min Total Body Burner with Wendie
TUE. 30-45 Minutes of Low Intensity Steady State Cardio (LISS)
WED. Strength Workout 2: 15-Min Upper Body Strength with James
THU. 30-45 Minutes of LISS Cardio

Strength Workout 3: 15-Min Full Body Dumbbell HIIT with Dominique

SAT. 30-45 Minutes of LISS Cardio
SUN. Strength Workout 4: 15-Min Strength Circuit to Build & Tone Lower Body with Dana 


Strength Workouts

In this workout plan, I’ve included four strength workouts targeting your full body, upper body, and lower body. By design, these workouts are effective and efficient. Each session includes compound exercises to engage multiple muscle groups at once, increasing your calorie burn and output.

Follow along with each workout video as our fun and motivating trainers coach you through every step of the way. While the workouts may not be easy, each trainer provides modifications along the way. So regardless of your fitness level, you can feel comfortable following along with this routine.

For these workouts, you’ll need a pair of dumbbells. If you don’t have dumbbells, feel free to use whatever household items you have on hand to get the job done!


Strength Workout 1: 15-Minute Total Body Burner

Workout Details

Get your game face on, the prep for your best Thanksgiving week yet starts here. Sunny Trainer Wendie will have your full body fired up with this fun total body burner workout designed to build your strength and tone your muscles. All you need for this class is a pair of dumbbells and your favorite mat. Get ready to feel the burn!

Total Time: 15 Minutes

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells, Yoga Mat


Strength Workout 2: 15-Minute Upper Body Strength

Workout Details

No chicken wings here. Achieve a crazy good upper body pump as Sunny Trainer James takes you through this 15-minute dumbbell strength workout focused on strengthening your chest, back, and arms. This workout is designed with challenging moves, so you’ll need no more than 10-pound dumbbells!

Total Time: 15 Minutes

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells, Yoga Mat


Strength Workout 3: 15-Minute Full Body Dumbbell HIIT

Workout Details

Join Sunny Trainer Dominique and let's get moving with this all-out, full body HIIT dumbbell workout! This fast-paced routine is all you need to get back up to speed post-Thanksgiving feast. All you need is a pair of dumbbells and your motivation to crush this workout. Let that sweat drip and let's HIIT it!

Total Time: 15 Minutes

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells, Yoga Mat


Strength Workout 4: 15-Minute Strength Circuit to Build & Tone Lower Body

Workout Details

You’ve made it to the end of your Thanksgiving week. Finish it off strong with this sizzling lower body strength circuit with Dana Simonelli! Build a stronger lower body and target muscles in your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Let’s end this week on a high note!

Total Time: 15 Minutes

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells, Yoga Mat


Low Intensity Steady State Cardio

This plan also includes three days of 30-45 minutes of Low Intensity Steady State Cardio (LISS). This part of the plan was designed to be an easy and fun time to move how you want to this week.

LISS is all about working out at a low to moderate pace, and simply moving your body as feels good to you. Think of it as your time to think, breathe, move, and reset for the busy and social week ahead!

The easiest way to accomplish your LISS for the day? Put on your walking shoes and head outside. Go for a walk around the neighborhood or a local park - better yet, invite your family and friends to join you!

Other forms of LISS include traditional cardio - so if you have a Sunny treadmill, elliptical, bike, stepper, or rower feel free to put it to good use during this time. Or consider creative ways to involve your family and start a new tradition like a holiday hike, turkey trot, a game of flag football, or street hockey. All forms of movement count, so pick something that sounds fun to you and make your move!


In Closing

I hope this plan helps you to stay on track with your goals this Thanksgiving and have some fun while you’re at it! Once you’ve finished this routine, I hope you feel excited and encouraged to ramp up your fitness routine through the holiday season.

If so, be sure to check out some of our other fitness routines such as 12 Day Winter Workout Routine, or 3 New Year Workout Program to help you stay moving through the holiday season!


(1) “Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Performance: A Meta-Analysis”. National Library of Medicine National Center for Biotechnology Information, 1996, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8776790/. Accessed 2 November, 2020.


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