Be grateful to the gym at Thanksgiving!

2013November21_GymWorkouts_AWhile millions in the US sit down to a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast, many other countries are counting down to their own season of calorie-rich celebrations. We are entering the most indulgent time of the year. And, with a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner averaging a robust 3,000 calories or more, then the gym might become your best ally in losing holiday love handles and preparing for the fight against festive flab.

Food, more food and possibly a little more after that. Who can say no? The end of year festivities are a great way to spend time with loved ones and let yourself ¬†go and indulge. But while the feasting is nice, it’s also rather ¬†naughty, as our festive food tend to be rather fatty or sugary. If you’re not already a member of a gym or have let your attendance slide then you may want to take a step away from the pantry and table every now and then and visit a space that can be a welcome holiday sanctuary in more ways than one.

Burning calories

While what really works in terms of fitness is open to debate, at its most basic, weight loss comes down to a fairly basic equation: eat lots of calories and don’t exercise and you will put on weight. And of course, as well as effecting how you look and feel about yourself, weight gain is bad for you health. And most of our weight gain over the year happens in the last couple of months. So you need to devise a gym workout that fits in with the busy season to make sure you are burning off the treats and heading off weight gain. And with family constantly visiting, it is often a good idea to adapt your regime with shorter sessions but more frequently, or longer sessions once or twice a week if you can’t get away from the house.

Keeping in shape

You could try to control your calories by going without some of the festive indulgences but ask yourself if this is totally realistic. You might decide to pull the reins in and not be a glutton but chances are that by doing this, you may end up eating more than you usually do. As well as burning off calories, the gym can keep you toned too. It helps improve flexibility and mobility and keeps the body looking and feeling taut. If you’re flabby and overweight or slim and sagging, the gym can help get you in shape.

A good excuse for space

Trying to get on top of jobs at work before launching into the annual round of family get-togethers can mean you are busy, busy, busy. With lots to do and often lots of people milling around, the hubbub can sometimes get too much, even for the most sociable person. If time in the house with the family is becoming testing or you just need some alone time, then the gym can be a wonderful retreat to escape to. Nobody can argue with your desire to keep fit either so you won’t be discouraged from taking off. Working out can also lower any festive stress levels and relax your mind.

A block to too much sofa time

With a full stomach it is easy to flop on the sofa and not move. Of course you don’t want to be exercising as soon as you have eaten, and relaxation is good for the digestion. However, getting into the habit of going to the gym may give you enough motivation not to become a total couch potato. At the very least it will get you out the house and doing something active before you settle down again.


While Thanksgiving and the festive season are ‘holidays’ the fact is that they can be pretty exhausting. Traveling to see different people, having guests over, and overindulging can be harder work than your day job in terms of zapping energy. The gym can really keep the celebrations going by giving you that extra boost that you get from being healthy and exercising. You want your endorphins to be pumping and feeling naturally happy if you want to enter into the spirit of the occasion.

Be grateful to the gym this season and come along today!

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