Written by Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern
Ah, Black Friday – the magical day when shoppers all over the country flood the stores for 24 hours, desperate for the perfect gift for a loved one. Carb-loaded on turkey and pie, they hit the stores, ready to brace themselves for retail madness and nab deep discounts. Why not make the most of the craziness and start working off some of that stuffing?
Celebrity trainer Ilyse Baker works with FitOrbit, an online lifestyle, nutrition and fitness program, to help clients get into shape from the comfort of their own home. She’s given us some of her top tips to help you shop till you drop – the weight, that is! Try these simple moves while you’re waiting in line to check out, in the dressing room, or waiting for your family in the parking lot. Sales and fitness? Sounds like heaven!
Stuck outside the dressing room? Take a moment to strengthen your lower body.
- Start with legs hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, toes facing forward.
- Push butt back and slowly bend knees to lower toward floor, like sitting in a chair. Keep weight on heels and make sure knees don’t go over toes.
- Slowly return to starting position, squeezing glutes as you rise. Repeat.
- Perform 3 sets of 12.
Bag Buff Arms
Chisel those biceps with all of your new goodies!
- Start with arms by sides with 1 bag in each hand, palms facing up.
- Bend elbows to curl bag toward shoulders, counting to two while lifting and two while lowering.
- Repeat 2 times, then lift for one count and lower for one count.
- Repeat 2 times.
Carve Sexy Calves
The turkey isn’t the only thing you can carve this holiday! Work on sculpting awesome calves while waiting in the check-out line.
- Stand straight with feet hip-width apart.
- Rise on the balls of feet, lifting heels off the floor.
- Lower heels back to floor. Repeat.
- Perform 3 sets of 10. On the 10th rep, hold heels off floor for 8 counts for a balance challenge, then slowly lower back to floor.
Now you tell us: How do you stay fit during the holidays?
Think Thanksgiving is the ultimate lazy holiday, filled with fatty fried turkeys and sweet treats galore? Think again! Wayfair.com, the largest online home goods retailer, recently conducted a survey of 1,200 people nationwide on their Turkey Day habits and we found a few that may surprise you:
Myth: Couch is king on Thanksgiving Day.
Truth: Whether families are mingling with the in-laws or gearing up for Black Friday, Wayfair.com found that the majority of people surveyed spend less than two hours on the couch. About 30 percent of people will not spend any time lounging at all, and will be in the kitchen instead. And for those couch potatoes, 15 percent admitted to spending more than four hours there.
Myth: When it comes to food, fry, baby, fry.
Truth: One third of this year’s Thanksgiving dinners will include more than 10 people around the table with more than 80 percent of dinners having oven roasted turkey as the main entree. For side dishes, stuffing and mashed potatoes are the perennial favorites with both dishes running out first on most tables. And thankfully, only 5 percent of people plan to deep-fry their turkeys this year.
So there you have it, most of us aren’t so lazy during Thanksgiving. Not cooking? Then hop off the couch and get a workout in before dinner!
More from FITNESS: Burn Off That Stuffing! America’s Best Thanksgiving Day Runs
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Still smoking occasionally? Join the Great American Smokeout and quit today. -The American Cancer Society
- Breaking Dawn: Part 2 has already raked in around $30.4 million. Will you see the final film in the Twilight series? -Wall Street Journal
- Sign up for this virtual run to support Sandy victims and possibly win over $2,500 of your favorite fitness gear. -NYC Running Mama
- It’s about that time: holiday shopping for loved ones. Buy from this Awareness Line and support one of your favorite charities. Cue the feel-good warm fuzzies. -Erica Sara Designs
- Looking for a portioned Thanksgiving treat? These apple crisp shooters might be the perfect pick. -The Boys Club
The ultimate feast-off is one week away so what better way to start the season of giving than giving back? Work off that slice (or two!) of pie and help raise money for the New York Cares Hurricane Sandy relief effort at the New York Sports Clubs’ “Work Out to Help Out” fundraiser. Every NYSC location will be selling three-day guest passes for $20 from Friday, Nov. 23 through Sunday, Nov. 25. 100 percent of the fundraiser proceeds will be donated to New York Cares, as well as a portion of every new member’s initiation fees. Special program classes, like NYSC’s new UXF Burn and UXF Ripped, will also be offered at each location.
Interested in lending a hand post-sweat? Gym goers can find out more information on local New York Cares volunteer opportunities and coat-drive drop off locations. Learn more about the “Work Out to Help Out” initiative on NYSC’s website.
While Thanksgiving is one of the most delicious meals of the year, it’s also usually the heaviest. Instead of chowing down on foods filled with oil, butter and mayonnaise, we searched for lighter fare that was still super tasty. What (or who) did we find? Bravo’s Top Chef All-Star winner, Richard Blais. We met the cooking extraordinaire at a recent Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt event, where he wined and dined us with dishes that left us feeling full and satisfied, without the “oh my gosh I need to go run 10 miles” feeling.
So what’s Blais’ big secret? Aside from the fact that he’s a top-notch chef who blows our aprons out of the water, he subbed the aforementioned ingredients with Dannon’s Oikos Greek nonfat yogurt. We didn’t miss any of the heavy-calorie items, and got to keep all the flavor. Win-win for us!
It wouldn’t be right to brag about the decadent meal this marathoner whipped up without nabbing some recipes, though. Check out the appetizer and dessert dishes below, then use them to start and end a perfect Thanksgiving meal in your own home.
Malted Panna Cotta
- 5 fl. oz. heavy cream
- 2/3 cup Dannon Oikos vanilla Greek nonfat yogurt (or use a 5.3 oz. single-serve container)
- 1 oz. sugar
- 1 oz. malted barley
- 1 gelatin sheet
- Clementine slices for garnish
- Candied ginger for garnish
- Chocolate dusted almonds for garnish
- Heat the heavy cream and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Remove liquid from the heat and add malted barley. Let steep for 1 hour.
- Strain mixture into a clean pot and stir in Greek yogurt.
- Bloom gelatin in an ice bath. Meanwhile, bring strained mixture to a simmer.
- Remove strained mixture from heat and add gelatin.
- Pour liquid into four small containers. Let chill for 2 hour or until panna cottas have set.
- Garnish each with a few slices of clementine, a scattering of candied ginger and chocolate dusted almonds.
I don’t know about you all, but every year, my family scoops up turkey noodle soup and snacks on turkey sandwiches for days, but so far, we have yet to come up with the ultimate use for the always abundant leftovers.
Luckily, Jennie-O, a brand that knows a thing of two about turkey, has a wealth of ideas to share. Thanksgiving meals are, of course, focused on being all-American. For something truly different, wouldn’t it be fun to offer international twists on turkey to fuel your family through shopping excursions and football-viewing parties? Here are two turkey recipes with global flare that will help you use up those leftovers in a new, fresh way while keeping your waistline in mind.
Turkey Pita Pizzas
- 1 1/2 cups leftover Jennie-O turkey
- 4 whole-wheat pitas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 1 small yellow pepper, thinly slices
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chilies
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup loosely packed small basil leaves
- Heat grill to medium-low. Brush both sides of each pita bread with oil and sprinkle with garlic.
- Top with mozzarella cheese, cooked turkey, yellow pepper, tomatoes, ground pepper, crushed chilies and Parmesan cheese.
- Place pitas on preheated, greased grill. Cook with lid closed, about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is crisp.
- Sprinkle with basil leaves.
Turkey, Broccoli and Almond Stir-Fry
- 2 cups leftover Jennie-O turkey
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces broccoli florets
- 1/4 cup chopped garlic chives
- 1/3 cup almonds, toasted
- Optional: Rice to serve
- Combine broth, sherry, oyster sauce, soy sauce and cornstarch in a bowl; set aside.
- Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, ginger and garlic. Stir-fry 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add broccoli, turkey and sauce mixture. Stir-fry about 2 minutes until broccoli is tender-crisp.
- Stir in almonds and serve over rice, if desired.
For more ideas about how to use up those leftovers and for additional turkey recipes, visit jennieo.com/recipes.
Now tell us: How are you repurposing your leftovers today?
The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line is open and ready to help with any cooking catastrophes, but what about the fitness ones that might occur when indulgent foods like green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and pecan pie move to the front burner (and your party scheduled pushes your exercise routine off the priority list)?
New York Sports Clubs are launching their first-ever “Don’t Be a Butterball” hotline, which will be open from 3 p.m. today through 11:59 p.m. on Friday. All are welcome to call the toll-free hotline at 1-855-IAM-FULL to ask live trainers their most pressing wellness-related questions! Bonus: Callers will receive a free one-week pass to the My Sports Club of their choice to stay fit all holiday season long.
Here are three pointers from the pros that will be staffing the hotline:
- Don’t think all-or-nothing. Try just 10 minutes of exercise if you’re feeling tired. The energy boost will help you make it through the busy day, and any activity is better than none!
- When you do find time, make it count. Burn more calories during the workout time you can carve out with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)—quick, intense bursts alternated with short recovery periods. Also remember to pump your arms during cardio. Doing so can boost your calorie burn by about 15 percent!
- Give yourself options. Visiting family for Thanksgiving dinner? Offer to bring a healthy dish so you’ll be sure there will be at least one nutritious choice for you and others.
More from FITNESS:
We are so lucky to have a team of experts on our team at FITNESS who share their wisdom with our readers. Whether they are fitness researchers, doctors, dietitians or psychologists, our advisory board members frequently consult with our staff and sound off on the latest wellness research and trends in our issues.
We often approach them with questions from our readers for our Q&A pages in the magazine, but this month, you’ll be able to communicate directly with one of our advisory board members—she’s hosting a live Q&A on our Facebook page! Join us on Monday from 12 to 1 p.m. EST to chat with Alycea Ungaro, owner of Real Pilates NYC and author of Pilates Practice Companion, and ask any burning questions you have about staying fit with the holiday season approaching.
Before the Facebook chat, we wanted to fill you in about Ungaro’s personal and professional background and her game plan for Thanksgiving!
How did you first get involved in the fitness world?
I grew up in the ballet studio so I had access to Pilates at a very early age. But it wasn’t until my early 20s that I began to experiment with more traditional fitness and I was probably 25 before I laced up my first pair of sneakers for a run. I was always more interested in body weight exercise, toning and sculpting. In 1993 I completed the Pilates teacher training program and taught citywide before opening my own place in 1995.
What drew you to Pilates?
It was impossibly hard. Seriously. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t do certain things. I was a young fit dancer and these springs and mat moves were incredibly challenging. The beauty appealed to my performance side and the pure strength appealed to my competitive side.
For tips for Pilates newbies and Ungaro’s Thanksgiving meal strategy, Read more
In addition to worrying about preparing a terrific, tasty turkey, Thanksgiving can cause plenty of stress related to entertaining a large group. I don’t know about you, but I’m not hosting big dinner parties every weekend! We turned to Rachel Hollis, the creator of Chic Events and a celebrations.com expert, to gather her top tips for throwing a successful, yet worry-free fete. She should know—her company often organizes events for celebrities, such as Ivanka Trump and Marcia Cross!
- Stock up. “I have an area in my pantry dedicated to last-minute parties. It’s full of fancy mixed nuts, tapenades, olive oils, great chocolates and good wine. All items I can turn to in a pinch and throw on a lovely platter and be ready when guests are at the door.”
- Give as a guest. “The best way to show your appreciation is to offer to help. But since your host is cooking, perhaps you could help with decor and offer to bring a beautiful centerpiece to adorn the table!”
- Don’t forget the favors. “Hosting the meal is enough of a gift. I think the best favor would be a lovely takeaway box so you can get rid of some of your leftovers!”
- Match your party with your personality. “When I did Sara Rue’s wedding this summer, they had a vintage photo booth and beer pong! I love that they embraced who they were—a really fun-loving couple—instead of doing something stuffy and traditional to please others. Keep that idea in mind with your events!”
- Go easy on yourself. “Don’t overwhelm yourself. For instance, don’t use your holiday party as the opportunity to make a miniature souffles for the first time. Go with what you’re good at to keep stress to a minimum—even if what you’re good at is ordering takeout!”
But don’t grab that phone just yet—this super-simple recipe is even achievable for Thanksgiving rookies!
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 shallot
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds and strings with a spoon and rinse. Slice each half into eight pieces and set aside.
- Remove peel from shallot and rough chop.
- Put squash, shallots and rosemary sprigs on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix together until well-coated.
- Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
For more entertaining tips, visit mychiclife.com.
Besides gratitude, Thanksgiving is known for being all about food, family and (watching) football. But the team at DavidBartonGym (DBG) says that you can still enjoy the festivities while keeping up your fitness levels as well. How? Their experts claim that an intense resistance-based workout within two hours of a meal can help keep your metabolism humming.
So at their locations across the country, DBG trainers will be leading their members and family and friends of members through a complimentary “CARVED” class. It’s designed to target all major muscle groups with heavy weights, multiple sets and small intervals of active recovery.
Can’t make it to a class or don’t have a DBG near you? Or too crazed by cooking the turkey to fit in a full workout? Try these three sample moves from the class at home, done in a row as a circuit, to get a similar effect.
- Squats: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and act like you are sitting in an imaginary chair: Bend knees 90 degrees and make sure your knees don’t go past your toes. Return to start and repeat for one minute. (Hold dumbbells to make it harder.)
- Lateral Raises: Hold one dumbbell in each hand with palms facing body and feet hip-width apart. Extend both arms out to your sides at shoulder level, keeping wrists and elbows straight but not locked. Return to start and repeat for one minute.
- Bent-Over Rows: Stand with feet hip-width apart and hinge forward 90 degrees from hips so back is parallel to floor and arms extend down, palms facing each other. Drive elbows directly behind you to bring dumbbells to ribs. Lower back to start and repeat for one minute.
- Set down the weights and do one minute of jumping jacks. Repeat circuit three times.
CARVED will be offered at New York City, Chicago, Miami and Bellevue, Washington DBG locations at 9 and 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 24. Keep an eye out on their Facebook page for more details.
Now tell us: Do you have any fit traditions on turkey day?