The Thanksgiving Dinner Workout Challenge


Turkey, cranberry, stuffing, and more… I’m stuffed just thinking about it. Thanksgiving is the holiday where it’s not only socially acceptable, but encouraged to bring your maternity pants down from the attic and take full advantage of that glorious, stretchy waistband. But with the start of the holiday season comes the epic battle between food and fitness, sweets and sweating. The struggle is real. 

But this Thanksgiving, there’s no reason to choose between another piece of pie and five pilates classes to burn those calories off. You can have both. 

So have that extra helping and sixth dessert while playing Thanksgiving Dinner: The Workout Game. It’s a game where “everything’s made up and the points don’t matter” (any Whose Line is it Anyway fans?). But just like in life, winning is important. So get as many points as you can. And get your friends to play with you! And if your usual turkey-day dinner has the usual family and friend fixings, then you’ll be winning at Thanksgiving before the tryptophan kicks in and everyone goes comatose till Christmas.

For every dish burned or forgotten…
5 Tricep Dips 

BONUS points if you get your dip as low as your spirits after having your favorite dish rendered inedible.

For every bite of dessert after your first dessert… 
1 push-up (per bite) 

Because, come on. One piece of pumpkin pie ain’t gonna break the bank or ruin your fitness and life goals. BONUS points if you eat those extra bites while doing push-ups.

For every disruptive or bodily noise
let off during the prayer…
30 seconds plank 

BONUS points if you let off the same noise while planking.

For every adult sitting at the kid’s table… 
30 seconds wall sit 

BONUS points if you can hold the wall sit long enough that your lap becomes the new kiddie table. 

For every time you hear the
“When will you…” question…
5 leg circles (each side) 

You know those questions. When will you get married? When will you have kids? When will you have more kids? When will you stop having kids? etc…
BONUS points if you can get your legs moving as big as your eye rolls. 

For every game of football watched… 
20 walking lunges (total, both sides)

BONUS points if it’s a game in your back yard.
EXTRA BONUS points if you play and you lunge across the field instead of run. 

For every person who falls asleep… 
3 burpees 

BONUS points for every person who conveniently falls asleep before clean-up.
EXTRA BONUS points if your burpees are boisterous enough to wake them and force them into cleaning duty (so you don’t have to).


So, Happy Thanksgiving. Here’s to stuffing our faces, staying fit, and winning! 

How did you do? Let me know! And extra extra bonus points if you come up with more!

These exercises can be done anywhere, anytime, no equipment needed. 
For exercises like plank, push-up, tricep dip: you can adjust the intensity by changing your angle. The lower to the ground the harder it will be. 

Do you LOVE my stylish, festive headband? It’s adapted from this awesome Thanksgiving craft!

Need more fitness help during the holidays? The motherhood workout plan is a great way to stay active everyday, and if you need a little body-image love boost, check this out too. 

DISCLAIMER: Please do not participate in this game if your doctor has advised you to abstain from exercise or avoid certain movements. Otherwise, this workout, when done with correct form, is safe for all types of moms and more! 


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Originally from Denver, Amie enjoyed a break from cold winters while stationed in various southern locales with her husband, who is a pilot in the Navy. But they currently live outside Seattle, and she is now learning to love the rain. Amie and her husband have four small children who eat dinosaur chicken nuggets like they're going extinct and love all things aviation. After graduating with her B.A. in English, Amie worked in various fields with each military move, but never stopped writing. She has been a contributor for Military Moms Blog since it was founded and finds joy in helping other moms connect in community. When she's not writing or herding her adorable brood, you can find Amie running half marathons, binge-watching Hallmark movies, and actually enjoying chemistry while home-brewing with her husband. Follow Amie on Instagram at @mrs.amielou.


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