Happy Thanksgiving! Today will be a day of lots of eating and drinking so I am posting a 10 minute
Thanksgiving morning workout to help get you through the day. Maybe you are one of those families that enjoys a 5K on Thanksgiving morning or maybe your idea of a happy holiday revolves more around mimosas and pajamas but a few minutes in the morning can really set you up for a great day and a perfect start to the holiday season. You can do this workout while still in your pajamas before you even start cooking, it requires only a few minutes of your time and no special equipment.
Holidays tend to be a stressful time for people, so the most important part of this workout is relaxation. Start the workout by taking 3 big, slow diaphragmatic breaths, making sure to fully inflate your lungs and feel your abdomen expand. This promotes full oxygenation of the tissues, lowers blood pressure and slows the heartbeat. Hopefully taking these breaths will give you a little peace before you start the holiday preparations.
After you finish taking these deep breaths come to a standing mountain pose with your weight equally distributed over both feet, arms at your sides with palms facing forward, chin tucked and ears in line with your shoulders. Take 15 seconds to experience what good posture feels like. Then move to standing with your back against a wall, tucking in your chin and keeping the back of your head, shoulders and glutes against the wall and your heels a few inches forward. Raise your arms to resemble football goalposts, trying to bring them against the wall without rounding your back or lifting your chin. Many people are unable to reach this position due to posture or shoulder issues, if that describes you just do the best you can. Slowly run your arms up and down like you are making a snow angel while keeping your core tight and your chin down. Continue making this motion, sliding your arms up and down the wall 10 times.
Next, take a minute to work out the kinks in your back by doing a quick yoga flow, holding each pose for 15 seconds. Start in child's pose, slowly move to up dog, then raise up into a plank and then flow back into down dog while continuing to breathe deeply into your abdomen.
After finishing the yoga flow come to a standing position with your feet hip width apart and do 30 seconds of squats. Remember to hinge with your hips first and keep your weight on your heels.
Move back over to the wall, stand with your feet 5-6 inches in front of the wall and slowly hip hinge keeping your back straight until your butt touches the wall. Hang both arms down while keeping your head in neutral position. Slowly rotate 1 arm overhead and follow it with your eyes, feeling the rotation in your upper back. Return to the starting position and then slowly twist the opposite way. Repeat 3 times total, taking time to pause for a breath as your arms are extended.
Come back up to standing and make loose fists with your hands. Twist your body and allow your arms to follow, rotating around your torso and hitting yourself lightly in the sides of the lumbar spine. Keep twisting and tapping the sides of your lower back for 1 minute, hitting yourself in the lymphatic trunks to stimulate the lymph system and help remove toxins from the cells.
The last 5 minutes of the workout are the most important, so don't skip them! Since the purpose of Thanksgiving is to celebrate your blessings take a minute to sit in a chair and say a "Thank You" for this day, this moment and your life. Then get out a piece of paper and make a quick list of all the things you have to be thankful for. These few moments of gratitude can help rewire your brain and bring you into a state of relaxation and happiness. It is impossible to be both thankful and stressed at the same time so taking time to express your gratitude will help to get you in the right state of mind for the day. Then enjoy the rest of the day and all the treats that come with it! Celebrating the good things in life should not be associated with any guilt!
Happy Thanksgiving from my house to yours!