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Burn Serious Calories With Cardio Workouts by Trainer David Kirsch

David Kirsch’s Thanksgiving Recovery: Back-to-Business Fitness

The following post was written by New York-based trainer David Kirsch.

After Thanksgiving, the first step is getting rid of all the leftovers — not only the turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie but the extra pounds left over on your waistline. If you’re experiencing that little extra bulge from overeating and under exercising, it’s not the time to give up on your fitness and diet routine. Rather, it’s the perfect time to step up your wellness program and take some compensatory actions!

Considering that the average person ingests between 3000-4500 calories and over 200 grams of fat during the Thanksgiving meal, this will take more than one workout to burn off (unless you can run at a moderate pace for four hours, swim for five hours, or walk for 30 miles!). Make a commitment to exercise consistently each day this week.

To get back to your pre-holiday shape, I recommend getting in at least 45 minutes of cardio to incinerate calories and burn fat. Here are my Kirsch-approved cardio prescriptions:

Run for 30 minutes or more. Vary your speed. Add hills/inclines to your run. Do no less than quarter-mile sprints (5.5 to 6.0 m.p.h. on treadmill). To make it more challenging, try running backwards!
Running not your thing? Then keep reading for more cardio options.
Elliptical Trainer
Train for 30 minutes or more. Keep machine at a level that gets your heart pumping without burning out your muscles. While on the machine, sit back on your heels and stick your butt out as much as possible. Don’t stand up straight.


Rowing Machine
Set the machine to levels 5-7. Do no less than 2,500 to 5,000 meters. This should take between 10 and 30 minutes. You should feel a burn in your butt. Press through the heels and extend legs. Keep your abs tight and relax your trapezius muscles. For variety, alternate gripping the handles over- and underhand and pulling high and low into your torso.

Outdoor Cycling and Spinning
Spend 45 minutes of high intensity cycling, mixing in hills/inclines and sprints. To up your intensity, shift to a harder gear or pick up your rotations per minute (rpm or pedal speed). Try to keep your rpm at 80 or higher. (This type of workout cannot be done on a stationary bike with the same results.)

Swimming Laps
Spend 30 minutes or more swimming the crawl stroke, breast stroke or any other stroke. To keep your workouts balanced, swim laps using different strokes to vary the muscles you work.

Jump Rope
Work up to 30 minutes or more. If you can’t jump continuously, alternate push-ups or jumping jacks with shoulder presses or frog jumps in between sets.

So stay off the sofa! Get out there and sweat — a real, dripping, pink-cheeked sweat — and keep at it. You’ll be back to business in no time!

For more tips, recipes, and workouts, be sure to check out all of David's posts here on FitSugar.

Join The Conversation
Mila_83 Mila_83 6 years
totally agree with kellycc! What kind of turkey contains 40 calories?Provided it almost always cooked using some sort of oil+stuffing+all the sides are usually not your regular steamed vegetables+gravy.I'm not even talking pies (1-2 pieces during the course of the evening). As far as working it all definitely requires some additional intensity:) Intervals are great and 2% incline is nothing crazy;however,at least for me personally definitely makes things more challenging.
kellycc kellycc 6 years
To commenter 2: If you look up "thanksgiving dinner avergae calories", you'll get the answer. What kind of turkey are you eating? Deli meat? Because a "piece" (I'm assuming you mean a normal serving size (4 oz)) of turkey is not anywhere near 40 calories. Also, the article says nothing about running 15 miles, it says run at a moderate pace for 4 hours. A 2% incline is nothing. The people I see "walking on an incline" at the gym are at least on 8% or higher. I mean, this guy is a famous trainer, I'd rather take his advice.
SaraJeanQueen SaraJeanQueen 6 years
This post is absolutely ridiculous. Let me count the ways: 1) What person ingests 3,000-4,500 calories at Thanksgiving dinner!? Considering a piece of pie is 300-400 calories, a piece of turkey 40 calories etc., how is that even possible? Are you eating 5 pieces of pie? 2) To burn 3,000 calories running, you're saying it would take running 15 miles. A moderate pace to me is a ten-minute-mile which would be 2.5 hours, not 4. (How slow is this trainer..? I run at 9 minute miles and I'm not in fighting shape right now.) 3) It's irresponsible to tell people to run on treadmill inclines, especially when it's extremely bad on your joints and causes runner's knee. My mom's friend had to have surgery because she walked on an incline every morning for a year. It's actually more effective to run for an extended period of time on a flat treadmill and then sprint at the end. FitSugar, please don't post these irresponsible and incorrect articles.
guavajelly guavajelly 6 years
I really want to be able to work out for more than 30 minutes. I guess I have to push myself. After 30 minutes I feel a little sick to my stomach. I am heavy and am just getting back into working out, so I guess I need time. My goal is to workout 1 hour 5 days a week or more...
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