Olympic athlete offers five Thanksgiving survival strategies

November 26th, 2013
Susan Francia

The holidays are a challenging time to stay in shape. It’s easy to over-indulge, and lose your motivation to work out. So we asked Team Ribose member Susan Francia, 2008/2012 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2010 US Rowing Athlete of the Year, for her nutritional training tips. Here’s how she suggests finding balance this holiday season.

1. Set athletic goals for yourself. “This can include running in a fun 5k turkey trot on Thanksgiving day, participating in a local run during December, or even setting up a bike race among family members. Having a goal will help motivate you to keep working out.”

2. Exercise before big meals and then promptly the next morning. “If you have even a little window of time, take advantage of it! This will keep your metabolism going and help you digest. Even if you’re feeling a bit sluggish the next morning, just start exercising and it will get better. Fun family activities the next day will help. Play a game of basketball or go for a group hike in the mountains. It’s much easier to be motivated when you have friends and family around you!”

3. Check your weight before, during and after the holidays. “This includes ‘big meal’ times such as Thanksgiving, and holiday parties and dinners. Try to not let the number fluctuate too much. Moderating portion sizes and eating your normal amount of food (not everything in sight) will help you from overeating and gaining weight. It is okay to leave food on your plate.”

4. Don’t wait until January to make resolutions. “Start getting fitter now!”

5. Stick to your routine. “If you decide that you will go to the gym two times a week and run three times a week, write it on a calendar and stick to your plan. Seeing the reminder will help you be more. Stop finding excuses!”