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Be G.R.A.T.E.F.U.L. this Thanksgiving

Instead of using words, show gratitude through movement

As you gather around the table with family and friends to dig into a delicious feast this Thanksgiving, you’ll want to take a moment to reflect on what you’re most grateful for in 2022. 

I’ve learned over the last few years from my own mentors that you are what you focus on. I hope this holiday season that you find yourself focusing on the things you have to be grateful for. Oprah Winfrey once said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. Starting a daily practice of gratitude can help you recognize the positive in your life instead of focusing on the negative. And being thankful and grateful for all the good things you have actually can make you happier. 

I know that with so much to be thankful for, particularly each person sitting around your table, it may be challenging to find the words to show your gratitude. How about instead of words, you use movement? Up for the fun? Take a look below. 

Complete each exercise below for 20 seconds with a 10-second rest in between. One completion of the word GRATEFUL equals one round. Complete as many rounds as possible for as long as you’d like or for as many things you are grateful for — 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and so on. Grab the family and have them join you, too! No equipment? No problem! Just use your body weight. 



Take a wide stance, hands at your chest, toes facing forward, and bend the knees while pressing your hips back. You can hold weights if you’d like. 



Find a plank position and pull each elbow back, alternating arms. Weights in hand are optional.



Softly jump from side to side as if skiing down a mountain. 



Get in a plank position with knees down (or up). Bend the elbows back towards the waist versus towards the outside of the shoulders. 



In a plank position, pull the knees in toward the elbows at a quick pace. You can also do this by leaning into the kitchen counter for a modification. 



Find an athletic stance and quickly run in place while staying low. 



Stand tall with weights (or water bottles) in hand, and pull the elbows up towards the shoulders. Keep the elbows above the wrists. 


L- Lateral Lunges: 

Stand tall and step out from side to side. Bend the moving leg, and keep the inside (non-moving leg) straight. 

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A post shared by Maria Scafide Barr (@mariasbarr)

Written by Maria S. Barr

Maria S. Barr is a fitness instructor, educator and entrepreneur who serves as brand manager and a master trainer with Barre Intensity. Reach her at

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