Thanksgiving is a time to create lasting memories, not lasting pounds.
But when the meal with all the trimmings can run an estimated 3,000 to
4,500 calories, it's easy to overindulge. You can offset some of those
extra calories by making exercise a part of the holiday festivities. Here
are five activities that can help burn off that extra piece of pumpkin
pie--and in the spirit of the holiday, you can do these as a family.
1. Turkey trots
With 1,032 turkey trot races held in the United States in 2014, chances
are good you can find one in your neighborhood. These races usually are
5K or 10K distances, so you can get a good calorie burn; many of them
have costume contests, so there's an element of fun as well. Turkey
trots are usually held early in the morning, so you still have plenty
of time to cook turkey dinner.
Stressed about hosting dinner for 20 people or weary from traveling cross-country
to spend Thanksgiving with relatives? A yoga session can restore balance
and is a much healthier way to mellow out than a food coma. Some studios
may offer yoga classes early on Thanksgiving, but it's also easy to
do on your own with a mat and a yoga DVD.
3. After-dinner outing
As tempting as it would be to plop down onto the sofa after dinner, get
everyone moving with a walk or bike ride. Whether it's around the
block or in a nearby park, the fresh air will do you all good and it's
a nice way to continue the family togetherness even after you're no
longer sitting around the dinner table.
4. Touch football
Sure, you could just watch whatever pro teams are playing on TV, but it's
better for your body to play your own game. Touch football is safer than
tackle--you don't want to be in the ER with a broken bone--and opt
for a grassy area rather than playing in the street in front of your house.
If football isn't your game, try soccer, basketball or any other team sport.
5. Serve a meal at a homeless shelter
It's not a typical form of "exercise," but you can still
burn calories while preparing and serving food, clearing tables and washing
dishes. Plus there's the added benefit of helping others in need and
making their holiday extra special. Do it as a family, and it's a
wonderful time for bonding.