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5 Ways to stay active on Thanksgiving Day

Why should you stay active Thanksgiving Day?

Stay active Thanksgiving Day to stay healthy and happy. Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for friends, family, blessings and good food.

Unfortunately, all that delicious food can lead to a miserable day if you aren’t careful. None of us want to feel yucky during the Holidays, right? So, how about trying to stay active this year on Thanksgiving?

Don’t Laugh

Yes. I’m totally serious about making the choice to stay active Thanksgiving day. Because many years ago, I was the miserable one until I decided I didn’t want to feel stuffed.

It’s really not so funny when you feel like crap after eating a big meal. 

You know the feeling. At first, it’s a good feeling. It’s a feeling of excitement. All the delicious food is out on the tables and everyone is here. The juicy white turkey meat. The mashed potatoes and sweet corn. And, of course, the homemade delicious pumpkin pie.

Before you know it, your plate is full and you haven’t even tried everything yet. And you feel like you must try everything. You don’t want to hurt Auntie’s feelings. She worked hard on the cranberry salad!

So, you indulge in the goodness that is Thanksgiving dinner. And you end up feeling miserable. Word of advice: Sweat pants are ok on Thanksgiving Day.

Here are 5 ways to stay active on Thanksgiving Day

stay active Thanksgiving day

Organize an active game for the family

Freeze Tag, Football, and Dodge Ball are just a few of my favorite active games. If you have a large family like mine, you’ll have enough people for flag football. But don’t always be the one to plan out the games. 

Open up the floor for suggestions from your group on some games they’d like to play as well. Then, write the options down on slips of paper and have someone draw a game.

Whatever the person draws is the game you’ll be playing first. Don’t worry. There’s more than enough time to play everyone’s game of choice. 

And if some of your family are not up for games, they might enjoy a little walk and talk instead. 

Organize a group walk

Rough housing with the kids not your thing? For the more low-key participants, how about just going for a walk? Here’s how you do it. 

Set a time an hour or so after dinner to meet for a walk down the road. Enjoy the fresh fall air and colors. Catch up on the family members who live far away. But more importantly, stay active Thanksgiving day. 

This is great social time. Just walking and talking with family and friends can make the day so much more memorable.

And if it’s not enough exercise for you, here’s a more upbeat option:

Participate in a Turkey Trot

Turkey Trots are generally in the morning hours before dinner. Because, who wants to run a race after eating a big meal?

Certainly not me! However, I still want to burn those calories. I just choose to burn them before I stuff my face and my belly. 

So, I find races held that morning to jump start my circulation and speed up my heart rate. Yow! What a change it has made for me! I encourage family to partake in the fun with me. 

Plus, more and more trots are community based.  And many communities set their trots up as a drive or fundraiser. So bring some toys for tots or canned goods for the food bank to the check in for the trot.

Support the community action while you’re getting your body moving on Thanksgiving. Not only will you be helping yourself to stay active Thanksgiving day, but you’ll be supporting people who need things like warm coats and canned goods. They will be mighty thankful for your contribution!

stay active Thanksgiving Day

Help with Dinner Clean up

Another way you can contribute is to your Thanksgiving Day host. Help him/her clean up the table after the meal is over. Your host will love you if you do this. And your body will, too.

Because helping with dinner clean-up and/or set up will keep you moving around. It’s a great way to stay active Thanksgiving day! Carrying heavy plates, moving chairs and tables, and wiping them down can burn quite a few calories, believe it or not. 

If you’re really curious about calorie burn, get a tracker. I love my Fitbit Charge HR. It is amazing for tracking things like calories burned, the amount of walking and so much more. 

And even if you are not into play, you can even burn a few Thanksgiving Day calories during that football game on TV. 

Jump up during a commercial

Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without the big football game or Holiday show. If you feel the need to watch the TV, I would suggest getting up and moving around during the commercials. It’s a good way to stay active on Thanksgiving Day.

Run upstairs and back. Or, power walk outdoors around the house for a few minutes during commercials. 

Then come back in and cheer loud for your team. Getting up on your feet and staying active Thanksgiving Day will help you to feel better after eating a big meal. 

Don’t forget about push ups after a touch down or extra point is made. That could be a fun competition with other football fanatics as well. Make the choice to stay active Thanksgiving day and encourage others to do the same. 

Stay Active Thanksgiving Day

Make a Plan to Stay Active Thanksgiving Day

The plan to stay active Thanksgiving Day can be very difficult. It really depends who you are spending the day with. And what your mindset is. 

Here are three probable scenarios you might face:

  1. You could care less what others think about you choosing to stay active Thanksgiving Day. You’re going to do it no matter what. But, you have a lot of support and even many family and friends want to join you in a walk or a game of flag football. 
  2. You care a little about what others think of your choice to stay active Thanksgiving Day. There’s some criticism, but mostly good vibes. No one wants to join you, but they say, “Go For It.” 
  3. There’s no support for you to stay active Thanksgiving Day. So you do not because you don’t believe in yourself enough to do it on your own and follow through with the plan. 

How to Follow Through with your Stay Active Thanksgiving Day Plan

Isn’t it awful that you might have no support to stay active Thanksgiving Day? But, it is true in most cases.

This will make it very difficult to follow through with your plan to stay active Thanksgiving Day. But, you really must if you want to feel good. Here are a few ways to make sure you follow through with your plan:

  1. You must write down your goals. 
  2. Be sure to have a surefire way to stay accountable. Set an alarm or make a plan with a family member. 
  3. Get others excited about your plan. They will follow you and help you to follow through. 
  4. Make your mind positive. Your mind must be in the right state in order to follow through. You have to want it. 

So, what are the steps to making the plan work? 

8 Steps to a Successful Active Thanksgiving Day

  1. Set a Goal – Must Be Specific! Ex: Calories burned, Number of Steps, Heart Rate, Minutes of Exercise, Number of Pushups, etc. 
  2. Desire to Achieve the Goal
  3. Positive Mindset
  4. Scheduling Time to Exercise or Stay Active
  5. Don’t Forget Your Fitbit or Music
  6. Don’t Forget Appropriate Shoes for running/walking
  7. Be creative in your Quest to stay active Thanksgiving Day
  8. Encourage others to join in. Let them see how much fun it is and how good you feel!

Feel Good On Thanksgiving

It’s certainly not about burning all the calories you consumed by eating Thanksgiving dinner. Try not to worry about that at all. It’s Thanksgiving. Eat up, buttercup.

But, getting up and moving around will help your body feel better after you eat way to much. Because you know you will.

Choose the best time of day to help your body stay active. If you want to take a nap after dinner, then take one. By all means! It’s your day so you are the one who schedules time to be active in some way. 

And along with staying active, try drinking more water. Keep it in front of you at all times. Add fruit to it. Drink up!

Keep that metabolism and circulation going by staying active and hydrated on Thanksgiving day. Because your body will thank you. And you will have a much happier Thanksgiving day just by treating your body the right way. 

How will you stay active on Thanksgiving Day? 

~ Much Love ~


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Oyinkan Ogunleye

Monday 21st of November 2016

I think organizing a group walk is a fabulous idea! Maybe it can turn into running :-)

Dorothy H

Monday 21st of November 2016

great suggestions! we had thanksgiving last month already but i really should of stayed active. Its a great reminder tho for all my weekends! thanks

CourtneyLynne Storms

Monday 21st of November 2016

Oooo so many great suggestions!!!! I really should start planning more activities


Sunday 20th of November 2016

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