Family walking on a fall day

Activities for a healthier Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a celebration of family and prosperity. Enjoying a large meal with your family is the iconic way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Of course, you're not going to skip such an important tradition, but you can find ways to balance indulgence with activities—big and small. 

In addition to making smarter choices like grabbing a few extra veggies instead of another serving of stuffing, avoid the urge to stay still before or after your meal. You can still enjoy the bounties that have been prepared for the family, but following these ideas can help you move and make memories with your family.

Bring your walking shoes

Let your family know that you plan on a post-meal walk before festivities begin. Chances are you’ll find a few people would love to join you. A walk after a meal tells your body it is time to use the energy you just consumed and not save it for later. So lace up your walking shoes and continue family time with a 30-minute walk after your meal. Not into walking? Get the family to throw the football around instead of watching football on TV.

Eat a normal breakfast

It’s not a good idea to skip meals so you can really pile on the food at Thanksgiving lunch or dinner. Eat a normal breakfast and healthy snacks throughout the day, so you don’t overdo it on the turkey and sides.

Drink lots of water

Avoid overeating by drinking water throughout the day. Drink a full glass of water a few minutes before the meal begins so you start to feel full as you eat (and not after you’ve already eaten too much).

Help clean up

In addition to being appreciated by the host, offering to help clear tables and clean dishes after the meal is an easy way to keep active.

Don’t forget about the next morning

The morning after a big meal your body is still looking to expend the energy reserves it filled the night before. Some mild or moderate exercise the next day, like a walk, jog or light weight training, is just what you need to get rid of that lethargic feeling and burn off a few more calories.

In short, aim for smaller servings (especially for dessert) and keep moving and you’ll have a healthier holiday this year.

Need more help?

Learn about Community Health Network’s Diet and Nutrition Services and schedule a visit with us today.