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Four Family-Friendly Activities For A Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, you and millions of other Americans will join family and friends around a table to celebrate gratitude and share in delicious—and carb-heavy—food. While the other 364 days you may be the picture of health, Thanksgiving is often a day where we overindulge in some unhealthy behaviors.

Here are four family-friendly tips to get you moving and make the most of this holiday.

1. Plan a Thanksgiving Day Event. Whether it’s a 5k run or a friendly game of football out in the front yard, a good competition can always get people motivated to work hard and burn some of those Thanksgiving calories.

Many organizations host turkey trots in local cities or you can organize one for your neighborhood and engage families and kids. You may be surprised who’ll show up and it’s a great way to start your morning.

2. Stay Hydrated. You’ll probably be ingesting tons of sodium-laden foods, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water. In fact, drinking water can actually help suppress your appetite. You will have a better handle on maintaining your portions and staying hydrated could even help to kick start your metabolism.

3. Walk it Off. Instead of plopping in front of the couch and letting a food coma set in, walk that Thanksgiving meal off. You’ll probably feel too heavy in your stomach to run or do any rigorous exercise. Walking will burn a few calories and let your mind unwind after being stuck inside all day long. It’s also another way to get your recommended 10,000 daily steps in.

4. Eat Breakfast. Some people are of the mindset that skipping breakfast and/or lunch will save you calories for the “big” meal. Wrong, don’t skip it. That’s because saving up calories for the big meal rarely works. You end up “spending” a lot more by overindulging on belly busters instead of a tablespoon-size taste. Instead start your morning with a balanced breakfast, like hot whole-grain cereal and an egg-white omelet with veggies.

Remember, Thanksgiving isn’t just about loading up on food. It’s time to spend with those you love and focus on gratitude.

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