5 Thanksgiving Fitness Activities

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My family spends the day giving thanks and filling our stomachs with delicious homemade food. According to Spoon University, a person eats an average of 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving. This is about 500-1000 extra calories we are intaking compared to a normal day. If I plan to stuff my face with a large calorie-filled meal, I try to find a balance between food and exercise.

Here are five Turkey Day fitness activities that can benefit your body after that hefty Thanksgiving meal.

  1. Turkey Trots

What is a turkey trot?  A turkey trot is a long distance fun run or walk that typically happens the morning of Thanksgiving Day. I have yet to participate in a turkey trot race, but I’d love to sign my family up and create a friendly competition out of it. Imagine trotting around in matching Thanksgiving t-shirts. How fun! Completing the turkey run is a perfect excuse to reward yourself with a plateful at your Thanksgiving dinner party. Check to see if there is a turkey trot near you!

Pink customized baby baseball t-shirt
Picture credit: @karenshappynest
  1. After-Meal Walk

If you couldn’t get yourself out of bed for a trot on Thanksgiving morning, don’t worry! After enjoying a great meal with family, friends, and food, fill up your mug with a warm beverage and gather everyone for an after-dinner walk. This could be walking around the house or around the neighborhood. Fast walking, slow walking, or even crawling! Any form of moving around will help burn off those 3,000 calories!

Running shoes with customizable photo mug of family pictures
Picture credit: @lddesignloft
  1. Family Yoga

Grab the leggings. Whip out the yoga mat. Release those negative after-meal thoughts. Finish the night with some family fitness and yoga! My favorite yoga pose is the child pose, because it’s simple and comfortable. So comfortable that I casually grab a pillow, get into the pose, close my eyes, and wake up the next morning. However, there are plenty of entertaining yoga poses that focus specifically on stretching out the abdominal muscles. After consuming a lot of food, it’s important that you help your digestive track naturally relax and realign.

Green and Orange Balance Yoga Mat
Picture Credit: Aspen Yoga Mats
  1. Black Friday Cardio

While Thanksgiving falls on the third Thursday of November, Black Friday always happens the Friday after. Not only do you have to mentally prepare for Black Friday, but you should also physically prepare with cardio exercises. Some stores open up for the Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving evening. Don’t let yourself fall into the food coma. My family eats our Thanksgiving dinner in courses. I find myself eating mashed potatoes and then performing a minute of jumping jacks. I go on to eat our turkey and then dance with my little cousins. I finish with my aunt’s homemade peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and immediately get into my child pose yoga position. I like to get the blood flowing before I regretfully spend all my money on the best Black Friday deals!

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  1. Active Games

There are plenty of games you can play with everyone. My personal favorite is capture the flag. It’s fun, inclusive, and a great Thanksgiving workout! You can make it a competition by forming teams and having a prize for whichever team wins. Better yet, the winning team doesn’t have to participate in the after-meal cleanup! Capture the flag, a game of sharks and minnows, and even a creative scavenger hunt are all great active games to play before the feast begins!

If it’s early in the morning, prior to your potluck dinner, or when you have that full stomach of Thanksgiving food, there are plenty of opportunities during the day to stay healthy and active. Whether that’s signing up for a Turkey Trot or practicing your flexibility with yoga, choose a fitness activity that fits in your Thanksgiving Day schedule.

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