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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving: Tips for a Healthy Turkey Day...

It's fairly safe to assume that this Thursday afternoon you won't be heading to the gym for a set of post-turkey squat thrusts. So plan ahead and get your hardcore exercise done in the morning. Here are some ideas of how to fit that workout in...

-The Turkey Trot! Run/Walk/Jog 5 miles in Prospect Park and you'll definitely have earned that slice of pumpkin pie. You can sign up the day of and find more info at (find direct link at right)
Don't live in Brooklyn?...There's probably a Turkey Trot in your area, or you could start your own!

-Too busy cooking? You can still get your body moving! When you put a dish in the oven, do one of the these no-equipment-necessary exercises until you need to prep the next dish.
Choose from...
*Push ups
*Basic Crunches
*Standing Squats/Lunges
*Jumping Jacks
*Mountain Climbers (High plank position, hop alternating knees in to the chest like you are jogging up a mountain).
Make sure to include a warm up (like fast paced walking, marching in place, etc.) and a cool down with some light stretching.
Put on some fun dance music and boogie down while you stir and chop (especially fun when kid chefs are involved).

-If dropping down for 20 push ups in the middle of your relatives living room isn't your style, try to get them interested and involved. You could...
*Organize a family football, soccer, or capture the flag game
*Play personal trainer: Challenge your brother to a plank competition or race your niece up the stairs 10 times
*Catch up with family gossip during a brisk walk outdoors
*Instead of the post-meal group nap, implement the post-meal family dance party

-Don't skimp on breakfast! If you're famished when your celebration begins, your blood sugar will be so low that you'll be snacking on the appetizers (usually higher in fat and calories: nuts, cheese, etc.) instead of saving room for the stuffing, turkey, and pies!
-Remember that you are not obligated to stuff yourself. Try all of your favorite dishes by taking a small amount of each. If you are still hungry you can always get more of your favorites for seconds or set aside a special plate for your leftovers.
-Don't feel forced to eat foods that aren't appealing to you. You can politely decline to taste Aunt Edna's pickled brussel sprouts. Only you are in charge of what goes in your body.
-Go easy on the alcohol. Excess calories from alcohol turn into fat, increasing triglyceride levels in your blood (and that's not something to be so thankful for).

Take time to do some THANKS and some GIVING.
-Make a list of all the things you are thankful for. Even if it feels like you have nothing, try to think of the basics: a warm meal, a supportive family, etc., and your spirits will start to lift.
-Giving can be as simple as telling someone that you are thankful to have them in your life. There are still many food/toy drives continuing throughout the holiday's. City Harvest will pick up holiday food donations through mid-January. (find direct link at right)

Feel free to leave comments or send me an email to tell me how staying healthy during Thanksgiving went for you. Enjoy and have fun!