Wednesday, November 26, 2014

MOVE this Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, my American friends!

Thanksgiving is traditionally a day of food, family, and .... sitting around.  We sit watching the parade, we sit and catch up with relatives, we sit to watch football, we sit and eat dinner, we sit and digest, you get the picture. There's nothing wrong with taking time to relax and enjoy good company, but all this lying around can leave us feeling lethargic for days to come.

This Thanksgiving, I dare you to get up and MOVE!  

Maybe for you, that means getting in one awesome morning workout before the day begins--awesome!

Perhaps your family enjoys fulfilling a different Thanksgiving tradition of playing some backyard football.  Sounds great!

BUT there are many other ways to get moving throughout the day, too.  Here are a few ideas to try:
  • Get involved in the kitchen.  Often, holiday gatherings involve lots of home-cooked food. Whether you're the host and head chef or simply an invited guest, offer your assistance in the kitchen.  Cooking involves not only being on your feet and moving about the kitchen, but also keeps you active in simple tasks like chopping and dicing, or sometimes even more intensive movements like mashing potatoes or mixing dough.  Whatever it is, it's an improvement over lounging around!  Just be sure you don't overdo it on the taste tests :
Someone's got to peel and slice!

  • Not a sous chef? Be the server. As appetizers, meals, and desserts are served, be the one serving!  Between early crudite/dips to the final dessert, you'll be moving back and forth from the kitchen throughout the entirety afternoon/evening. 
  • Play with the kids.  Children are naturally active. They have so much energy, and they're not afraid to use it!  Whether they start up games on their own or need a bit of encouraging, you can get in a good amount of activity by playing with children.  Maybe it's a game of freeze-tag in the yard, maybe it's getting on your knees to follow around a crawling baby... maybe you play duck-duck-goose, clap through a few rounds of patty cake or slide, play with a Wii or Kinect, put on a magic show, or choreograph a dance routine...  Whatever it is, you'll probably find yourself moving around quite a bit!
  • Sign on for clean-up duty. So many dishes, so much to clean!  Again, this keeps you on your feet, keeps your hands moving, and sometimes involves a bit of elbow grease. 
  • Take movement breaks.  Set a timer on your phone/watch/timer and every hour or two, make a point of getting in just one or two minutes of physical activity.  It could be a brisk walk, some jumping jacks or burpees, a minute of squats, or a minute of pushups.  Do something to get your heart pumping and keep your muscles lookin' alive! 
  • Initiate a walk outside.  Whether before or after the main meal, invite others to join you on a walk!  It's nice to get some fresh air and stretch your legs, and others will likely be thankful for the idea and eager to join you. 
  • Plan active games. Backyard sports are one thing, but there are plenty of games to be played inside, too!  Choose a few games to offer up to the crowd: Charades and HeadsUp  are just two that come to mind, and I'm sure there are dozens more I'm not thinking of. What are your favorite active indoor games? 

How do YOU keep active during holiday festivities?

Remember, as always, to be grateful for your body and all it does for you. Continue to treat it well with nutritious food and smart activity.

Have a lovely holiday weekend! 

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