Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and it’s just a few days away. However, Thanksgiving can certainly wreak havoc on your attempts to stay fit and healthy. It’s also a preview of what’s to come. The over-indulgence (and self-indulgence) of the holidays is right around the corner. But don’t worry–it really is possible to enjoy the festivities of the season without completely sabotaging your health and fitness. Since Thanksgiving weekend kicks the holiday season into high gear, here are a few easy and and practical fit tips to help you stay on track.
Tips to keep moving.
As we say in the Feldenkrais community, movement is life! Having said that, it is crucial that you keep moving. If you are the one who is responsible for preparing the entire Thanksgiving feast, you can manage to burn off a few calories even while you’re cooking and cleaning. If you aren’t the head chef, you might have a bit more flexibility in your schedule for the day. However, please remember to include the person who is putting your special day together. Not only can they use a hand, they can also use a break. Here are a few suggestions to keep moving.
*Dance in the kitchen.
No, I’m not kidding. Even if you enjoy spending time in the kitchen, standing for long periods of time is exhausting. What’s worse is that you can end up with back pain, hip and leg pain, a stiff neck, and sore shoulders. The solution? Put on some music while you’re cooking, cleaning, and setting the table. Boogie around the kitchen and dining room as much as you can. You’ll burn some calories, and as an added bonus, the movement will gently lubricate your joints and keep your muscles from getting stiff. You might not think it matters, but trust me, it does. And your body will thank you in return. Even small amounts of movement each and every day has a cumulative effect. It can make a huge difference on your health and fitness during the holidays and the rest of the year as well.
*Walk it off.
Walking is fantastic exercise, and it’s also what I consider low maintenance. Which means, you don’t have to invest a lot of extra time to engage in a brisk walk to burn off some extra calories as well as excess stress at the same time. After all, it doesn’t matter if you are preparing a holiday meal for two people or twenty, it is still very stressful and a tremendous amount of work. Besides, if you’re expecting a guest or family member that doesn’t always behave during holiday get-togethers, that little endorphin burst will come in handy later in the day. Just in case you need it.
Gather your family and/or guests together for a game of flag football, leaf gathering extravaganza, or a brisk run around the obstacle course at a local park before dinner if the weather permits. Or, you can always play in the snow if Suzie Snowflake pays a visit to your area, or stay inside for a game of ping pong or Twister if the weather is really bad. Playing ninja games is always one of my personal favorites with all of that hiding, disappearing, and running up walls, so to speak. Just use your imagination and see what you can come up with that everyone can enjoy. You could also try and plan it for after dinner, but I personally prefer the opportunity to slip into a gentle tryptophan and chardonnay induced coma. Yes, indeed, we all have our traditions to uphold.
These are just a few examples to help you keep moving through the holidays. Use your imagination and see what other tips you can come up with and please do not hesitate to share them with me and my readers. Most of all, if you do over-indulge a bit, don’t beat yourself up over it. After all, Thanksgiving is a holiday, and a time to count our blessings and to be grateful for all of our gifts, both great and small. And I am sincerely grateful to each and every one of you for being part of my life. You give me blessings above and beyond that which you could ever know. Happy Thanksgiving!