Get moving so you can pre-work-off your Thanksgiving Meals
Thanksgiving is synonymous with two things – family and food. Or, better yet, too much food! The family part is the easy part. You usually know where you’re going to spend your Thanksgiving well in advance. In many cases, that may mean you’re spending your time amongst two different sets of family members on the same night, or you alternate years with your wife’s family and then with your family. Or, like us, you may celebrate two Thanksgiving dinners on two different days. Double whammy!
The food is a whole different story! If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving family dinner at your home, there’s a lot of preparation, not just in determining what you’re going to cook and serve, but also all that goes with the grocery shopping. In an earlier post, we covered a shopping tip for a one-stop-shop for almost all your ingredients. Whether or not you’re hosting a Thanksgiving meal, you are very likely to eat more than you need. For that, you also need to prepare!
Now, I’m not one to advocate the counting of calories, nor am I one to shy away from the ingestion of a lot of good quality saturated fats, but according to The Calorie Control Council, the average American will eat 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day. Consider that 3,000 calories in thanksgiving dinner alone are likely to come from only the main dinner sitting. Plus, you will likely eat, nibble and drink non-water-based beverages and sugar-loaded desserts throughout the day as you hangout with family and friends. This amount of food, in conjunction with the fact that it will likely include many “cheat” foods (or non-nutritional foods), will certainly illicit a bloating and discomforting effect on your body. If you have been trying to start a “diet”, you will likely take a step backwards after Thursday. And this is why you need to…
…prepare yourself for the food!
What’s great about Thanksgiving is that it always falls on a Thursday, at the end of the week. This gives you a few solid days to get out and do some physical activity during the week. Get your body moving! This will help to offset some of the excess calories that you are about to undoubtedly eat. What’s also great is that, given that Thanksgiving is such a family holiday, it gives you an excuse to do family fitness activities which will provide another opportunity to make health and fitness a part of your family.
Our kids are both off of school this week, so we were able to take some time and go for a family hike in the hills around our house. We climbed up to Robber’s Roost in the Weir Canyon Wilderness Park. This is a great lookout at about 1,200 ft above sea level. This particular spot, as legend has it, is named Robbers Roost because, when perched here, one can see all routes leading into the Orange County area. It was here that robbers would look for stagecoaches that were traveling to Orange County from other SoCal areas and would then go rob them. I love to learn historical info about local sites. Orange County has some great hiking and many are well-documented in Orange County, A Day Hiker’s Guide. Nowadays, this spot still serves as a great vantage point – a great place to take in the beauty that God (or whatever you believe) created for us to appreciate and enjoy.
Back to the reason for this post…prepare yourself for the food you are about to eat. In our case, this morning, we went for a family hike. Not only did we get some exercise, but we also got our blood and lymphatic system circulating, got some sun and vitamin D, and we also had some great family time with the kids. They were happily running up the trail, kicking dirt, asking questions, etc…. They even managed to find a dried out patch of spaghetti squash that was alongside the trail and discovered dislodged squashes that quickly became a soccer ball as they kicked it back and forth up the hill, and then later, down the hill.
Once at the top, we hung out for a bit while the kids climbed the boulders and practiced their yoga poses perched atop the big rocks overlooking our beautiful Orange County. Seeing all the beauty amongst us, it only felt right to give Thanks for all the blessings we have. As such, we each took turns to share what we were thankful for. Just the fact that we have children who can be thankful for what they have is a huge blessing in and of itself!
Bottom line folks, take the time, before the Thanksgiving Holiday ahead of us, to get out and share the outdoor world with your family. Move your body! Share what you are thankful for and prepare yourself both physically and spiritually! Most importantly, have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with your family and friends!
Have you done anything exciting and fitness-centered with your family this week? How are you preparing for your Thanksgiving celebration? Please comment below and share with your family and friends.
Paying it Forward in Health!…Family For Health