So many people associate Thanksgiving Day (one of my favorite holidays, by the way) with weight gain. It’s just ONE day, people!
Yes, a lot of us eat more than we should on Thanksgiving (this San Jose fitness professional included). And, yes, overeating is not healthy. But again, I say—it’s just ONE day! Let it go. Enjoy the day. Eat some of the foods you enjoy. Spend time with people you love. Be thankful you have legs that get you where you want to go and a heart that is pumping blood to the muscles in your legs.
That said, I do have a challenge for you: If you don’t do this already, begin a tradition of doing some sort of healthy activity on Thankgiving Day. Your body will thank you for it, and my guess is, you’re going to have some fun doing it!
When I was a kid, my family and I spent many of our Thanksgiving celebrations with another family in Palo Alto. Although dinner at our friends’ home was a formal affair, we’d arrive at their home early in the afternoon in our jeans and tennies and head out to the hills around Stanford University for a walk in the hills. The air was usually chilly and brisk, and we’d have tons of fun running around and laughing. I always enjoyed that part of the day.
Fast forward to today, and my husband, kids and I have created our own traditions. I now cook the Thanksgiving meal, but I plan my cooking chores so that I have time to go to the gym or do a quick interval workout at a local track with my dog. The rest of my family heads out to Willow Glen High School for the annual family “Turkey Bowl”. Organized by a brother-in-law, this is a traditional (almost) touch foot ball game with about 20 friends and family members ranging in age from about 8 to 50. I usually head over to the game after my workout to get a few pictures. It’s a fun time and so far, nobody has ended up in the ER (a few of the more “seasoned” athletes have ended up on ice for a few days, though).
Here’s the point: Yes, Thanksgiving is all about the food. But, how about organizing some sort of traditional activity that your whole family can do? We have some great venues her in San Jose for outdoor leisure activities whether you’re a recovering couch potato or a seasoned athlete. Those who don’t want to move too vigorously might enjoy a walk around Discovery Meadow or Christmas in the Park. Athletic types could play a few games of tennis at Willow Street Park. The competitive types could run or walk the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.
We all have choices in how we spend our time. I believe that Thanksgiving is all about good food, friends and family. There’s absolutely no reason that some physical activity can’t be part of the equation—even if you’re the cook, like me.
Do you have a Thanksgiving family tradition that involves a healthy activity? Share it here in the comments section!
My best to you and yours this Thanksgiving.