This is the time of the year we don't think a second thought about loosening our belts and gorging ourselves silly, simply in the name of celebrating. While I love a good Thanksgiving dinner as much as the next person, maybe our feasts need to be re-focused away from gluttony and more on quality time with our loved ones.
There is no part of me that is advocating to cut out the turkey - but there is great value in slowly working towards incorporating some active traditions in with the food.
Do a Turkey Trot. Search online to find one in your area. Many towns have laid-back runs you can easily join in without pre-registering. Others require some planning ahead. Not a runner? Grab your family and friends and walk it.
No Turkey Trots in your area? Do one on your own or with your family. Even just a mile is something! Not only will you feel less guilt as you eat, but your endorphins will help you not stress and enjoy yourself more.
Eat Thanksgiving dinner early and incorporate a group hike or walk after the meal and before dark (and dessert, of course)! Collect things from nature and decorate or do simple crafts with them as a family.
Plan Thanksgiving to take place in an unconventional spot that requires a little more work on your part physically, but allows for a more simple holiday in general. Hiking - or skiing - to a cabin (your own, a friend's or a rented Forest Service one) and bringing the food with you makes great memories.
Or don't worry about the cabin altogether and have a picnic Thanksgiving in the woods. Bring your tent/camper and make it a whole weekend event.
Skip the TV (or at least limit it) and take the focus outside. Rally together a flag football game, chase the kids around or set up a group bike ride. Many people spend Thanksgiving with a larger group of people - take advantage of those numbers to magnify the fun!
Follow your feast with a weekend trying something new (active, of course!) Explore a new trail, rent some skis or snowshoes (assuming some parts of the country have snow by then), or just go camping. Relax away from the house.
Already moving on to the next holiday? Visit a Christmas tree farm or go and tromp around in the woods to cut a fresh one over the weekend (with a permit, of course!)
What sort of traditions do you participate in? What motivates you to get out and beat the Turkey Coma?
Get Out and Beat the Turkey Coma!
By Amelia Mayer
November 26, 2014
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