Many people dread Thanksgiving. They believe it’s just a holiday centered on piles of food, overeating and inactivity as one sinks down into the sofa to watch late afternoon football games on television.

It Doesn’t Have To Be

Even with family and friends around, you still need to take time for yourself. And just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean you need to abandon the healthy habits and routines you’ve worked so hard to follow all year long.  Try keeping your normal routine this year.

Did you know that many gyms are open on Thanksgiving Day?  It's the one day of the year you need to get out and burn some calories, and many gyms have responded to the needs of their clients by opening their doors on this day. Gold’s Gym, one of the largest fitness chains in the nation, has been open on Thanksgiving for many years now. And 2013 will be no exception. Hours are more limited than on normal operating days, though, so make sure you check in advance before you head out for your workout.

Other Ways to Get Active

Try running a race on Thanksgiving Day.  Almost every major city across the United States offers races, or turkey trots, in some form or another.  Rio Rancho, New Mexico, has dubbed their 6.2 mile run the “Hobbler Gobbler.” In Santa Cruz, California, “Run for the Pie” is a great way to burn calories. In Detroit, they don’t run, they swagger in “The Stuffing Strut.”

One of the oldest turkey trots in the nation began in Austin, Texas. ThunderCloud Subs, a local sandwich shop, founded its race in 1991 and this year it will be hosting the 23rd annual run! All the proceeds raised are donated to Caritas of Austin, a local organization that provides homeless shelters and food distribution to needy citizens. When the race was first organized, only a few thousand people showed up to run. Last year, in 2012, a record number of over 18,000 runners hit the street.

It’s for Everyone

You don’t have to be a professional runner to participate. Most of these races offer anywhere from four- to six-mile runs for active athletes. Walkers usually have the option of going a longer distance or participating in one-mile races. And you don’t have to leave the kids at home! Almost all of these races are kid-friendly, offering festivities like a 100-meter “gobbler chase.”

Postprandial Walks

Still don’t think you have the time to exercise on Thanksgiving Day? Keep it simple and try going for a walk after dinner.  Postprandial means to engage in any activity after a meal. For decades now, scientists have known that taking a short 20 to 30 minute walk after eating has several documented benefits. Among other things, this exercise is known to help the digestive process and help regulate glucose levels. In other words, the dishes can wait! Get out and take a walk.

All of us at The Healthy Protocol, LLC wish you the happiest and healthiest Thanksgiving Day! 


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