While the main activity on Thanksgiving Day is sure to be eating, you can balance the big meal with calorie-burning action throughout the day. Not only does squeezing in some activities help you maintain some semblance of health, it is also a fun way to engage with family. So, this Thanksgiving, don’t lose yourself to the turkey coma and TV screens. Here’s how.
Take on a Turkey Trot
Getting in a morning jog is a great way to kick off this day of feasting, so why not take part in a community event while you’re at it. Most towns have a Thanksgiving morning “fun run” that also serves as a fundraiser. So gather your friends, kids, or head out on your own, and support a local cause while burning some calories before the day begins.
Our suggestion: Head to Oak Hill, WV for the 11th Annual Turkey Trot & Gobble Wobble. The 5-kilometer run and 2-mile walk support the Fayette Plateau Ministerial Association Food Pantry.
Reflect on a Nature Hike
Sometimes Thanksgiving Day gets so busy we forget what the holiday is all about—giving thanks. Before the festivities get underway, take some time away from the excitement and chaos of the family gathering to reflect on the past year and think about all the things you are thankful for.
Our suggestion: Choose the Endless Wall Trail and start your hike just before sunrise. Watching the fog rolling through the New River Gorge makes it hard not to feel thankful for life’s blessings and inspired for the year ahead.
Break Out the Lawn Games
When the family gets together, break away from the hors d’oeuvres and instead of (or in addition to) watching the action TV, motivate a group to get outside and play. Try flag football, cornhole, or even just some basic tag. The kids will be stoked for a chance to play with the adults and the rest of the family might enjoy it more than they expect.
Our suggestion: Pick a game that is easy for everyone to engage in and focus more on the chance to run around than who is winning or losing.
Gather for a Group Walk
Stave off that just-ate tired feeling and make room for dessert by motivating everyone to take an after-dinner walk. This not only gives you a chance to get moving and get out of the house but also cultivates the opportunity to get away from the screens and have a real conversation while you are out on the trail—or sidewalk.
Our suggestion: Don’t let the logistics of getting everyone to a trailhead hold you back. Instead, just walk out the front door. A stroll through the neighborhood can have the same effect as a mountain trail and be much more attainable for a big group.
Engage in Active Entertainment
As evening sets in, keep the party active by choosing games that get people engaged. Switch off the TV, leave your cell phone on silent, and break out charades or start a dance party. Not only will it keep the family from dozing off on the couch, it’ll get you up and moving and burning off that gravy. Our suggestion: Charades (an acting and guessing game) is easy for all ages to take part in and the casual nature of the game makes it easy for family members to choose their own level of participation. Plus, you don’t need anything but a pen, paper, and a few creative minds to get started.