Thanksgiving can be a challenging holiday for bariatric patients. Many believe the holiday is deeply and irrevocably entrenched in eating to excess. While it is one of the more food-centric holidays, you can reframe your focus and approach to suit a healthier lifestyle. The following are several strategies to inject more activity into your Thanksgiving holiday.
- Clean and cook briskly. Preparing for Thanksgiving get-togethers often involves a lot of cleaning and cooking. You can turn these activities into calorie burners by adjusting your approach. Scrub, vacuum, and sweep vigorously or crank up the music while cooking and move to the beat. These small changes can raise your heart rate and sneak some activity into your day.
- Interrupt periods of sitting. Activity doesn’t always mean exercise. It’s easy to lose track of time during a good conversation or when hunkering down to watch holiday movies. However, long stretches of inactivity aren’t good for the spine or joints. The body doesn’t want to remain immobile for long, and it protests once you try to get it back into motion after stretches of sedentariness. Try standing up at least once every half an hour to prevent stiff and aching joints.
- Work out during commercials. You aren’t doomed to a day of overindulgence and inactivity, even if your family traditions dictate hours of football or hallmark movies. Use commercial breaks to sneak in a few minutes of light exercise. If your family prefers to zoom through commercials, incorporate work out moved for every touchdown or when a common movie trope occurs (e.g., holiday magic).
- Get the family involved. Exercising during a holiday can feel isolating or dull. Including your family and friends can keep you focused on your healthy lifestyle and start new traditions. Go for a group walk or play a few rounds of flag football to help inject some activity into the holiday and burn off some of those Turkey Day calories. If the weather isn’t cooperating, consider a Thanksgiving theme scavenger hunt. Once the hunt is on, everyone will start hustling to find all the items before the other teams. Check out Pinterest for Thanksgiving scavenger hunt ideas and prize options for the winners.
- Start the day with a Turkey Trot. You may struggle to exercise after Thanksgiving meals despite your best intentions. The evening may turn too dark after dinner to safely go for a walk, or your family may not want to participate in the exercise. Signing up for a turkey trot is a great way to get your heart rate up and meet your exercise goals for the day well before the festivities begin. Turkey trots are usually held earlier in the morning and are typically five kilometers in length. However, many communities hold shorter, one-mile fun runs.
- Participate in a Black Friday Bootcamp. Instead of waking up at the crack of dawn to frantically shop, consider participating in a Black Friday Bootcamp. Many gyms offer Black Friday discounts on classes specifically geared toward burning off those Thanksgiving meal calories.
Many families spent the last couple of Thanksgiving holidays apart due to COVID and traveling concerns. This year may be the first time you get to see family and friends for the holidays, which makes it a perfect opportunity to start new, activity-based traditions. Have questions about life after bariatric surgery? Contact us to learn more about the health benefits of weight loss surgery.