Five Thanksgiving exercise tips

You know your calorie count is likely to go up – OK, maybe way up – during the Thanksgiving Holiday.
That’s OK to over-indulge a little bit, but you’ll feel a lot better about yourself if you find time for a little fitness during the holiday as well. Mix in some exercise along with drum stick presses and 12-ounce beer bottle curls.
Here are five Turkey Day conditioning tips to get a head start on burning off some of those excess calories.

Plan a Thanksgiving Day sporting event
While the turkey’s in the oven baking, get family and friends together for fitness early in the day. You could maybe even make it the start of a family tradition. Play a touch football game, take a hike, go to the park with the kids and dogs, or if the weather’s nice enough where you live have a family baseball or softball game.

Run a turkey trot
Go for a run on Thanksgiving morning. A lot of communities hold 5K or 10K Turkey Trot races, or you could simply find some people to go run with in a small group. If worse comes to worse, go on the run by yourself. It might be nice to get some quiet time before being surrounded by a gazillion relatives.

Go on a bike ride
Same concept here as a run, get some good exercise in before the feasting begins. Wave to other bikers on the trail and tell them Happy Thanksgiving.

Get an abbreviated workout in
Some of you may be so disciplined that if Thursday is a planned workout day, you don’t want to skip it even on Thanksgiving. If you’re running short on time, then just do a half-routine, maybe cutting short on cardio or a couple lifts. Give yourself extra credit for being that dedicated and go ahead and have Aunt Sue’s pumpkin pie for dessert, you deserve it.

Walk it off
Recruit a couple people to go on a post-Thanksgiving meal walk around the block or back 40. It’s probably unrealistic to think you’ll do any heavy exercising, but a good brisk walk will certainly help you burn at least some calories and feel better about yourself.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at