5 Tips to Feel Great after Thanksgiving
Ahh, the intoxicating Thanksgiving aroma of warm turkey, seasoned stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes and bubbling apple pie – is there anything better? Well, perhaps feeling great the day after!
Just because you’ll be feasting on Turkey Day doesn’t mean that you have to live out the following few days in a food coma. There are several things you can do make sure you feel great after your Thanksgiving meal, while still thoroughly enjoying your day with family and friends.
- Exercise before the feast – Getting exercise in early on Thanksgiving Day will give you energy for the day ahead, get your metabolism revved up and ready to incinerate calories and provide a chance for some quality family (or solo) time before the craziness of the day sets in. Going for one of these beautiful local walks or signing up for the Turkey Trot is a perfect way to set the day’s tone of thanks!
- And exercise afterwards – We get it – you’re not going to want to strap on your jogging shoes and run a 5k after you’ve had your second helping of pie and ice cream. But even though it’s tempting to lay down for a post-feast slumber, being lightly active after a large meal is the best way to get you back to feeling like your normal, not-stuffed-to-the-gills self. Here are some tips to get moving after dinner:
- Leave the dishes – Once you start in on washing the dozens of dirty plates and pans, you won’t stop until the chore is done – and then you’ll be too exhausted to move afterward. Instead, leave the dishes where they are and take a 20- to 30-minute walk with the family around the neighborhood. The dishes will still be there when you return, and you might even be more inclined to do them after some fresh air!
- Do some stretching – Light stretching routines like cat/cow, cobra, full body stretches, bridges and deep glute stretches help loosen up muscles in and around the torso, which improves blood flow and digestion.
- Take a walk, even if it’s only around the block – Even if you’re super full and sleepy after your meal, tell yourself you’re just going to walk around the block. Usually, once you get moving outside and take in the fresh air, you will be motivated to walk further – which will greatly aid in digesting that huge meal. Worst case scenario, you only do walk around the block, and that’s better than nothing!
- Drink water and stay hydrated – Wine, cocktails and craft beer are all part of the Thanksgiving Day celebration for many adults. But keep in mind that dehydration from alcohol is accelerated when it’s combined with eating lots of salty foods. To stay properly hydrated for good digestion, limit alcohol and aim to drink between 96 and 128 ounces of water on Thanksgiving Day. While it may sound excessive, this only works out to drinking one 16 ounce glass of water 6-8 times throughout the entire day. Totally doable!
- Walk the Black Friday Sales – Heading to the mall at 2 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving for the doorbuster sales might not be your idea of a good time. Not a problem! You can go at a normal time that suits you and log some serious steps while crossing off your holiday shopping list.
- Use your leftovers for healthy recipes – After a couple days of intense Thanksgiving Day meal prep and cooking, the last thing you may feel like doing is cooking even more. That makes it easy to load up your plate with heavy, buttery leftovers right out of the fridge, pop it in the microwave and call it a weekend. But you can integrate your leftovers into lighter meals that won’t leave you feeling quite so weighed down. Try these easy, healthy Thanksgiving leftover recipes to get you back on track.