It’s Thanksgiving week and my thoughts automatically turn to spending time with my family and friends. The very next thought is, “How am I going to fit in some form of exercise on Thanksgiving Day?”
Here’s the bottom-line up front (BLUF): I’m a big advocate for exercise on Thanksgiving – get that exercise in early and before the turkey coma settles over you like a warm blanket.
As a lifelong runner, I’ll always think of a Turkey Day 5K run before anything other form of exercise on Thanksgiving. I have so many memories of running races on Thanksgiving – all the way back to elementary school when the town I lived in had a citywide Turkey Trot and if you won your age group, you won a turkey! That’s free food! (That's young me in the photo with my turkey "winnings!!")Turkey isn’t cheap. Even in the 1970s, turkey wasn’t cheap. So now that I’ve dated myself, let’s discuss some of the many ways to exercise on Thanksgiving.
I like a Turkey Day 5K run - it doesn’t need to be an organized run or require a race entry fee. I’ve been doing a one-woman Turkey Day 5K for years. It provides me with some much needed quiet before the craziness of the day begins with extended family. For me, it’s a simple process. You get up, get dressed and get out the door. You can choose to measure distance or go watchless and just run until you’re finished. In recent years, many of my Thanksgivings have been in western Nebraska. That means lots of farmland, cows, alpacas, trains, a great hill for intervals and if I’m lucky, turkeys! There’s something so peaceful about running on a crisp fall morning, leaves on the ground and sun glinting over a national monument.
There have been other Thanksgivings where I’ve swam, participated in a spin class or taught/took a boot camp class. I’ve even had Personal Training sessions on Thanksgiving, and I do the exercises alongside my client. There was one year when my 15-year-old convinced me to take her to a Yoga class – she was calm and serene the entire time. I spent the hour trying to breathe appropriately and twist myself into a pretzel - not one of my more successful Thanksgiving Day exercise sessions! Last year, I did a trail run with friends. We’ve been doing runs like this for eight years and our group expanded to include spouses, children and a mother-in-law. (See top photo.) Our group of four is now eleven strong!
I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving and your pre-meal workout. Go by yourself or take others with you. Exercise in the same place you always do or try something new! Whatever you do, make it fun!