Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Exercise Regimen - for Bowhunters and the Like!

After the second helping of turkey and gravy, third piece of pie, and then a night cap with family, it's now time to relax, right? I know that a few continuous days of this will lead to lethargic behavior and a desire to make best friends with the couch. Don't allow yourself to get sucked into that mindset! While I am not an expert, I am going to offer up a few ideas to help keep you honest with your body and with keeping fit through the holidays. Not only for keeping fit, but many friends and family plan on hunting the day after Thanksgiving and you want to enjoy it, right?

Each week prior to Thanksgiving, my fellow bowhunters (and others) tell me that they are going to eat anything they want and get back on track January 1 and lose all the weight they gained. Why do that to yourself? I'll be honest, I love to eat. I do. But I also hate feeling overfull and tired after the Thanksgiving meal. Here are some tips you can follow to not only enjoy the meal, but get out and hunt the day after without feeling so sluggish. I plan on hunting the next day!

Take a walk or go running Thanksgiving morning. My wife and I participate in the Long Beach Turkey Trot 5K race every year on Thanksgiving morning. We burn off around 600 calories and get in the mindset that working out and staying healthy feels good! You can go to a local park and walk, hike a forest trail, or bike someplace fun. Just do something active PRIOR to the meal!

Bring storage containers with you to the meal. As crazy as it sounds, my dad got me hooked on this years ago. I used to gorge myself on the meal because I knew it would be a year until I had more. But why do I have to wait that long? Just bring some of the meal home with you and enjoy it for a couple days.

Drink plenty of water before and with your meal. It'll help you feel fuller, faster. Plus, you will begin to digest the meal better.

Put the salt away! Who needs high blood pressure when you want to relax. Plus, if you are planning on hunting the next morning, you'll want to avoid all of that extra sodium. I am sure there will be plenty in the other food served.

Don't go back for seconds! Don't go into a tryptophane stupor and put a second helping in your mouth just because it tastes great. If you are full then stop eating. Best advice is to wait twenty minutes or so and then decide if you really are hungry or if you are full and just want to eat it because it's good. You are going to want to save some room for pie, right?

Plan on an after dinner walk. Just a walk folks. Don't go crazy and plan on strenuous exercise. It's not goof for your heart. Plan to go for a nice family walk and burn some calories and get the metabolism going a bit faster.

Be grateful for the Thanksgiving meal and don't be a glutton. My wife and I tell my daughter every year to remember that there are thousands of people going without a meal or eating far less than we are today. Don't get sick on your meal, be thankful and enjoy it. Enjoy your meal, but consider all you are blessed with before acting like pack of meat-crazed wolves on the hunt.


  1. Alright Al, I'm gonna try some of these! My usual exercise routine on Thanksgiving is the Turkey Leg Curl....

    1. How did your exercise regimen go, Ben? I ran a 5K, ate only half my dinner and then some pie, but not too much. Hoping i didn't gain too much!