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So we all know the big Thanksgiving feast is tomorrow and we will be eating until we are ready to pop. The Calories Control Council says that the average American will consume 4,500 calories during Thanksgiving dinner and that’s not even counting the days’ worth of leftovers. For most of us, calorie counting and exercise will not be a priority tomorrow.

To make yourself just a little bit more health conscious, try some of these activities to burn off some of those turkey, stuffing and pie calories:

1. Help cook some of the big meal
Before you pig out, help mom or grandma in the kitchen. You may not realize it, but you are actually burning calories – calories that you can later eat back without worrying too much. According to EatingWell Magazine, you can burn 122 calories in 45 minutes while seasoning and prepping the turkey and making the graving. You can also burn 200 calories cooking stuffing in the 75 minutes it takes to prep it. Of course, the amount of calories you burn doing these activities will vary, but at least you know it’s more than you would burn sitting on the couch.

2.  Play Wii with the kids
Your kids ask you to play Wii Sports or Dance Dance Revolution at least once a week, but you never have the time. It’s a holiday, give in, let loose and have a great time dancing with the kids. You’ll raise your heart rate and burn off some of that stuffing in the process.

3. Start a new tradition – have a touch football game with your guests
This is something my cousins’ family does every year. Before they dig into their mounds of delicious food, they all team up and have what they call “The Turkey Bowl.” Everyone gets all sweaty and muddy, but they have a great time and they fit some exercise into their day.

4. Take your guests for a walk around your neighborhood
Your out-of-town guests may enjoy the tour around your neighborhood and you may enjoy the serenity of getting out of the house full of family. Either way taking a walk is a quick and easy way to burn off some calories after your big meal – weather permitting, of course.

5. Help clean up
Though it may not be the most enjoyable or exciting, cleaning up will definitely help you burn off some of what you ate. Sweeping the floor for 15 minutes will help you burn about 40 calories, while washing dishes will help you burn 22. Again, you may not burn much, but a little is better than nothing.

6. Hit the stores
As much as it pains me to suggest it after working 6 holiday seasons in retail, many stores are open on Thanksgiving. Shopping is a great way to burn off calories. It entails many different activities that can raise your heart rate and keep you moving. If you are going to hit the stores, though, you should probably wait until your guests leave. 😉

These activities may not have you shedding calories like Zumba but it’s a holiday, just try to keep moving and enjoy the day! Every little activity helps!

Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at S.W.E.A.T.

-Aimee

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