Make the holidays lighter with these Thanksgiving events to get you moving
They say we are entering the season of temptation, weight gain and stress. But what if we turn that notion upside down and declare the upcoming feast week the start of something new? What better time to swear off sweets than before the holiday cookie exchanges begin?
If that just sounds like crazy talk, how about a quick run before Thanksgiving dinner? (Here’s a secret: They let you walk if you want.)
We asked some local trainers for advice on baby steps along the fitness path. Dianne Bailey, who runs the Conditioning Classroom in Centennial, says to focus on gratitude and have a good breakfast. “If you enjoy a supportive breakfast and a supportive lunch, you will not be tempted to overeat during the “big” meal of the day,” she says.
“Be thankful the main course is turkey. It’s low in fat and high in protein — just what you need to make sure your body is not prompted to react with a high insulin response, which causes more fat storage.”
Fill up with lots of colorful vegetables. “But make sure they are clean and not covered with sauce, or cheese or combined with high-glycemic carbs,” says Bailey, who reminds us to drink lots of water rather than high-calories holiday drinks.
Go ahead and have a piece of pumpkin pie, she says. “The traditional dessert for Thanksgiving actually provides some nutrition along with the sugar. Pumpkin has lots of fiber and vitamin A. So enjoy … in small bites.”
Whether you are traveling or staying close to home for the holidays, you can stay active with a bit of planning, says David Clair, who runs the Fitness for Living Boot Camps in the Boulder area. He shared some ideas from his newsletter:
“If you are staying home, take out a calendar and create a weekly schedule of activities that you would really enjoy: hike with friends on Monday, bicycle or indoor cycle on Tuesday, refresh with a yoga class on Wednesday, etc. Create a week of fun and exciting adventures and simply repeat each week,” he says.
If you are traveling, pack a resistance band and jump rope. Before you go, “jot down 20 exercises and pick four to six to combine into a sequence — make sure to include a mix of core conditioning, upper and lower body strengthening and cardio. Set a goal to complete three to five sets of the sequence and you have a variety-packed fitness routine that is fresh and changes daily,” Clair says.
For more ideas, we’ve gathered a list of fun holiday events to motivate, inspire or guilt you into taking a step toward better health this season.
Clement Park Gobble Wobble
Thursday: A timed 5K race and a 1.5 mile family fun run/walk. 8:30 a.m. start time behind the Columbine Library. Fees vary. Proceeds benefit the Professional Miracles Foundation. Clement Park, 7306 W. Bowles Ave., Littleton, active.com
Easter Seals 5K Turkey Trot
Friday: A combination of road, paths and trails make up this benefit for Easter Seals Colorado. 10:30 a.m. Runners and walkers welcome. Fees vary. Easter Seals Rocky Mountain Village, 2644 Alvarado Road, Empire, clearcreekrecreation.com
Family Sports Center
Friday: Inviting kids to a “Black Friday” special from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Ice skating, laser tag, bumper cars, bungee run, a climbing wall and more for $14.95. Kids must be old enough to be unsupervised. Cost does not include concessions or skate rental. 6901 S. Peoria St., Centennial, 303-708-9500, sspr.org
Fort Collins Thanksgiving Day Run
Thursday: A benefit for the Food Bank for Larimer County. Kids are invited to participate in the free “Gobble Gobble” at 8:45 a.m. The 4-mile run/walk follows at 9. Fees vary. The starting line is on College Avenue. Pies will be awarded for age group prizes, cash for elites. Race day registration is at the Beach House Grill, 125 S. College Ave., 7:30-8:30 a.m. virtualroster.com.
Go for the Turkey Trot
Thursday: A 5-mile run and 2-mile walk to benefit the Pagosa Springs Pirate Cross Country Team and the Pagosa Lakes Porpoise Swim Team. 10 a.m. Fees vary. Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center, 45 Eagle’s Loft Circle, 970-731-5687, pagosachamber.com
Louisville Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot
Thursday: Nov.24 A free 5K for all ages, 9 a.m. Hot chocolate, holiday music and festivities included. Accepting donations of non-perishable food items, clothing and shoes for the Salvation Army and Children’s Hospital. Old Town Main Street, Louisville, active.com
Loveland Turkey Trot 2011
Thursday: A 5K beginning and ending at McKee Medical Center. 8:30 a.m. start time. Fees vary. 2000 Boise Ave., Loveland, 970-593-6038, active.com
Mile High Turkey Trot
Thursday: The 38th annual four-mile run/walk is a benefit for Mile High United Way. 10:15 a.m. start time. A one-quarter mile Family Fun Run is at 11 a.m. Fees vary. Washington Park, unitedwaydenver.org
NCMC Turkey Trot
Thursday: The 14th annual run presented by the CardioVascular Institute of North Colorado. A 5K starts at 9 a.m. and a 2K follows at 9:15. Participants are asked to bring a nonperishable food item to be donated to the Weld Food Bank. Fees vary. Proceeds benefit the NCMC’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program. North Colorado Medical Center, 1801 16th St., Greeley, 970-352-4121, active.com
Thanksgiving Day Bootcamp
Thursday: Nov.24 “A workout before the big feast,” 8 a.m. Bring a nonperishable food item to be donated to the Arvada Food Bank. Rock Hard Fitness, 14700 W. 66th Place, Arvada, rockhard-fitness.com
Thanksgiving Tooth Climb
Saturday: Join Volunteer Naturalist Lisa Plan on a guided moderate hike to Horsetooth Rock, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dress appropriately and bring water. $6 per vehicle registration fee. Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, larimer.org
The Turkey Chase
Thursday: A benefit for the Denver Rescue Mission includes the Turkey Chase 10K at 9 a.m. or a Family Fun Run 5K at 9:15 a.m. Course is along the paved trails through the West Woods Golf Course. Fees vary. 6655 Quaker St., Arvada, 303-313-2462, runningguru.com
Turkey Day 5K Family Fun
Thursday: The eighth annual Chamber of Commerce of Highlands Ranch run/walk. 7:30-8:30 a.m. registration, 9 a.m. race starts. Booths with race day activities included. A portion of the proceeds benefit The Colorado National Guard Foundation. Shea Stadium at Redstone Park in Highlands Ranch, td5k.com
Turley’s Turkey Trot
Thursday: Nov.24 A “no-frills, low-key 5K” through Research Park on the CU-Boulder east campus. 10 a.m. start time. Participants are asked to bring a canned food item or monetary donation for the Boulder County Food Share Program. $20, $15 in advance. Boulder, active.com
Compiled by Vickie Heath, The Denver Post