The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Fitness and Health as a Lifestyle for Thanksgiving

If you think you won't have time to exercise over the Thanksgiving holiday, here is good news. This post will show you how to move in healthy ways so that you have healthy exercise built-in to all the cooking, shopping, furniture moving, and social interactions. Here is more good news. You don't have to go to a gym to work off the stress and eating too much of the Thanksgiving holiday. Life is not supposed to be a poison that you deliberately take, then need an antidote to offset.

Here are four of the healthiest, quickest ways to make your Thanksgiving into fitness and health as a lifestyle:

  1. To pick up chairs, babies, and grocery bags,
    to move furniture, and for lifting things from the floor, bend your knees, keeping your weight back toward your heels, and your body upright.

  2. To carry chairs, babies, grocery bags, furniture, and any loads in front of you, don't lean back. It is a common bad habit to lean the upper body backward, increasing the lower back arch. Leaning backward shifts the weight of the load off your core and arm muscles and onto your lower spine. Get free, built-in exercise for your abs and arms and save your back by standing straight. Don't lean and arch backward to carry things.

  3. Notice all the times you round and hang forward over things that you can easily reach by standing upright. Check your upper back positioning when standing over counters, sinks, grocery bins, vacuum cleaners, cribs and baby-changing tables, and when setting food tables. Don't let your body weight hang over and forward. Stand upright, chin in, and just tilt your head downward in relaxed manner to see what you are doing. Relax shoulders downward. Smile. Breathe.

  4. Preparations and family interactions are no excuse to do unhealthy behaviors out of habit like smoking, overeating, and arguing, then blame it on stress. The bad habits are even more stress on body and mind. If something is wrong, see about fixing it in a good way. Don't suffer in silence with people telling you that you have to be happy just because of a holiday. Make your home healthy for yourself. There is no place it matters more:
  • Get exercise cleaning the house of junk and clutter. Take the extra clothing, toys, and household items to a shelter. Carry the bags with healthy positioning to the people who need it.
  • Make a healthy meal with family or alone, without television or phone. Carry the meals to shut-ins and isolated elderly in your neighborhood, and the homeless on the street.
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Do grocery shopping, cooking, and vacuuming for those who are too sick or disabled or alone to do it for themselves. If you think you don't have time because you have young children, take them with you to help carry things and to teach them healthy ideals, and how thankful they can be for the home you provide.
  • Don't smoke, drink soda (diet soda is just as unhealthy) eat junk food (even if it has marketing words like "organic" on the label), or undo the health benefits of fruit and vegetables by junking them with cream, sugar, and cornstarch. Add up all you spend on cigarettes and junk food that take a healthy body and give it health problems. Take the money and give to the poor. With what you save on prescriptions and treatments for all the pain and jitters you cause yourself, you can feed a village and still take a vacation.
  • When you eat the Thanksgiving meal, say thankful things. Taste your food. Turn down seconds. Breathe. Smile. Help clean up. Shoulders back. Enjoy the roof over your head. That is health as a lifestyle.

Drawings and more ideas on healthy positioning - see the book Stretching Smarter Stretching Healthier

Read success stories of these methods and send your own.
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Drawings of Backman!™ © copyright Dr. Jolie Bookspan

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.