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Working off that big Thanksgiving meal – together!

Photo credit: BraunS/Getty Images

Thanksgiving mixes all-day grazing with the mother of all meals. It’s one of those days where you think you’re starving yourself for that late-afternoon meal, but actually you’re you taste-testing the goods for quality control all day long, while managing the very real possibility that a hangry mood could arrive at any moment.

In reality, most of us pack in the calories on Thanksgiving. With ease.

ABC News, citing the Calorie Control Council, reports that Americans consume about 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving. And, that’s just for dinner. When you add in drinks and desserts, that calorie count could quickly skyrocket to 4,500 or more.

And that’s why most of us feel like total gluttons when we finally push ourselves away from the table. That’s also why we feel the need to get up and get moving.

CJ Feller, a personal trainer and Wodstar team member, recommends that his clients work out before the big meal, since most of us will feel full and slow and maybe a little sleepy after dinner.

“Get a great workout that morning,” Feller said. “Get your metabolism going. Get a good sweat on and feel good about yourself.”

Here are a few ways to offset some of the calories you gained during Thanksgiving, while still spending quality time with your friends and family.

Go for a turkey trot

Get ahead of the game and burn your calories before you eat. Check here to see if you can find a turkey trot near you on Thanksgiving morning. They’re fun for the whole family, from young to old, because they allow everyone to go at their own pace. And they’re usually a short distance, from one mile to a 5k, which is just over three miles.

Lace up the walking shoes

Keep it simple and encourage everyone to get up and go for a leisurely walk around the neighborhood, before or after Thanksgiving dinner. Experts agree that walking has a number of health benefits, and it can even improve your mood, which can never hurt.

Walking allows all family members to participate and offers a chance for family members to connect away from WiFi, video games, a messy kitchen and other distractions.

Organize a pick-up game

Plan time in between NFL games and Thanksgiving dinner to organize a flag football game or a friendly half-court game of three-on-three in the driveway. Evenly disperse all age and skill levels among the teams and make it worth it — losing team does the dishes.

To make it even more fun, lower the basketball hoop for younger players to get involved or pull together a punt, pass, kick competition for the whole family — including grandma.

Want a few more ideas for family fun? Have a holiday scavenger hunt  or try these 9 family activities for Thanksgiving Day!

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