Thanksgiving Meal Tip #4 – Start a new holiday tradition and walk

You’re getting sleepy, very sleepy.

That’s what typically happens to most Americans after a carbohydrate- and sugar-packed meal like Thanksgiving dinner.

Your body is devoting most its energy to digestion, concentrating red blood cells in your stomach to aid in digestion and carry nutrients through your blood stream. Less energy for your brain and the rest of your body makes you feel sluggish.

Your body needs time to digest, but that doesn’t mean you have to be glued to the couch and TV for the rest of the day. We do recommend avoiding strenuous exercise within two hours after the Thanksgiving meal. Please note, however, strenuous does not exclude all physical activity.

If you want to avoid the post-meal slump, keep your blood moving and burn some calories. The best way to do that is by taking a walk. This chart shows how many calories you could burn with a 30-minute stroll around your neighborhood.

For example, a person weighing 200 pounds walking a 30-minute mile burns 120 calories. Plus, walking is good for your mental health and helps control Type 2 diabetes.

Make a family walk the start of a new holiday tradition. You can get kids excited by encouraging them to look at the colorful leaves, making a local park your walk destination or by tossing a football or Frisbee. If it’s late, you can bundle up for a night walk and point out stars.

If weather is bad or too cold, check out this list of indoor/garage activities. Surprisingly, the game of Twister can burn 170 calories per hour.

No matter how you do it, make a plan to get active and have some fun this holiday season.