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Have Your Best Thanksgiving Ever!

Brian Calkins - NSCA-CPT, ACE | Cincinnati, Ohio

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. The day offers a natural time for reflection on all of the blessings in our lives, we have an opportunity to share time with the people we love, and, of course, football is on! 

Speaking of blessings, I would like to give very special thanks to my wife, Carolyn, who is not only a wonderful spouse, but a tremendously loving mom, friend and a remarkable support to our family. I am also very blessed by my son, Justin, a bright college student & football player, and my beautiful 1-year old daughter, Kayla, who keeps me smiling and laughing every day. I love you guys more than I could possibly express.

In the spirit of tomorrow’s holiday, I’d like to share my annual Thanksgiving ritual and hope it offers you the same energy, enthusiasm and connection to those you care deeply for, as it does for me.  

1. Workout on Thanksgiving morning!  There is nothing better than getting in a nice "turkey trot" the morning before the feast gets started.  Better yet, engage the entire family and enjoy some "sweat time" together. You’ll feel great with elevated energy and less guilty when you do indulge in the big meal.

2. Have a "Burn the Bird" workout on Friday morning before you hit the malls! There’s no better way to ramp up your energy, burn up some Thanksgiving calories and feel great again than a workout first thing Friday morning after the eating fest of the previous day.

3. Eat "healthy" before the big meal!  Thanksgiving is often filled with lots of wine, alcohol, and food.  It’s no secret that weight gain comes from taking in more calories than you burn off.  If you eat a "healthy" snack or meal a few hours before the feast, you’ll overeat a lot less when the relatives are going back for yet another serving.

4. Write down 10 things you’re thankful for! This is one of my favorite rituals because it’s so powerful in directing how you feel. When you take a moment out of your busy and often hectic life to become quite and think of all the blessings in your life, you’ll soon discover how rich you truly are. Once I get a few things I’m grateful for in my mind, I quickly discover many, many more things that I often forget that I’m incredibly appreciative about.

5.  Enjoy the food! Remember, Thanksgiving is only one day, so relax your “healthy” rules and enjoy the day. Stuff yourself, fall asleep, wake up and watch some football, connect with family, eat some more and fall asleep again. This doesn’t happen every day, and fortunately, you can’t mess up your health, fitness and body in a single day!!

Happy Thanksgiving!