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The Busy Mom

Fun Ways to Burn Off Those Calories from Thanksgiving Dinner

I have been working hard this year to try and lose weight, and as all of us busy moms know, this is no easy task!  Now with the holidays approaching, I will have even more temptations to resist.  I can almost taste it now, the warm gravy pooling in the middle of a heaping pile of hot mashed potatoes.  The sweet smell of warm pumpkin and pecan pie as it sifts through the air.  Sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows burnt to a slight crisp.  Don’t forget the main course to complete the ultimate dinner of the year, the moist turkey with dressing!
How many calories do you think are in the average Thanksgiving dinner?  I went online to see what I could find.  I found a website that actually had a thanksgiving calculator, where you could check off on the list the items that you would eat. It would then calculate how many calories there where in each item and give you a total for the entire Thanksgiving dinner.
Now I was pretty honest on the calculator and selected just about everything on the list.  My grand total of calories just for the dinner alone (not counting if I ate any breakfast or lunch that day) was 2,050 calories.  That is almost double the calories I should eat in a day.  It also told me how many miles I would have to walk to burn all of those calories, which was 20.5 miles!  I have been walking four times a week, but there is no way I could accomplish 20.5 miles in one day.  I also know that I am going to enjoy my Thanksgiving dinner with my family.  So what is a busy mom to do?  How about some fun ways to get the kids involved to burn off some calories together?
1. Walking—a great way to get out and get moving.  Change the scenery.  Take the family to Riverbend Park and walk the loop a few times.  Go up to the Oroville Dam and see how long it takes to walk across and back.  Maybe offer some kind of prize for the person who has the quickest time.  Kids love to win!
2. Bike or Scooter—Another option to walking, but still fun.  Parents can walk and the kids can ride circles around you!  Trying to keep up with them is the real exercise.
3. Soccer or Football Game—a fun family activity, especially on a holiday where your extended family can get on your nerves, if cooped up in a house all day!  Any school field is big enough to handle a fast game.  The weather is usually still nice this time of year.
4. Shopping—start the holiday season off by looking at decorations or window shopping.  You can park downtown and walk around looking at all of the festive sights, while burning those calories.  Hit the mall and see how many times you can walk from one end to the other.
5. Digital Scavenger—Hunt-create a scavenger hunt list and split up the family to see who can find the items on the list the fastest.  Using your camera or cell phone, you take a picture of the item you found from the list.  There has to be a time limit (like one hour) to find as many of the items you can and meet back together.  This will have you running around and burning calories in no time!
Whatever you decide to do, enjoy a great meal with your family and give thanks for the thing that is really important—being together.

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