Easy Ways to Get Active After the Big Thanksgiving Meal

Get senior exercise on Thanksgiving

You spent all day helping in the kitchen and entertaining family members. When it’s finally time to sit down for the big Thanksgiving meal you couldn’t be more excited, so you load up on mashed potatoes, turkey, and pie. Afterward, it’s all too tempting to spend the remainder of the day curled up with leftovers. However, trying one of these easy ways to get active after the big Thanksgiving meal will actually do more for your health than you may realize.

Easy Ways to Get Active After the Big Thanksgiving Meal

Why is it important to move after a big meal?

If you’re like most Americans, when you’ve stuffed yourself full of delicious Thanksgiving foods the last thing you want to do is get off the couch. You’re uncomfortable and sluggish, so the perfect solution to that problem is, of course, hunkering down for the night.

This, however, is the exact opposite of what you should do after a big meal. Low-impact, easy physical activity aids in digestion, improves your blood sugar levels, and boosts your blood flow, allowing you to shake off the lethargic feeling sooner. This is especially important for seniors, who are more likely to feel the negative impacts of overeating.

Easy forms of exercise post-Thanksgiving dinner

A little bit of exercise will go a long way. Allow your stomach a little time to settle (perhaps half an hour), gather the whole family, and get moving.

Go for a family walk

This is probably the most commonly recommended form of easy exercise following Thanksgiving dinner, and it’s with good reason. Going for a walk is easy exercise that most individuals can partake in. It is also a great way to have undistracted conversations with your loved ones, which can be difficult to do during the hectic meal.

Yoga for digestion

Gentle yoga and stretching is a great way to stimulate the digestive organs and improve circulation. Look up guides on which yoga moves are best for digestion, or pull up a free YouTube video. Yoga with Adriene offers several free videos specifically tailored for digestion that those of any skill level can follow. Clear space in the living room so all who wish to participate have room to move, and press play.

Toss the ball with your grandchildren

If you’re not quite ready for a walk or to twist yourself into yoga posts, playing a game of catch with your grandchildren is a great way to get your momentum going. The motion of tossing a ball is not strenuous, and you don’t have to walk around too much. You could even play catch sitting down, should you have mobility concerns, while still enjoying time with your grandchild.

Rake the leaves

With the last of autumn’s leaves sprinkling the ground, you probably have quite a bit of debris to clear from your lawn. So, pick up your rake and hop outside for half an hour. You can even include your family by making a game of it. Give everyone an allotted amount of time to rake as big a pile as possible, and reward the winner with a slice of pie.

Exercise for seniors can be simple movement

Play active video games

If it’s too cold to spend much time outside, you can still find time for light exercise indoors. Active video games found on the Wii, the Nintendo Switch, or via virtual reality headsets offer a fantastic medium for indoor exercise. Most games available offer options for tailoring playing to one’s fitness level, so you don’t have to worry about overexerting yourself.

Stay healthy and happy this holiday season with home care

Amid the Thanksgiving festivities, remember how crucial it is for seniors to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Home Care Powered by AUAF understands the value of maintaining seniors’ well-being and independence, even during holiday seasons. Our dedicated caregivers are here to provide the support and assistance you need to continue to enjoy life to the fullest, both on special occasions and throughout the year.

For more information, give us a call at (773) 274-9262.

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