Skin-Saving Nutrients You Need Now

Skin-Saving Nutrients You Need Now

Why Do We Get Wrinkles?

Nourishing your skin from the inside out often means focusing on collagen production (vs. consuming collagen supplements) since it’s the major component of connective tissue in tendons, skin and ligaments1,2.  Your dermis layer’s collagen serves to provide skin with structure, allowing skin to rebuild and repair, and to withstand stretching1, providing skin elasticity and tone2. Although it’s the most abundant protein in the body, as we age our natural production of collagen wanes3. Collagen fibers break down or no longer regenerate, which lead to dreaded wrinkles2. 

Collagen

Collagen is made up of several amino acids, predominantly the non-essential amino acids glycine, proline, hydroxyproline1,2, as well as alanine and arginine. Varying amino acid combinations make different types of collagen, so the collagen in skin (types I & III) is not the same as that in your joints (type II) or gut. In theory, boosting collagen production means furnishing your body with an adequate supply of amino acids from any protein source. However, the body prioritizes protein production to where it’s needed, say wound healing or antibodies for immunity, so it’s impossible to determine in advance where possible collagen peptides will be used in the body2. 

Still, consuming dietary sources of collagen ensures getting adequate amounts of hydroxyproline – the one amino acid not found in other proteins. Since collagen is concentrated in connective tissues, such as muscle, animal flesh (meat, fish, poultry, eggs) is a good source of collagen. Spirulina algae also contains collagen. Bone broth (which is simmered much longer than stock) also provides the amino acids necessary to build collagen2. 

Overall, dermatologists recommend a diet rich in nutrients and antioxidants to preserve skin health. Several play a key role in the production and maintenance of collagen to keep skin smooth and firm, while others protect against sun-induced skin aging and free radical damage in skin cells. Specifically, the skin-saving nutrients and phytochemicals to include regularly in your diet should be:  

Vitamin C

This antioxidant is a necessary cofactor in collagen synthesis and protects existing collagen from degradation2,4 and subsequent skin damage. Good food sources include citrus fruit, kiwifruit, peppers, strawberries, papaya, tomato juice, kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and broccoli4.

Vitamin E

As with vitamin C, this antioxidant helps fights free radicals produced from sun exposure4. Sunflower seeds, almonds, avocado, wheat germ, sunflower oil and grapeseed oil are good sources.

Linoleic Acid

An essential fatty acid used in making ceramides to build a strong skin barrier4. Research also suggests that higher intakes may reduce skin aging4. It’s found in nuts and seeds, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and canola oil.

Omega-3 Fats

This type of fat from fatty fish (such as salmon, trout and sardines) and certain plant oils (flaxseed, soybean, and canola) preserves collagen and reduces inflammation caused by ultraviolet rays4. 

Selenium

Found in Brazil nuts, mushrooms, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, turkey and seafood, this antioxidant mineral protects skin cells from free radical damage and guards against skin cancer4. 

Sulfur

A mineral commonly found in eggs, broccoli, onions, and garlic2 that’s needed for the structural formation of collagen.

Zinc

Foods such as red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, certain types of seafood, whole grains, and dairy products provide this necessary mineral co-factor for collagen production2. 

Flavenoids

These compounds in foods such as green tea, berries, beans and cocoa powder may reduce inflammation, improving skin elasticity and reducing wrinkles4. 

Water

The liquid of life helps maintain skin moisture, delivers nutrients to your skin, and flushes out toxins. 

Besides thinking about producing new collagen, it’s equally important to consider protecting existing collagen from damage and subsequent skin sagging. Lifestyle factors that negatively affect collagen integrity include smoking and sun and pollution exposure2.

Quitting smoking, wearing sunscreen and avoiding microscopic contaminants help to save your skin. A big dietary factor in skin aging is high sugar intake2 because the binding of sugar molecules to collagen fibers forms advanced glycation endproducts5, causing permanent damageTo prevent wrinkles, include only natural sugars in whole foods like fruit and milk, and avoid added sugars.

Sources

  1. WH Freeman and Company. Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix. Molecular Cell Biology, 4th Edition. ©2000 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21582/ Accessed 11/15/2019 
  2. J Santa Cruz. Dietary Collagen — Should Consumers Believe the Hype? Today’s Dietitian, March 2019. Issue Vol. 21, No. 3, P. 26 
  3. Varani J, Dame MK, Rittie L, et al. Decreased collagen production in chronologically aged skin: roles of age-dependent alteration in fibroblast function and defective mechanical stimulation. American Journal of Pathology. 2006;168(6):1861–1868. doi:10.2353/ajpath.2006.051302 
  4. L Beck. “Can taking supplements or certain nutrients actually improve your skin?” The Globe And Mail. August 8, 2015. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/article-can-taking-supplements-or-certain-nutrients-actually-improve-your-skin/?cmpid=rss Accessed 11/15/2019. 
  5. Gkogkolou P, Böhm M. Advanced glycation end products: Key players in skin aging?. Dermatoendocrinology. 2012;4(3):259–270. doi:10.4161/derm.22028 

8 Common Workout Excuses and How to Crush Them

8 Common Workout Excuses and How to Crush Them

It’s the start of the new year and the start of many new resolutions. If health and fitness are on your list, you’ll need these excuse busters for the time when your dedication starts to wane. It happens. We start off strong, but as keeping our commitments gets more challenging, we start to make “exceptions.” Don’t let excuses derail you. Keep pushing for your goals with these reasons to ditch some common workout excuses. 

1. I Don’t Have Time

You may have encountered them by now; the workout plans promising results in 30, 20, 10 minutes a day, or less. These workout plans crop up because having time to work out is a real concern for many people. While we don’t know if those particular routines are effective, we do know that working out for some time is better than nothing at all. It has long been recommended that if you don’t have long breaks in your day, you can break up and disperse your workout into shorter sessions.  

Kick this excuse to the curb and start adding more movement to your day. Get some ideas for how you can do that by reading these Quick and Easy Workouts for a Busy Morning, or read some tips on How to Add Exercise to Your Busy Lifestyle. 

2. I’m Too Tired 

Okay, who’s still using this one? Science has proven that working out boosts our energy and releases all kinds of feel-good chemicals. You may start your workout feeling a bit out-of-sorts, but you’ll gain energy as you move and leave your workout more energized than when you started. So, it’s time to put this excuse to bed! For some nutrition tips to fuel your energy-stores, check out this article on Snacks to Help Boost Energy.

3. I’m Too Old

We have success stories that prove without a doubt that age is just a number. These LA Fitness members have overcome adversity, defied the odds, and achieved their goals, regardless of their age. You’ll toss this excuse once you’ve read these inspiring stories: 

Dave R. is 59 years old and still competing and placing in triathlons! For years, he has been running, swimming, and cycling his way to health.  

Ed B. is a 67-year-old with a history of knee issues and even a knee replacement. He works hard at LAF’s High Intensity Interval Training class and has never felt better.  

Peter B. is 82 years old and he cycles and does yoga 3 days a week. He also takes the opportunity to hike, swim, run, and lift weights! 

Jerry and Marilyn are 88 and 87, and they have been playing Raquetball together for the past 30 years!  

These are just a few of our successful older members! Browse our Member Spotlight page for more motivational stories. 

4. It Doesn’t Work for Me


Do you feel like you’ve tried to stick to an exercise routine before, and it doesn’t work or it’s hard to keep it going? You’re not alone. The key to reaping the benefits of exercise is consistency and commitment, and yes those are both easier said than done. 
 

Fortunately, studies show that you’re more likely to achieve your goal if you record it. Write it down or tell someone, and it’ll be easier for you to keep yourself accountable. If this sounds like something you’d like to try, you can share your goal on our Commit to Fitness page. 

5. It Feels Like a Chore

 

 Add the word “chore” to anything and it seems to zap your energy for it. If you are walking into your workout already expecting to have a terrible time, it’s more likely that you will. Though, if you’re dreading your workout you probably haven’t chosen your exercise type wisely. There are so many ways to exercise, from heavy weightlifting to smooth and steady Pilates. It’s important to find something you’ll actually look forward to.  

 

You have the power to choose, even if a specific type of workout has been prescribed to you. If you have to do cardio for your health, look up all the different types of cardiovascular workouts. You’ll see the dreaded treadmill, but you’ll also see boxing, cycling, dancing, swimming, hiking, rowing, step aerobics, and more. Choose what speaks to you and you’ll find it easy to sweep this excuse out the door.  

6. I’m Too Sore From My Previous Workout

 

This one is an acceptable excuse if working out will do more harm than good. If you’re just a little sore, however, working out can help ease those aches by increasing blood flow to your muscles. The extra blood helps flush out the chemicals responsible for your pain.1 So, “I’m too sore” should never be an excuse unless you’re in danger of injuring yourself or overusing your muscles, because a light workout out is a remedy! 

7. I’m On My Period

 

The cramps, the fatigue, the bloating, and all the discomfort of that time of the month can really make your workout day look more like crawl-into-bed-and-hibernate-for-a-week day. However, like the argument for #6, working out can actually be really good for you (and your workout) while you’re on your period.  

In fact, one study found that working out in the first 2 weeks of the menstrual cycle (the week of your period and up to a week after), helped women perform better during their workouts! The study recorded results like “significant increase in jump height, peak torque values in hamstrings, increased lean body mass of the legs,” and overall positive training experiences.2  

In addition to potentially benefitting your strength and power, exercising while on your period can help relieve pain! The endorphins released during your workout are natural pain killers!3 We know that each body is different, so if you’re able, it’s time to put this excuse to rest and take advantage of Aunt Flow’s monthly gift.

8. I’m Feeling Under the Weather

 

If you’re feeling under the weather for other reasons, you might be off-the-hook. It’s definitely okay to let your body rest and recover from illness and probably better that you do in many cases. However, if you’re past the worst of it and mostly recovered, you’re probably safe to exercise.  

WebMD cites their interview with Dr. Lewis G. Maharam who says that having a fever is essentially the deciding factor.4 It’s possible that you can dangerously increase your internal body temperature if you exercise while running a fever.4  

Let your body tell you what it feels capable of when you’re sick and, if you can, do a light workout to help keep your routine on track. 

Like what you’ve been reading? Stay in-the-loop and subscribe to our newsletter to receive monthly highlights from the LA Fitness blog! 

Sources

  1. Sarnataro, Barbara Russi. “Coping With Sore Muscles After Physical Activity.” WebMD, WebMD, 2003, https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/sore-muscles-dont-stop-exercising#3. 
  2. Wikström-Frisén, Lisbeth. “Training and Hormones in Physically Active Women: with and without Oral Contraceptive Use.” DIVA, Umeå Universitet, 2 Sept. 2016, umu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A955835&dswid=6643. 
  3. Lindberg, Sara. “Can You Exercise on Your Period?” Healthline, 24 Aug. 2018, www.healthline.com/health/exercise-during-period#benefits. 
  4. Mann, Denise. “Exercising When Sick: A Good Move?” WebMD, WebMD, 23 Oct. 2007, https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/exercising-when-sick#1. 

Your 2020 Fitness Bucket List!

Your 2020 Fitness Bucket List!

This year, your fitness plan needs one of these Bucket List items! It’s easier to achieve a goal when it’s specific. So, pick out an item that aligns with your overall health goals, and work towards it!  

You may need to already be in a certain state of fitness for some of these. We don’t expect a beginner to sign up for their first marathon today, but we’re challenging you to work your way up to accomplishing something new! 

1. Learn a New Swim Stroke

If all you’ve got is the dogpaddle, it’s time. Ask the advice of an experienced swimmer and maybe don’t go alone if you’re new to swimming. If you’re comfortable in the water, you can read a guide like this one to apply techniques to accomplish strokes like the freestyle, butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and sidestroke. 

2. Try Open-Water Swimming

Face your fear of sharks and try a long-distance swim! Again, not to be attempted alone! Search for training and open-water race opportunities near you, and dive into the exhilarating experience of open-water swimming. You can also train in the pool at your local LA Fitness like Triathlete Champion, Dave Ruby. What you’re looking for is a way to condition your muscles for the type of work a long-distance swim requires! 

3. Do a Wall-Free Handstand

To hold a handstand, you need strong shoulders, arms, and wrists to hold you up, and a strong core to keep you balanced. Taking this challenge means you’ll need to do some strengthening work. Are you up for it?  

If you’re already handstanding your way through life, we challenge you to try a new kind of handstand! One-handed, maybe? Try learning to walk on your hands or holding it for one minute. Can you do a handstand pushup? There are limitless ways to push the boundaries of what you can do!

4. Complete at Least 5 Unassisted Pullups

You may have seen or used the assisted pullup machine at the gym. It’s a great way to slowly increase the amount of weight you can pull until you are able to lift your full body weight into the pullup. If you’re completely new, aim for 5 pullups to start. If you’re seasoned, your next step might be a one-arm pullup, or maybe a muscle up!  

5. Complete at Least 5 Pushups

Easy pushups usually start with your knees on the ground to help support your weight. Just because it’s the “easy” version doesn’t mean your muscles aren’t working hard. New movement will always challenge your muscles. Try to get to 5 if you’re brand new, but don’t stop there! Shoot for 10 and then 15.  

If you’re already a master at pushups, add a new one to your repertoire. Unlock some new skills like a clap pushup, diamond pushup, try one with a hand behind your back, or go for a superman pushup! 

6. Accomplish a Planche

You’ll need a lot of body strength to successfully hold a planche. Those who can accomplish this move have stable wrists, strong arms and shoulders, a strong back and core, and perhaps even an understanding of physics. It is typically done on the ground or with paralletes, and you’ll need to be fairly strong to begin with. That doesn’t mean that you can’t learn some progressions to get to a fully extended straight-arm planche.

7. Master a Difficult Yoga Pose

Yoga isn’t just about achieving a calm, meditative state. You can build some serious muscle through many of the more challenging poses. If you’ve never taken a yoga class, give yourself an opportunity to learn more or find a class near you to try it out. You may find that you enjoy it more than you anticipated.  

If you’re not just looking to build strength and stability, performing yoga for the enjoyment of some tranquility is another great reason to add even just a few minutes of it to your day. 

8. Run a 5k or 10k

With so many themed 5k’s and 10k’s, running has never been more enjoyable. Many courses have a special theme, a unique reward at the finish line, surprises at each checkpoint, and sometimes even zombies to keep you running. Not to mention these events often support a charitable cause.  

If the distance looks daunting, keep in mind that there’s no pressure to run. You can go your own pace and all the festivities are a great distraction. In many cases, you’ll go home with a medal no matter when you cross the finish line. So, add this one to your list this year and let us know how it went! 

9. Train for or Compete in a Marathon or Triathlon

If you’re looking for a more intense test of your abilities, it may be time to train for or compete in your first marathon or triathlon. Real feats of endurance, physical fitness, and mental strength, these competitions are terrific goals to work towards. The only way you’ll survive is if you train smart and feed your body what it needs. Not only are you accomplishing something big, you’re practicing self-discipline and restraint to reach this bucket list item.

10. Learn to Ride a Tandem Bicycle

Bouncing back to a more easily achievable item, this one takes you back to your childhood. Didn’t think you’d need to learn to ride a bike again, did you? A tandem bike can be a lot of fun once you’ve figured out how to get it going. You’ll need some good teamwork skills and perhaps a bit of determination to power through your first tandem bike ride!

11. Compete in a Bike Race

Cyclists, it’s time to take it to the next level! Train in the gym or take it outside but a bike race needs to be on your bucket list. Not only is it great for building your endurance and for improving your cardiovascular health, your cycling route can show you miles of breathtaking natural scenery. You can do it for fun or do it to win, but make sure this experience is not missed! 

12. Try a Bike Friendly Mountain Trail

Make sure you have the right gear for this one. A mountain trail can be thrilling or leisurely depending on where you go and which trail you choose. Start out with something simple, as you would with anything new, and work your way up to more advanced trails. Take-in a stunning sunrise, bask in the stretches of land you can only see from a mountaintop, and maybe even stop to watch the wildlife.

13. Hike a 5-Mile Trail or Longer

A good long hike can take several hours to several days, but above all else, go prepared! Being well-supplied isn’t only safer, it puts your mind at ease. You’ll find you’re able to simply be in the moment instead of feeling antsy to return to civilization because you’re hungry or your socks got wet and you didn’t bring a spare. Also, the satisfaction of looking out over some beautiful vista, with nothing but the power of your body to get you there, is really, really, good. 

14. Learn to Ski or Snowboard

Snow sports are a whole new world if you’re not accustomed to those frozen flakes descending from the clouds. Simply walking in your gear can be a workout.

Despite the huffing and puffing just to get to the lifts, both of these winter sports are exhilarating once you get the hang of them! A tip for beginners: take a cabin for a few days to adjust to the altitude, and spend some time taking classes! Practice your skills and stick to the bunny slope until you’re more comfortable moving to the next level. 

If you’re already comfortable with one or both of these, your challenge is to learn a trick! Ski tricks and snowboard tricks add a new level of excitement and accomplishment when you go out to hit the slopes, not to mention you’ll get a lot of awed attention.

15. Try Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is a great way to build your upper body and increase your grip strength. Aside from the physical benefits, there’s a lot of adrenaline to be enjoyed from this activity. It is not for the feint hearted. Of course, you can start with the much safer option of indoor rock climbing where you’re strapped-in to a harness and spotted from below. As you get stronger and more confident in your climbing you can progress to bouldering, which is essentially climbing without a harness but to limited heights.

16. Join the 1,000-Pound Club

No, you don’t get to just sign up for this club, you earn your way in. The 1,000-pound club refers to your power lifting total. The sum of the weight you can move by Deadlift, Weighted Squat, and Bench Press must make up 1,000-pounds. Depending on your body weight, and other factors, this can be a little easier or more difficult to achieve. The idea is to challenge yourself to increase what you are capable of because the human body is incredible and can do a lot more than we think.

17. Take a Dance Class

Either you’ve never considered it because it sounds boring or uncool, or you’ve been meaning to do it for a long time. Dancing is not just a great form of fitness it has actually been shown to benefit your mental acuity and memory. Browse through our selection of classes and find something that sparks your interest! You’ll torch calories and it’ll feel more like fun than it will like a workout.  

18. Compete in a Team Competition

Basketball, Raquetball, Volleyball, Football, and more. Start your own team with your friends or join one of our club leagues. Getting involved in some healthy competition is really good for your motivation and your athleticism. That’s partly because being on a team drives you to push harder than you normally would if you were working out alone. Join a team and see how it fuels your fitness goals! 

19. Improve Your Flexibility

Being flexible is great for your overall health and fitness. You don’t have to be able to bend over backwards but improving your flexibility protects you from injury and can help you perform other exercises more easily and effectively. Take skiing, for example. More flexibility helps you bend into your knees and hips a little deeper and change direction more easily. Or consider swimming. Better flexibility will improve your shoulder extension and rotation. Many athletes now take up yoga for precisely this reason. 

20. Give Personal Training a Try

You may not know exactly what your body can do until you’ve tested it in the right ways. If you aren’t sure where to begin, or if you love the sound of these bucket list items but don’t feel ready to tackle them, a personal trainer can help you. You’ll learn new exercises to add to your arsenal and reap the benefits of one-on-one attention and guidance.  

Don’t stumble through your fitness plans with trial and error, zero in on your goals with the help of a professional who knows how to get you where you need to go. Book a complimentary fitness assessment and get matched with one of our ProResults® Personal Trainers! 

Which of these challenges are you planning to take on this year? Share your goals in the comments below! Then, stay in-the-loop and subscribe to our newsletter to receive monthly highlights from the LA Fitness blog! 

Your Resting Heart Rate and Why It’s Important

Your Resting Heart Rate and Why It’s Important

Your resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute (BPM) while at rest.  

Why is Heart Rate Important?

Considering your heart is the most important muscle in your body, it is important to know that it’s functioning properly. You want your heart to beat in a rhythm; not too fast, not too slow, and not too erratic.  

Typically, an adult’s resting heart rate is between 60-100 beats per minute1. Monitoring your heart rate from time to time is a good idea to know your normal heart rate and to take measures if it becomes abnormal.  

Resting heart rate is an indicator of physical fitness. When you first start a training program, it’s likely that you will want to know your resting heart rate. A lower resting heart rate may indicate a sign of good health and a higher degree of being physically fit.  

Depending on your age, gender, or medications you are taking, your resting heart rate changes. People who are physically fit generally have a lower resting rate than those who do not exercise regularly. Resting heart rate will typically increase as you age and will be much faster in infants. 

The best time to find your resting heart rate is in the morning after a good night’s sleep and before you get out of bed1 

  • The best places to find your pulse are the wrists, inside of your elbow, the side of your neck or the top of your foot. 
  • To get the most accurate reading, put your finger over your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds. 

If your range is outside the typical resting heart rate, consult a doctor. Although there is a wide range of normal, an unusually high or low resting heart rate may indicate an underlying problem.  

How to Improve Heart Rate

Make Time for Regular Exercise

  • Make time for exercising every day, even if it’s just walking. Getting regular exercise stimulates your heart and lowers your heart rate. Aim for aerobic activities like; swimming, cycling, or dancing.

Avoid Sitting for Long Periods of Time

  • Studies have found that sitting too long is just as harmful to your body as smoking2. Take more breaks, get up and walk around, stretch your legs, just move your body. Keep yourself active as much as possible to stimulate your heart. 

Avoid Smoking

  • First of all, we know that smoking is bad and can potentially lead to lung cancer and other diseases, but it also increases the resting heart rate. Quitting can lower your blood pressure and heart rate almost immediately3. 

Reduce Stress

  • This is the one that is sometimes out of our control, but if you have a lot on your mind, such as work, family, money, you’re probably stressed. If you are mindful of the stress in your life it’s a good idea to do things for yourself that reduce stress like; meditation, yoga, exercise, massage, and deep breathing. Find ways to calm yourself down to reduce stress and your heart rate.

Take measures to improve your heart rate by exercising or leading an active healthy lifestyle. Keep your heart happy! 

For more on heart health, listen to our podcast on 5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Heart Health. To access our monthly blog post highlights, subscribe to our newsletter today! 

SOURCES 

1. American Heart Association. Getting Active How do I calculate my heart rate? October 2016 

2. The Active Times. Sitting is the New Smoking – 7 Ways a Sedentary Lifestyle is Killing you The research on the sitting epidemic and the results aren’t good. September 2014  

3. Smokefree.gov Benefits of Quitting The health benefits of quitting smoking can help most of the major parts of your body: from you brain to your DNA 

10 Thanksgiving Ideas to Revive Your Celebrations

10 Thanksgiving Ideas to Revive Your Celebrations

Thanksgiving is an ideal time to reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives. It is also a time to recognize that, for many people, this time of year evokes difficult memories and is a time when being with family is not as joyful as it might be for others.   

Knowing that with every life there is a unique history, we would like to offer 10 ways to observe Thanksgiving that can be enjoyed by anyone.  

Before we dive in, however, we’d like to take a moment to thank you, our gym members, blog readers, and social media followers, for your continued support. We appreciate your trust in our team, your commitment to health and fitness, and the feedback you share to help us give our best! 

Thanksgiving ideas to Revive Your Celebrations

01.

Invite a Friend or Family Member Who Might Be Alone for Thanksgiving

Even if your invitation is declined, everyone likes to feel included. Try broadening your invitation list this year and spread some feelings of warmth and welcome! 

02.

Try Something Other Than Turkey

Every Thanksgiving, approximately 46 million turkeys are eaten! Save some turkeys from the dinnerplate and try alternative meat or plant-based choices. 

You can easily make a main course out of fish, chicken, pot roast, and other meats, or take the vegetarian or vegan route and use hearty ingredients like mushrooms, squash, potatoes, cheese, and cauliflower to craft some delicious courses. 

03.

Try Hosting a Friendsgiving

This seems to become more and more of a common practice with every passing year. Friendsgiving is essentially a Thanksgiving dinner that brings together your friends, their friends, and new people who become friends, over good food and great conversation. 

With larger events, try asking your guests to contribute to the table by hosting a potluck-style event. This also encourage a diverse dinner spread because everyone’s cooking styles, food choices, and palates are unique!  

04.

Spontaneous Exercise Challenge

  1. Agree on the selection of a word like “Turkey,” “Cranberries,” “Thanksgiving,” or “Gravy”
  2. Have each person pick a number between 1 and 5 
  3. Have each person pick a basic exercise like push-ups, jumping jacks, or squats 

Any time someone says the word you chose in step 1, everyone in the room has to do their selected number of their selected exercise. The number and exercise will stay the same throughout the evening, and you’ll have fun trying to find your way around these common Thanksgiving words! 

05.

Plan a Pre-Event Gathering to Help Disperse the Workload

Plan a simple Pre-Thanksgiving gathering with your intended guests before your actual holiday feast. If you are able, walking to the store can help you steer clear of holiday traffic and impossible parking situations. Everyone can carry an item and even help you with some early preparations like decorating or cooking before the main event. 

06.

Serve the Less Fortunate

Whether you’re getting together with others or planning to enjoy some time solo, serving others is a great way to participate in the Thanksgiving celebrations. 

All you need to do is a quick internet search to find places in your area where you can volunteer. Don’t stop at serving food, however. If you can, sit and talk with the individuals and families who arrive to be served. Hear their stories, treat them like human beings, make eye contact and remember their faces. These small gestures can make a world of difference. 

07.

Plan Ahead

Even your hosts want to enjoy the gathering of their friends and family. You can help make sure that no one is left in the kitchen while everyone else enjoys the festivities by offering your help at least once or twice. 

If you are the host, try setting the table the night before. Lay out the plates, cups, napkins, and silverware, and any other items that don’t need to be refrigerated. This can help make your event day run more smoothly and with less last-minute scrambling. 

08.

Agree to Leave Debatable Topics at the Door

Some gatherings are particularly difficult because of discussions that become debates and debates that become arguments.  

Agree with your guests, prior to your event, that debatable topics should be set aside for the duration of your gathering. 

09.

Start a New Tradition

There are tons of simple but memorable things you can do to start a new tradition. It can be something like watching a certain movie, playing a game everyone loves, or creating a handmade addition for your cornucopia and adding a new one each year. This one is especially fun for new families or couples who want to commemorate each year of holidays in a special way.  

If you want to go a little further, try signing up for a Post-Thanksgiving Turkey Trot! You can find events in your area, here. 

10.

Get Creative with Your Leftovers

In the United States, Thanksgiving will be celebrated on Thursday, November 28th. Canada celebrates early in comparison, and observed this holiday on Monday, October 14th. In either case, leftovers are a certainty with any feast.  

Whether you’ve frozen your leftovers from the 14th or are expecting more than you can manage tomorrow evening, you can get creative with your leftovers and enjoy them in inventive ways. Check out these turkey ideas to put a fun and flavorful twist on your post-event meals. 

For some delicious salad dressing recipes from our registered dietitian, read her post on Homemade Salad Dressings 101. Or, listen to our podcast to hear about how to navigate the path between Fitness and Food This Holiday Season. To access our monthly blog post highlights, subscribe to our newsletter today! 

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