couch potatoes

For most of us, Thanksgiving is a holiday marked by overindulgence and lethargy. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Indulging in a delicious feast is one thing — but becoming lazy and couch-bound as a result isn’t very festive. Instead of watching television all day, enjoy fun activities with your family. These healthier holiday traditions will be way more memorable that the football game or watching National Treasure for the sixth time anyways…

Take a group hike. Pre-dinner exercise is a great way to balance out your post-dinner lethargy. Walking and hiking are gentle activities in which the entire family can partake. Either go a couple of hours before dinner while the turkey is finishing up, or afterwards (if you eat early enough) and allow the fresh air to help you digest. Need help locating a hike? Check out these great online resources for finding a hike near you.

Touch football. Or, if watching football is more of your family’s tradition, maybe play some touch football before dinner. It’s a great way to work as a team, have some fun and get some exercise in the brisk November air. Just make sure you don’t get too competitive — or you’ll end up like Monica and Ross in Friends, fighting for the game ball while everyone else is feasting.

Make crafts! Whether you want to sit down with the kiddies and trace hands to make festive, glittery turkeys or you want to get a head start on making wintery holiday decorations like paper snowflakes, you’re never too old to craft. If you have a room of adults, pass out some adult coloring books, pass around the wine and let creativity be unleashed! Crafting is fun for everyone!

Read a classic. If you’ve got a theatrical family, try doing a reading of a story — whether it be Shakespeare or Harry Potter. Divvy up character dialogue, put on absurd accents, wear feathered hats — just have fun with it! Get creative and crazy as only your family can. This isn’t for all families, but if it sounds like something your crazy relatives would be into, give it a shot!

Play a board game. Board games, like Cranium, are fun for all ages and offer a little something for everyone. After dinner, burn off some of that turkey by working your mind! No board games? Try trivia. There are tons of trivia game apps available, so pick out the one that seems most suited to your family. Not into trivia? Card games are always fun. Give everyone a stack of poker chips or pennies, and play poker, gin rummy, blackjack or even Go Fish. It’s always fun to win a little bit of money — even if it’s fake. Plus, you’ll get the chance to brush off your basic math skills.

Whether you’re using your mind or your body, there are an endless number of Thanksgiving traditions that don’t involve sitting on the couch and watching football or a movie. While these ideas are a great place to start, don’t be afraid to get creative.
Source:, by Jordyn Cormier