It’s always great fun indulging in our favorite foods at holiday meals. But guess what? It can also be fun shedding those calories! Here are some stress-free, playful ideas on how to burn off the stuffing in your belly.

Thankful Eating

As far as pleasurable experiences go, it’s tough to beat a Thanksgiving meal or treats at other food-plentiful holidays. The turkey, ham, potatoes, stuffing, cornbread, pies, and other cultural specialty dishes are too delicious to pass up.
After the meal, we’re often exhausted from the tryptophan levels in our blood or from our bodies trying to digest everything. If you’ve done the cooking, add some extra fatigue on top of that. Most likely, not many of us are going to jump up in the evening and get in a workout.

But…There’s always tomorrow!

The Morning After

You’ve been well fed, and hopefully, you’ve gotten a good night’s rest. Now it’s time to have some more fun—this time expending calories instead of ingesting them.
If you’re over at a friend’s or family’s home, there will probably be other people to hang with. The same if you’ve invited others to your place—or if the kids came home!
Group activities the day after your feast are bonding and can make enjoyable memories. But even if you find yourself solo (or choose to be), many of the following calorie-burners can be just as pleasurable.

Outdoor Calorie Burners

-Garden. Depending on the weather, it could be a great time to prune fruit trees, fertilize, or move outdoor plants into the greenhouse. There’s always something to dig, trim, plant, or feed.
-Hopscotch. All you need is some chalk and something to toss (keys, a small beanbag, even a rock).
-Stroller or wagon time. Walk or run while pushing/pulling the youngsters.
-Collect and bag recycling. It gets you moving, saves the planet, and can put a few dollars in your pocket.
-Take your dog for a walk or play ball. If you don’t have a dog, offer to take your neighbor’s. They may appreciate it.

Indoor Calorie Burners

Pillow fights. No hitting below the belt.
-Dance. Blast your favorite music and let loose. Or, put on a music video and try to imitate the choreography. In a group or alone, dance like no one’s watching J
-Vacuum. Uses a ton of energy and you can get creative experimenting with different components for hard-to-reach spots. And, you’ll feel good about how clean your carpet looks afterwards.
-Play dodgeball with balls of socks. Just remove lamps or breakable items from the space you’ll be playing in.

Indoors or Out

-Jump rope. You can practice on your own, or with a group. Remember double dutch?
-Ride a bicycle. You can watch TV or read while riding your stationary bike. Outside, you can burn 50 calories in 10 minutes even on a nice, light ride.
-Play duck, duck, goose. It’s really fun to watch the adults try to get up quickly.
-Stair climb. You can go from the living room to the upstairs bedroom and back 10 times. Or, you can be productive and carry laundry up and downstairs. Outside, staircases, short and long, can be found all over. Just climb near a handle in case you trip.
Many communities sponsor “fun runs”, usually 3K or 5K’s. Those are terrific for getting out and meeting new peeps. There are also a bunch of chores that burn lots of calories indoors and outdoors. They may not be fun in-and-of themselves, but listening to music, or doing them with a friend, child, or pet can make it enjoyable, productive, and rewarding.