Weighing In: Reason To (Turkey) Trot

Each week, our own fitness fanatics Leah Polakoff and Caitlyn Kronket will explore the latest workout crazes, diet fads and dish out tips for healthy living. Managing your schoolwork is tough enough- let us take care of your health.

Do you want to gobble down delicious turkey, savory pie and mom’s casserole next week without guilt? Participating in a 5K race on Thanksgiving morning can boost your metabolism for the rest of the day, meaning that the turkey thighs on your plate won’t put meat your own legs.

Turkey Trots are becoming increasingly popular across America, and can be found in most cities a few days before, or on Thanksgiving morning. For those of you staying in Happy Valley over break, State College’s Turkey Trot will be held November 19, the Monday before Thanksgiving, at Geisinger Gray’s Woods Clinic in Port Matilda at 9:00 a.m. Sign up online or on race day. (Google your hometown to see if there’s a race near you.)

Numerous studies have shown that running is one of the best aerobic exercises to speed up metabolism, and getting a workout in early in the morning will help your body quickly burn off everything you eat later in the day. Because your body is deprived of nutrients after a night of fasting, there are no carbohydrates (the body’s main source of energy) to burn. Therefore, the body burns fat stores first. Pass the mashed potatoes please!

Running in the morning also serves as a form of stress relief, and stress is something we all deal with over the holidays. A “Runner’s High” can last all day, causing your body to release endorphins, which make you happy. By participating in a 5K on Thanksgiving morning, you won’t get upset when that wacky aunt asks why you’re still single.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your family and sign up for a Turkey Trot near you! There’s no better way to spend quality family time then by exercising together. Turn the race into some friendly sibling competition and make bets. The loser has to help clean up the table.

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate and be grateful for everything we have. Our bodies carry us through grueling classes, to and from work and through exhausting homework all year long. Let’s give thanks to our hardworking bodies by doing something for them – get out and run!

I’ll see you at the finish line.

Photo by Tyler Hankins