During the holidays, in addition to enjoying each other’s company, families spend an enormous amount of time feasting at dinners and parties and exchanging goodie baskets. Playing fun, high energy games that the whole family can enjoy during family gatherings will burn off some of those staggering calories eaten during holiday meals and fight packing on the pounds.
According to ABC News Health in its November, 2004 article “Making Thanksgiving Dinner Healthier” by Ali Mohamadi, Americans gain, on an average, seven pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day! They also provide statistics from a report by Health Management Resources, that a typical holiday turkey dinner contains 7,100 calories! Wow! For a breakdown of those calories read my artilce “Calories in a Holiday Turkey Dinner”. Now, isn’t it obvious that every family member needs to bump up their exercise and physical activities during the holidays? Here are some ideas.
Calorie-burning Activities for Family Gatherings
While the turkey is still in the oven or after it’s been sliced and eaten, family members can enjoy several tried-and-true fun activity games that will burn calories, increase metabolism and are great family fun!
–Play Twister – Those twisted, gnarled bodies are burning 170 calories per hour, stretching muscles.
–Hula Hoop – A thirty minute hula with this hoop around one’s waist burns 200 calories!
–Badminton – Playing badminton for one hour burns approximately 300 calories.
–Ping Pong – A holiday ping-pong tournament will help family members burn 270 calories for each hour they hit that little white ball around the table!
–Wii – Hook up a Wii in a room where the family can take turns playing one of the games in Wii sports. 1-4 players at a time can play tennis, bowling, or golf. In their Active Life: Extreme Challenge, up to 4 players can rock climb, base jump, skateboard or more! Check here for the calories burned for each half hour of Wii activity (or here).
–DDR (Dance, Dance Revolution) – Roll out the dance mat and take turns dancing with Grandpa to “I’m Your Boogie Man”. Every year new soundtracks are added. Over 380 calories burned for one hour of dancing!
Watch this fun YouTube video of one family enjoying their holiday dancing to DDR.
–Hide and Go Seek – Adults can join the kids in a game of hide and go seek. When walking at a race-walk speed, over 200 calories are burned each half hour they are racing to hide or seek!
–Play Sofball or Shoot Hoops – Get to the park and tap into your inner-child with a friendly challenge! (Your kids will go easy on you.) You’ll burn approximately 400 calories for a hour of play (and probably spend two days recovering!)
–Turkey Bowling – Never heard of it? Read my article below and try it out!
This holiday season, keep the family moving with fun games and maybe in January, everyone will still fit into their pre-holiday jeans and be even healthier than before they started!
“Calories in a Holiday Turkey Dinner”
“Fun Board Games for the Holidays”
“Turkey Bowling and Stuffing Anyone?”
“No Cook Holiday Meals”