Don’t let your holiday weekend sabotage your health – use it to your advantage

We at Jump IN hope you and yours are enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Good food, good friends and family – that’s what Thanksgiving is all about. And it’s also a remarkably easy weekend to get your 5-2-1-0. And we’ll tell you how.

Mom and daughter kick a soccer ball along a trail

5 Fruits and Vegetables:

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Let your Thanksgiving leftovers be your friend: load your plate with green beans, squash, carrots, Brussels sprouts – whatever your family serves. If you avoid heavy gravies and fatty sauces, your Thanksgiving leftovers can be extremely healthy. The USDA has some terrific MyPlate-friendly leftover turkey recipes here.

2 Hours or Less of Screen Time

This one could be tricky, since there are so many favorite TV programs this weekend. Between football, parades, dog shows, and the start of holiday specials, your couch and your TV will likely beckon you. To ensure you (and your family) don’t overdo screen time, set screen time limits and stick to them. Use alarms on your phone to remind you when your time is up, and change up activities. Half-time of the football game is a good time to go outside and play a little family football. Don’t let the screen overtake you – you’re strong and you can resist!

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1 Hour of Physical Activity

For those of you who are Black Friday and Small Business Saturday shoppers, this may be an easy one. Pushing a heavy cart around all day is a great way to get lots of steps in and get your heart rate up. For those of you forgoing the shopping madness days, use your holiday weekend to reconnect with nature by visiting a park. Here are a couple of links to many of the beautiful parks central Indiana offers. Lots of parks have special events this weekend – take advantage! And if the cold is keeping you inside, put on your tennis shoes and hit the great indoors. Downtown Indianapolis has sky bridges and tunnels that connect the Circle Center Mall with the convention center, hotels, the government center, and the stadium – you’d be amazed how many steps you can get just moving from the JW Hotel to the mall to Lucas Oil Stadium and back, and it’s a fun way to see the downtown holiday decorations. Here’s a helpful map to show you exactly where you can explore and get your physical activity indoors.

0 Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

When it’s colder out, it may be harder than it is in hot weather to tell when you’re thirsty. So be sure to remind yourself that you need water and plenty of it. Buildings and homes are often drier this time of year because of heating, so carry a water bottle with you and refill it often. When you take a break from your Black Friday shopping, chose tea or coffee over sugary hot drinks. Coffee and tea are naturally low calorie, but flavorings and other additions can add a lot of sugar. Herbal teas offer a variety of unsweetened flavors if you’re looking for something a little more interesting. And more and more soda fountains are offering club soda as a soft drink option (recently spotted at the Costco food court). If you’re a seltzer or sparkling water fan, club soda is a good and naturally calorie-free choice.

Don’t let your Thanksgiving weekend plans sabotage your 5-2-1-0 goals – use those activities to help you! And have a wonderful holiday weekend.