Thanksgiving Tips to Make Your Holiday Weekend Healthy for Bones

We have some suggestions to help make your Thanksgiving traditions bountiful—and bone healthy!

On the eve of our national holiday for giving thanks, families are motoring over the river and through the woods, cooks are stirring up dishes fragrant with sage and thyme, and football fans are anticipating the big game. Gathering for an indulgent feast with friends and family is what our Thanksgiving holiday is all about.

There’s no reason why a happy holiday can’t also be a healthy holiday. We’ve got a couple of suggestions to help you be kind to your bones while you are celebrating your bounty.

Go for a stroll.

It’s wonderful to catch up with friends and family you haven’t seen for a while. Consider coordinating your conversations with a stroll through the neighborhood. Walking is good for you, great for keeping those extra calories under control, and sunlight supplies the vitamin D your bones need. If you are feeling really ambitious, join a Turkey-Trot fun run.

Sip smart.

Start your day with calcium-fortified orange juice, and sip ice water instead of soda while you baste the bird. The phosphoric acid in most sodas—including diet sodas—leads to excessive calcium excretion, as does the caffeine in caffeinated soft drinks. When the calcium level in your bloodstream drops, your bones shed some of their calcium to boost the calcium level in your blood—which can lead to thinner bones.

Make bone-friendly foods your second helpings.

Pass the buttermilk biscuits; a 4” round delivers 237mg of calcium. Indulge in brussel sprouts, spinach, broccoli, green beans, and asparagus guilt free. All of these vegetables are high in vitamin K, which blocks the formation of osteoclasts—cells that break down bone. Vitamin K is also shown to prevent fractures, particularly in post-menopausal women. Enjoy both white and sweet potatoes; they are good sources of potassium, another bone-friendly nutrient.

Walk off the gravy on Black Friday.

Is Black Friday shopping part of your holiday weekend? You can give yourself a gift while you are checking off the items on your list by looking for opportunities to do a little extra walking. Park further, rather than closer, to the mall entrance, and know that those extra steps do you good. Are stairs an option to the escalator? Take them! You’ll go home able to check both great bargains and healthy exercise off your to-do list.

You don’t have to change a single detail of the festivities to enjoy a healthy holiday weekend. If you take full advantage of the activity already on your agenda, and help yourself to your holiday dinner with bone health in mind, your Thanksgiving will launch a healthy and happy you into the holiday season.

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