Adventure of the Week: All the calories needn't go to your gut and stay there

Thanksgiving Day offers no better way to pack on holiday pounds that many vow to erase sometime after New Year's Day.

To get a head start on that inevitable New Year's resolution, try avoiding the couch once you've cleaned off your plate today.

Some active outdoor family time could help you bond and burn some calories after you've consumed your turkey dinner.

Elaine Reynolds, a registered dietitian at Mercy Hospital of Folsom, says the average Thanksgiving meal, seconds included, is about 1,400 calories and 65 grams of fat.

Those calories do include dessert.

"That intake would be about 70 percent of the daily needs in one meal," she says.

Reynolds says it's nearly impossible to burn all those calories, but here are some ideas that will help:

Ice skating

Some of Sacramento's established ice rinks are shutting their doors today, but worry not. You will be able to twist, glide and twirl at a new facility in midtown.

Due to construction conflicts, the familiar ice rink at the St. Rose of Lima Park in front of the Downtown Plaza is closed. In its place, the Midtown Business Association froze water last week to open up the Midtown Ice Rink, just for this year. Located on 20th Street between J and K, it's slightly smaller than the St. Rose rink.

"It is so much fun," says Rob Kerth, executive director with the association. "It's something that all ages can do. It's cold, but since you're skating, it's plenty warm."

If it's not warm enough, you and your family can grab some hot chocolate or coffee at nearby coffee houses.

Midtown Ice Rink

Calories you'll burn: About 300 for each half-hour.

Cost: $5 for kids, $8 for adults. Skate rentals are $2.

Where: 20th Street, between J and K streets

Hours: The rink will operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. most days, even today, until Jan. 18. The only exceptions are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and noon to 6 p.m. Christmas Day.

Run to Feed the Hungry

It might be nonsensical to suggest a run this Thanksgiving Day. However, you can do this before partaking in your turkey smorgasbord – and it's for a really good cause.

Since 1994, the annual Run to Feed the Hungry in Sacramento has helped to feed those who need extra help year-round, says Jennifer King, a race organizer.

And it's not too late to register.

"We tell people that they're giving to charity, exercising, and now you can go eat the meal without guilt," King says.

Last year, more than 28,000 participants raised around $750,000 for Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.

This race is just the right length and level of difficulty for the entire family. Walkers, strollers and baby-carriage pushers are welcome.

(Please leave pets at home to prevent injuries to animals or people.)

Run to Feed the Hungry 10K Run & 5K Run/Walk

Calories you'll burn: 750 running the 10K

Cost: Adults, $35; children (15 & under), $20

When: Registration is from 7:30 to 9 a.m. today Timed runners start the 10K at 8:45 a.m. or the 5K at 9:05. All untimed 5k fun runners and walkers follow behind the 5K start. Be prepared to wait a bit before you cross the starting line.

Where: California State University, Sacramento, J Street entrance

Touch football

There's no better time for football – other than the Super Bowl – than today. But how about tossing the pigskin instead of watching? You can burn about 350 calories in about 30 minutes of non-contact play.


Parks at William Land, McKinley, Elk Grove and Laguna are perfect places for a walk under trees and near water and landscapes. Don't forget the miles of trails along the American River. A gentle 30-minute stroll can burn about 200 calories.

Healthstatus.com, source for calories burned