Health Advocate Blog

Tips for a Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, bringing with it the traditional and much-anticipated menu of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and so much more. While the holiday is a fantastic opportunity to kick off the holiday season, connect with friends and family, and express our gratitude for all the things we are thankful for, it also tends to be an opportunity to overeat at the dinner table. In fact, the average American may eat up to 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day, approximately twice the recommended daily allowance!

In order to keep this feast from doing too much damage to your waistline, you can aim to select healthier options at your holiday dinner, such as roast turkey (with the skin removed), green beans, and sweet potatoes (without the marshmallows!). If you really want a helping of stuffing or a casserole, be sure to eat these types of dishes in moderation. But if you don’t really want to limit what you eat, you could instead burn off some of those extra calories by registering for a Turkey Trot. These fun runs or races, typically ranging from 5k (3.1 miles) to 10k (6.2 miles), are held on Thanksgiving morning (or sometimes in the days leading up to Thanksgiving) in communities nationwide. A Turkey Trot is a great way to burn off some calories before you sit down to enjoy your Thanksgiving feast.

Even if you’re not a regular runner, you can still participate in a Turkey Trot and have a great time. If you haven’t been running before now, plan to walk the course with friends or family. It’s a great activity for the entire family to do together, and relax and have fun as part of the holiday.

If you currently run once or twice a week, but have not yet reached a full 5k, try an alternating walk/run approach, switching between one or two minutes jogging and a few minutes walking. Find a pattern that is comfortable for you.

For regular runners, have fun and run at a pace that works well for you!

To find a Turkey Trot near you, visit Running in the USA’s Thanksgiving Themed Races website here or search events in your area at You can also find Turkey Trot announcements in your local newspaper or throughout your community leading up to Thanksgiving Day.

Think of a Turkey Trot as a fun experience, not a race, and use the tips above to have a successful run or walk from start to finish…to turkey!

How Health Advocate Can Help

If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to Wellness Coaching, your coach can provide additional tips to help you prepare for an upcoming Turkey Trot, as well as other advice to help make your holiday a healthy one.

From all of us at Health Advocate, we hope you and your loved ones have a fun and safe Thanksgiving!