Out and About: Walking Off Thanksgiving

Here’s a Thanksgiving “diet” that even your cardiologist might approve of. For each bit of caloric overindulgence before, during, and after Thanksgiving dinner, you can expiate your cumulative sins by taking a post-prandial walk of sufficient length and vigor.

Published November 18, 2011 9:10 PM
2 min read

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Here’s a Thanksgiving “diet” that even your cardiologist might approve of. For each bit of caloric overindulgence before, during, and after Thanksgiving dinner, you can expiate your cumulative sins by taking a post-prandial walk of sufficient length and vigor.

 

By Paul Hicks

Here’s a Thanksgiving “diet” that even your cardiologist might approve of. For each bit of caloric overindulgence before, during, and after Thanksgiving dinner, you can expiate your cumulative sins by taking a post-prandial walk of sufficient length and vigor.

 

For example, assume that before dinner you dig deeply into the cheese and pâté platter; mark that down as requiring a brisk walk around the block. Make that several blocks if you also have a second bowl of the creamy pumpkin soup with Parmesan croutons.

 

Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to be served turducken, which, for the unitiated, is a boned chicken stuffed into a boned duck stuffed into a boned turkey. Better yet, it might have a cornbread and sausage stuffing, along with giblet gravy.

 

If so, you will need to take at least an hour’s walk at a good pace. Some good nearby places to go for an adequate antidote are PepsiCo’s Sculpture Garden, Edith Read Sanctuary, or even the Playland Boardwalk (two lengths). Greenwood Union Cemetery is another choice, but, unfortunately, you can no longer take your dog there.

 

If you also crave a large helping of a favorite dish like candied yams (with melted marshmellows on top) or creamed onions, you will need to take a longer walk at a somewhat faster pace. The Marshlands Conservancy is a perfect spot (again no dogs), making sure you do the full loop down through the field to Milton Harbor and back.

 

Next, you are likely to face the difficult choice among several pies that are on offer. Why choose only one, when you can fit slices of both blueberry and pecan, or cherry on your plate and still have room for vanilla ice cream. That will, however, move you into a higher level of expiation.

 

You might want to consider walking a portion of the Colonial Greenway Trail, a 15-mile system that runs between New Rochelle and Mamaroneck. It incorporates the Pathway along the Hutchinson River Parkway with the Leatherstocking Trail, as well as trails in the nearby Saxon Woods. There is more information at westchestertrails.com/colonialgreenway.php.

 

Don’t forget to keep track of the cocktails and wine, and after-dinner port. Those need to be walked off, not just to counter the calories, but to clear the head. There is no better place for achieving those results than Rockwood Hall in Sleepy Hollow, overlooking the Hudson.

 

If you don’t own a copy of “Walkable Westchester” (and you should), you can read the chapter describing Rockwood Hall, former estate of William Rockefeller (brother of John D.), at nynjtc.org/panel/walkable-westchester.

 

It contains excellent descriptions of the 3.1 miles of inter-connecting trails on the 88-acre property, which is now a New York State Park. You will agree that the exercise was worth the effort when you see the beautiful views up the Hudson toward West Point.

 

One of the many good things about this diet is that there are numerous ways to walk off Thanksgiving for years to come.

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