Thanksgiving day in my house was one of warmth, generosity, love and noise. I am the third of ten children, so pretty much every day was loud and filled with activity, but my parents always made holidays stand out for us.

Mom always woke up around 5 a.m. to put the very large turkey in the oven, stuffed of course. Every year she made turkey and stuffing, fresh baked rolls, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole and sweet potatoes with marshmallows, all from scratch. She always baked several pies for enjoyment after a few hours of basketball at the local church with cousins.

I remember waiting to eat impatiently as we all shared the things that we were grateful for. Special memories with people and foods I love.

As you gather with family and friends this week to create lasting memories and savor the traditions of old and new, remember to give thanks. Thanks for things simple like the health we enjoy so freely. For our able and willing bodies. Our sharp and active minds.

We often take for granted the fact that our heart beats continuously and strongly, nourishing our body. We often forget the complexities of these functions until we lose them.

This year, I celebrate health, I celebrate my abilities and my strengths. This year I am appreciative of the health of the people I love and that they also have capable and mobile bodies.

I am so glad that I chose a profession where I share the gift of health. Where I make a difference in all aspects of people's lives. Each day that you wake and are not sick or injured or experiencing pain, give thanks. Then exercise to invigorate, to celebrate and to appreciate all that you have. Happy Thanksgiving!

California girl Amy and mom of two now resides with her family in Castle Pines. As a health and fitness professional, she’s passionate about educating adults and children to make healthier choices that result in a better quality of life.

Photo Credit: Yelnoc via Compfight cc