Christmas…. a time for family, festivities and FOOD. But also a time when most training plans go AWOL and rightly so, Christmas only comes round once a year! For those of you wanting to stay active over the festive period here are my top ways to get your festive fitness fix…(just think of the pigs in blankets)
Extra Parkruns, including Christmas Day
Yes, I am endorsing getting up at silly o’clock on Christmas Day morning. Why? Because you will genuinely have an absolute blast. Last year my family thought I was mad wanting to go and run on Christmas Day morning, my Dad thought it was a great idea (if a little crazy) but I could tell my mum wasn’t keen. The solution- we all went, including the dog. Christmas Day Parkrun is something else. Take the atmosphere from any regular Saturday Parkrun, add a lot of Christmas jumpers and festive running attire, dogs in antlers and mince pies in the finish funnel and you’ve just about got the spirit of Christmas Day Parkrun. It really was a fantastic morning, my family enjoyed cheering on the runners, we tired the dog out so that we could get some peace and quiet for at least a few hours after (Christmas sends her mad), we all got some fresh air and were home by 9:45 ready for bacon and gift giving. It is a fantastic way to kick start Christmas morning and certainly gets you feeling very festive and merry.
Parkrun are putting on lots of extra events over the festive period in addition to the usual Saturday runs. Some are even starting a tad later on New Years Day so there may even be chance of a cheeky Parkrun Double! Not all Parkruns will be hosting additional events so check online! http://www.parkrun.org.uk/christmas-compendium/
Festive themed runs, boxing day runs and weird Christmas fitness traditions
There is still time to squeeze in a Christmassy themed run, its not too late! There are plenty of running events the weekend up before Christmas and after, including quite a few events on Boxing Day. I’m racing on Boxing Day this year instead of hitting the sales and I absolutely cannot wait! Hoping that all the turkey and indulgence counts as carb loading You can check out a list of events on Runner’s World https://www.runnersworld.co.uk/event/search
A really Christmassy way to get your festive fix. This time of the year many towns and cities across the UK have outdoor ice rinks for you to test out your spins and turns and refresh your skills before dancing on ice hits our screens again in January. We recently visited the Tower of London Ice Rink and this was my first ever experience skating outside! Being new to London, I’m in love with the sights and I got all the festive feels from skating around the Tower of London Moat gazing at a backdrop of the Shard and Tower bridge. Super magical! I discovered I absolutely cannot skate but thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. Within ten minutes I could feel my legs were working hard and a quick google of how many calories ice skating burns per hour informed me that I could happily indulge in a lot of pigs in blankets afterwards (for those who are curious ice skating burns 500-600 calories per hour!!!!). If you’re in London over the festive season I highly recommend the Tower of London Ice rink, you can buy tickets online here http://toweroflondonicerink.co.uk/ and the best bit is, they’re open until the 2nd January (we’re hoping to go back!)
Walks with the family
Everyone loves a Christmas Day or Boxing Day walk with the family. The perfect excuse to get out of the house, get some fresh air and work up an appetite for more turkey! Walking counts as LISS (low intensity steady state) exercise and is low impact and great for mobility and mental health. For something more challenging you can spice up the walks by adding a pair of ankle weights to work that little bit harder!
Resting and eating!
And finally! Don’t be afraid to take the festive period off! Your mental health and fitness is just as important as working up a sweat. For me, I love working out but I am not a slave to it. Running when I can and relaxing the rest of the time with my family is what is going to make me happy of the festive period. Rest days are important so don’t be afraid to give yourself some time off! Just think of those well rested, well fuelled PBs that will be coming your way in January!
MERRY CHRISTMAS! XOXOXO