I have never done this before. Never. But this year, I am going to do it. I plan to go streaking from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.
Don't worry, it's not what you might think.
This year, I plan to join with other runners around the world in the third annual holiday running streak - by promising to run at least one mile a day - every day - from Thanksgiving Day until Jan 1. Why would anyone embark upon such an ambitious exercise goal?
We all know how easily the pounds pile on at this time of year. Holiday parties combined with holiday baking and the festive frenzy of the season all adds up to lots of extra calories and zero extra time for fitness. That's why so many of us hit the New Year bloated, lethargic, and disappointed in our lost fitness from the year before.
The folks at Runners World magazine came up with an antidote to the New Year's Blues, and it's actually much easier than you might think. By participating in the 'Holiday Streak,' runners commit to run at least one mile a day over the holiday period. Just one mile. Depeding upon your running speed, that's just 5 to 15 minutes of your time. But can one mile really make a difference in your health and fitness?
Chances are, there will be a lot of days during the holiday streak when it's all you can do to squeeze that one mile in. But chances are also just as likely that there will be a good number of days when you decide to go longer than one mile - you're already all dressed up, might as well go one more time around the block, right? So the streak works in two ways. First, it strengthens your commitment to daily exercise. It only takes 21 days for something to become a habit. And second, it motivates you to sweat on days when you might otherwise pull the covers over your head.
But this idea of holiday 'streaking' is not just limited to runners. It can crossover into any type of fitness routine. Love to bike? Make the same commitment to bike at least one mile a day - either outside or at the gym - over the holiday period. You can swim a lap, walk a block, complete a Crossfit WOD, or do 25 jumping jacks. Whatever you do, just commit to do a little bit of it and do it every day.
If you do, you will likely come out of the holidays fitter, faster, and maybe even a few pounds lighter than ever before. And that's something worth celebrating!
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- Happy trails to you: 7 of the best running trails in America
- 3 tips for getting into an exercise groove
- Kids today running much clower than kids 30 years ago