Some people love exercise. Others don’t. During the winter, exercise is even less enticing for people who don’t enjoy it to begin with. It’s cold outside, and the days are short. Exercising outdoors can be more comfortable in winter than summer because you don’t become overheated. But starting out, you’re cold. And working out in the dark in the afternoon is few people’s idea of a fun time.
Instead of sticking to a boring, normal routine, we suggest training for a silly, seasonal fun run. The season of festive fun runs is at its peak. Events like Santa Dashes have been around for ages. People dress up in holiday running outfits and go to events that usually have 5k and 10k options. Lots of people make their outfits puns or dress up as things from favorite holiday films.
There are usually holiday treats waiting at the finish line to reward participants for making an effort. There are also themed medals for finishing. And often, prizes are given out for costumes and “swag” for runners in the form of t-shirts and small gifts to remember the day. Many of these fun races welcome walkers, wheelchairs and people pushing kids in strollers — they aren’t just for speedrunners! Everyone, regardless of age or physical ability, can take part.
There are themed holiday runs for Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day and beyond. If you start walking the 5k now, you could be jogging in a heart costume on Valentine’s Day and running in an Uncle Sam outfit come July 4!
Joining one of these races usually costs between $20 to $50. The fee covers the cost of the organizers. In return, your get themed snacks, medals, shirts and fun things like jingle bells to add to your shoes. It can be a fun day out for a group of friends who want to get in the holiday spirit and get moving!
The festive nature of holiday-themed runs can make you more inclined to get out and join them. And, while they are called races, you don’t have to be competitive to enjoy them! Put a little effort into your outfit and go with a friend. You can walk the race route and meet your step goal that you might otherwise miss. When the days are short, it’s easy to lose motivation to exercise. But a theme, holiday fun and prizes can make it enticing!