Christmas time, as we all know, is a time for mistletoe and wine. A time when children sing Christian rhyme. All the kids in your neighbourhood will be doing it – it’s just what they do at this time of year.
It is not, traditionally, a time for fitness. People tend to stay indoors and eat and drink as much as they can, all the while being serenaded by their children singing Christian rhyme, no doubt.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s no law saying you can’t sneak in a quick 5K, or a lengthy bike ride, before settling down to the next massive meal on the Christmas schedule.
To help you keep your fitness regime intact during the festive period, why not try your hand at one of the challenges below. Fair warning, some are harder than others – most people will find bashing out a parkrun easier than doing 1,000 press-ups, for example.
Run at least once every day from 1st December until the 25th (that’s advent plus Christmas – consider the excuse to escape the family madness for a run Advent Running’s present to you). It might sound like a horrible burden to carry through the festive party season, but setting aside some time for yourself every day to go running is a great way to maintain your sanity as well as your physical fitness in the busy Christmas period. adventrunning.com
As well as the usual Saturday events on the 23rd and 30th December, many parkruns around the UK will host special events on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. You can check if your local parkrun is putting on an event by heading to its website. For those who want to up the ante, you are allowed to register two parkruns on New Year’s Day, when events will be starting at various times. parkrun.org.uk
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Rapha Festive 500
This cycling challenge, which has been running since 2010, asks riders to rack up 500km between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Those rides have to be logged on Strava to be part of the official challenge – although if you’re the kind of person who signs up to ride 500km in eight days at a time when most people are too full to get off the sofa, chances are you’re a keen Strava user already. rapha.cc
You’re probably thinking that’s too many press-ups, but the good news is you don’t have to do them all at once – you get from 24th December until 1st January. The bad news is that’s still an average of 111 press-ups every day. Thankfully, we’ve got some tips on how to accomplishing the pec-busting feat.
Start Fitness Serpentine New Year’s Day 10K
Begin 2018 in the best manner possible by tackling this fantastic 10K around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. The atmosphere is guaranteed to be terrific, whatever the weather, which will help you complete the race no matter how bad your hangover is. £20, serpentine.org.uk