Arguably the best day of the year, Christmas is a special time for all of us. Christmas is all about being together and having fun.
As I write this article, I’m getting into the Christmas Spirit with Sir Cliff Richard’s catchy “Mistletoe and Wine”. You know, the song with the feel-good music video of the kids holding hands by the fireplace, swaying in time with the music, rejoicing with happiness and love for each other. If that’s not enough to make you feel like Christmas, I don’t know what will!
(For added Christmas effect, press play and listen to the song whilst you read this post. It’ll put you in the Christmas mood, I promise)
As Cliff puts it, Christmas is “a time for living, a time for believing. A time for trusting, not deceiving. Love and laughter and joy ever after.”
However, Cliff could have improved his much loved Christmas song by adding, “a time for running.”
Running on Christmas day? Are you mad?
Christmas day is perfect for running. You could come up with an endless list of reasons why you shouldn’t run on Christmas day. Popular excuses include a lack of time, having to cook dinner, organising the presents, entertaining the kids, phoning a friend, walking the dog, washing your hair. The list really is endless.
Christmas day can be more enjoyable with a morning run
Whilst it’s tempting to jump on the “I’m not running on Christmas day bandwagon”, you’ll soon see it’s hugely beneficial for you to run on Christmas day. In fact, you’ll probably enjoy the day a lot more after getting your festive morning stride on.
Without further ado, here are 9 reasons you should run on Christmas day.
1. It puts you in a great mood
Christmas day is a marathon, with lots to do and a lot of things that could go wrong. Despite being a day of joy and happiness, it can be a painfully stressful experience.
Battling traffic to get to the in-law’s house, dealing with hyperactive children who’ve had far too many sweets, the risk of pulling a burnt bird out of the oven, are just a few.
Running is a natural mood enhancer and will get you in a positive state both physically and mentally. When you run, your brain releases a powerful cocktail of feel-good chemicals like endorphins, serotonin and dopamine.
After a quick morning run, you’ll be smiling, happy, and ready to take on the day. Bring it on!
2. Explore the magic of Christmas Day
It can be tempting to spend Christmas day with minimal contact from the outside world.
Without a reason, it’s likely you’ll spend it inside with your family or maybe you’ll drive to a friend’s house for Christmas dinner. Sure, you’ll be with others but there’s little to no chance of seeing people you don’t know or having experiences out of your comfort zone.
Running gets you outside, exploring the magic on Christmas day. The streets are bare and there’s a tranquil feeling of bliss in the air. Of the few people you’ll see, they will offer a jolly ‘Merry Christmas’. It’s sad we only speak to strangers in such a jolly manner once a year, but it highlights how Christmas brings everyone together. For added Christmas effect, wear some festive clothing like a Santa or Elf hat!
Parkrun on Christmas morning
For a maximum dose of Christmas running magic, go and take part in the Christmas day park run.
parkrun is a free weekly running event on Saturday mornings. Anyone of any age and ability can sign up and take part in a 5K run. The special parkrun on Christmas morning is particularly special. Surprisingly, they’re extremely well attended on the 25th December, and get the local community together.
Outside of church, parkrun might be the biggest communal gathering of individuals celebrating the spirit of Christmas together. Remember to thank the volunteers and organisers. A little bit of Christmas gratitude can go a long way.
I promise you, getting out and exploring the magic of Christmas day, will give you memories you will remember for the rest of your life.
3. Enjoy the Christmas day feast without feeling guilty
According to The Independent, the average British person consumes over 6,000 calories on Christmas day. That’s a lot of Turkey, Champagne, and chocolate. No doubt about it, Christmas is probably the biggest day of the year for food and drink.
With all those calories, one would feel incredibly guilty without doing some exercise first to set up the metabolism and counter the calories a little bit. Maybe the guilt would come from being a healthy weight or trying to lose weight on a running regime. We all have our reasons for feeling guilty after that sweet Christmas day feast.
How do you remove some of that Christmas day feast guilt?
That’s where Christmas day running comes in, to save the day! Getting in the running shoes for 30 minutes before the feast begins, will make you feel a lot less guilty about consuming all those calories.
Go for a Christmas day run for your festive dose of exercise. You won’t feel as bad when you’re three glasses of bubbly in, watching the Queen’s speech with a Brussel sprout on the end of your fork. I promise.
4. Take some time to prepare for the day ahead
Christmas day is busy. It’s a simple and well-known fact. Leaving presents under the tree for the kids, calling your relatives, driving to the in-laws, cooking Christmas dinner, setting up electronic devices bought as gifts, going to church (if you’re religious).
It’s good to have some calm before the storm. Running provides some quiet ‘you’ time. Take some time to relax in peace and quiet. Think about the day ahead. What you’ll do and see, the experiences you’ll have, the memories you’ll make.
Running alone before the Christmas day chaos begins, means you can collect your thoughts and prepare for what’s to come.
5. Develop relationships with other runners
Christmas day is a special time for making memories with others. Why not run with others, and develop your relationships?
You could run with family members, friends, work colleagues, a local running club, or even take part in parkrun. Running on Christmas day is particularly fun when it’s a social affair
Everyone will be in a happy mood and full of Christmas spirit. Sociable memories that will last a lifetime.
In 5 years time, you might be having a conversation with your brother when he says “remember Christmas day a few years back, when we went for that run? That was a really different but fun way to spend Christmas morning.”
Seems like a long way off, but these are the conversations that make you realise that sociable Christmas day running session helped you develop relationships with others.
Go for a Christmas day run with other people to strengthen your relationships, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
6. Try out new running gear
If you’ve been good, Santa will have brought you some new running toys.
Whilst Christmas is about being together, family, celebrating religious beliefs, and eating ridiculous amounts of food, it’s all known for presents. Hopefully, running-related presents.
If you’ve been lucky enough to get some running related gifts, don’t wait to try them out.
Go for a run on Christmas day! Not only is Christmas day a fantastic idea, you’ll show the loved one who got you the running presents a visual and clear sign of gratitude which will enhance your relationship.
What running gifts might you have got?
There are hundreds of possibilities. You might receive running shoes, sunglasses, socks, journals, running films, books, jackets, training tops, and so on. The list is endless.
For more ideas and inspiration on running-related gifts, check out the blog post here:
7. Maintain your routine
During the festive period, it’s tempting to slip out of our routines. It’s like going on holiday. All year round, you’re incredibly healthy and run 4 times a week. Suddenly, you’re living it up in a hot country and your exercise regime is out the window. Sound familiar?
We’ve all been there. Because we’ve all been there, we know it’s not a good experience to have. Not only do we feel bad about ourselves, it’s hard to get back into the rhythm of a stable running routine.
Breaking the routine is not only bad in the short term, it also means long-term difficulty which could lead to disappointment and a tragic end in your running career. Perhaps you get so demotivated and downtrodden when trying to get back into a routine after a festive break, you give up running altogether. it doesn’t have to be that way!
Instead, guarantee you won’t step out of your routine. Go for a run on Christmas day, to prove you’re serious about running and you value your routine. Think of it as a sign of respect for yourself. Don’t shortchange yourself and break your routine, even if the sleigh bells are ringing!
Go for a run on Christmas day. Maintain your routine. You’ll love yourself for it.
8. Mini-detox during the festive period
The festive season is well-known for food and drink. Sugary sweets, acidic drinks, fatty foods, alcohol, are all common threats we like to indulge in. Why? Because they taste too good to resist.
With all these unhealthy substances being put into our body, it’s worth having a mini-detox amid the festive season. Running is a natural way to detoxify your system because you sweat out toxins and burn fat. Not only that, you will feel more energised and alert, so you can enjoy your Christmas day without feeling overly sluggish and demotivated.
Go for a Christmas day run to cleanse and detoxify your system. You’ll thank yourself when you wake up on Boxing day, with a less extreme hangover than you would have had if you didn’t go for your Xmas run.
9. Fairly share out the cooking duties
Unfortunately, it’s common for all the Christmas day cooking duties to get lumbered on the shoulders of one person. If that person is often you, go for a run to help ensure the cooking duties are evenly shared out.
If you have a partner who expects you to do all the cooking duties, make a point of telling them you’re going out for a 45 minute- 1-hour Christmas day run and politely ask if they can help with some of the necessary preparations.
You could prepare the vegetables on Christmas eve, and ask that they put the vegetables on a slow boil and then place the meat into the oven. It may seem like a little favour to ask, but it makes a big difference to all the responsibility is solely yours.Not only that, you and your partner will feel a sense of teamwork and togetherness which will make you stronger.
Sounds over the top, but if you’ve cooked Christmas dinner before then you know this is no walk in the park. It’s an all guns blazing military operation. Go for a run in the morning to coerce a fair distribution of cooking duties on Christmas day. You won’t regret it.
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