With the holidays just around the corner, it’s easy to get wrapped up in shopping, party preparation and all the things that come along with the season of giving. In fact, about 90% of Americans report increased stress over at least one aspect of the merry season. Why not treat yourself to an experience this year? Participating in a local holiday fun run is a great way to connect with those you love, reconnect with yourself and give back to your community. And unlike a marathon or 5K, a fun run is a non-competitive, fun fitness event that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. According to Consumer Reports, Americans stress the most about overcrowded malls, gaining weight and going into debt. Avoid the burden of overspending — instead spend time with your family, friends and furry companions at a fun run of your choice. Even grandma can partake!
Into dressing up and getting colorful? Check out The Color Run or The Glo Run. Sliding down a muddy hill more your thing? There’s a ton of different dirty options to choose from. There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than teaming up with loved ones, laughing throughout the course and knowing it’s all for a good cause. Still not convinced? Here are the Top 5 reasons why signing up for a fun run is a great way to relieve stress during the holidays.
5. Run with Your Furry, Four-Legged Friends
Are you single and ready to mingle? Do you have a furry companion? Everything is better with your dog by your side. So, why not choose a pet-friendly fun run this year? It can be intimidating to participate in a big event when you’re running by yourself. But having your pooch at your side is a great way to meet likeminded people who may turn into lifelong friends. And who knows, you might even meet your better half.
4. People Who Play Together, Stay Together
We’ve all heard the phrase before, and it’s true. People who spend quality time together commonly have better relationships. Whether you’re married, have kids or want to have an experience with a group of friends, being active and having fun together makes people happy. Research shows that people who spend quality time together have a stronger emotional bond and better communication.
3. Give Back to Your Community
There are tons of fun runs aimed at raising contributions for those in need during the holidays. Not only will you create an irreplaceable memory and have a good time, but you can raise funds for charities like Toys for Tots or One Warm Coat, just to name a few. Helping someone who is less fortunate is what the holiday season is all about. The options are endless, and you’ll feel great getting sweaty for a good cause.
2. Run Off Those Holiday Treats
Pecan and pumpkin pie. Eggnog and your grandmother’s famous sweet potatoes. We all indulge during the holidays but after a few weeks of consistent splurging it can be hard to get back into gear. Signing up for a fun run can kick start your regular workout routine and help you shed off any weight gained over the holiday season. And it’s a lot more fun than shoveling snow or hitting the stair climber.
1. It’s Fun!
Whether you’re running solo and getting centered during the busiest time of year, running your dog in hopes of meeting some new friends or gathering together a group of friends and family, a fun run is one of the most affordable ways to get connected, have fun and feel good! Shopping, increased food preparation and frequent visitors can lead to anxiety and increased stress. And research shows that people yearn for love, connection and joy during the holidays. Stay connected and healthy by exercising, which promotes the release of hormones (dopamine) that improve moods and keep us happy.
Wintertime also means it gets darker earlier in the day, and for many people this can lead to varying degrees of seasonal depression. Exercise can reduce symptoms SAD and elevate your mood. And getting out while it’s sunny is proven to help fight off anxiety and maintain a healthy emotional balance.
So get outside, play a little and sign up for a fun run this year!
Want more ways to ensure a stress-free holiday season? Check out our Guide to Relieving Stress During the Holidays.
What’s your favorite holiday fun run to participate in? Let us know in the comments below!