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How Running Can Keep You Sane During The Holidays

Making a schedule and sticking to it can help you have one constant during the holiday craziness.

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Let’s face it.

Many of us lead very stressful lives and during the holidays our collective stress level amps up exponentially. If you have children or a 12 year old son, maybe they’re/he’s clamoring for the next most-amazing-most-up-to-date-most-memory-having-and-can-also-make-dinner-and-tie-your-shoes gaming console. Or maybe your family is putting the pressure on you to make the 15-hour drive up north, down south, out west or out east to share gifts

Maybe you’re exhausted and the thought of going all in every day during the holidays is daunting. Or maybe your nerves and anxiety are amped up and you just can’t take it anymore!

Well, for precisely this reason, I make sure to stick to my routine. In my non-blogging life (I am a teacher, coach, diversity practitioner and mom to a pre-teen) I must be very flexible, but in terms of scheduling my workout, I am NOT flexible (okay, maybe with times, but whether or not I’ll do it, NO WAY.)

I typically think of a set of exercises that I can do every single day until the end of the year, in addition to my race training or recovery for the sake of having an unbreakable routine. The monotony of it helps to keep me centered. Many days I want to get up and do it either before or after my run. Admittedly, other days I have no bones of motivation in my body, but I know that I must get down and dirty and GET IT DONE.

I make sure to write it down in my agenda (I still use a paper planner—the Passion Planner to be exact—in addition to my various online calendars) and then I make sure to actually do it.


Here is the set that I put together to get me through both the elation of having friends and family together and the inevitable energy crash afterwards as they all leave my house to return to their respective lives and homes. I invited people to do the same on my public Facebook page—Fatgirlrunningand people are really excited to do something that will help them remain upright doing this fast-paced and potentially stressful season.

I do these exercises in addition to my running and cross training. Sometimes I am only able to do the bare minimum, and other times I’ll do several sets if I’m feeling extra hardcore!


The first week I began with:

A few sun salutations (for flexibility and general awesomeness)
10-20 push-ups
5+ burpees (I hate burpees, but they’re good for me)
25 squats or lunges (your choice of type)
One 30-second plank (I hate planks, but they’re extra good for me and everybody unless you have lower back issues)

This week I added:

15 kettle bell swings
20 Russian twists

Next week, I’ll add one or two more exercises, maybe some renegade rows and mountain climbers—WOOHOO!

What can YOU do everyday until the end of the year, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the other holidays you do or don’t celebrate? Tweet @TheMirnavator and @WomensRunning and share!