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Holiday Season Running

Don't wait until January 1st to start a running resolution. If you wait...it may be too late.

Don't wait until January 1st to start a running resolution. If you wait...it may be too late.

It is quite likely that you are living a very atypical lifestyle right now.  You are probably spending more time than usual standing on line at the mall, traveling in a plane, or working overtime at the office, trying to get it all done before the holiday break.    

What's the common denominator here?  People.  Their germs.  And stress.

Unfortunately for us all, viruses circulate best in colder weather, which explains why flu season peaks during the winter.  Indeed, if we are not careful, the holiday season can quickly become the hospital season, and while they may sound similar--they are far from it.

Our irregular diet during the holidays certainly does not help, either.  It comes to no surprise that foods with phytochemicals (chemicals produced by plants), such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are loaded with antioxidants that help us combat disease, infection, and illness. However, when was the last time you had a fruit salad and gardenburger during a holiday party?  Sadly, alcohol and foods with excessive sugar--the staples of late December gatherings--only impair our immune system's ablity to keep us healthy.

So what do we do?  Get out there and run.  Even if it is just twenty minutes a day, even if it is dark and ten degrees outside, even if you just worked a twelve hour day--just get out there and run!

Let's be honest with ourselves: staying motivated during the winter is extremely difficult.  If it wasn't for my club to hold me accountable, I would probably hibernate with gummi bears and hot chocolate from December to February.  Truthfully, sometimes having a team or group waiting for us a a certain time, at a certain location, forces us to lace up those shoes and get out there.  

For anyone of any age or ability, here are a list of New Jersey clubs that you could join to keep you going this wnter.  When you email them, be sure to ask about what types of training programs or coaching they may offer.  For example, if you are a beginner runner, you may inquire about a beginner's program, or a "Couch to 5k" group within the club.  Not all groups offer support groups for all runners, but many do.

Either way, stay healthy this upcoming holiday season! While everyone enjoys seeing their family (well, maybe not every single uncle), no one enjoys being sick.  If you run just a little bit everyday, you'll be sure to welcome the new year with good health...instead of declaring a resolution desiring it. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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