Run for time, not distance, when traveling for the holidays

When traveling, plan to run for a set amount of time each day. Running by time eliminates the need for a preset route, and your watch will provide all the measurement you need.

Sending a food gift?
Mail food gifts in heavy, corrugated cardboard boxes. Make sure the food is cold and packed in dry ice with crumpled brown paper in the spaces. Request overnight delivery, and be sure someone will be home to receive the package.

Going to a potluck dinner?
A hot, cooked casserole should travel in an insulated container. If you don't have one, wrap the covered dish with several layers of aluminum foil, then cover with newspapers and a towel. When it's time to eat, reheat to 165 F.

Run lightly
Researchers at California State University studied the characteristics of runners who stay injury-free. Among the traits they noticed were stride patterns that reduce impact forces. These patterns seem to develop over time from proper training techniques such as gradually adding on miles.

Women: Every little bit helps
Women who exercise at least once a week for 20 minutes benefit in areas such as back pain, stiff joints, constipation, tiredness, and mental health, according to an Australian study of almost 15,000 women. These findings are encouraging for women who have little free time due to children or jobs.

Heart and hearing
Cardiovascular exercise was shown to improve hearing in a study by Miami University of Ohio. After a 20-week exercise program, the participants had their hearing tested and compared to pre-exercise hearing tests. There was a marked improvement in VO2max and hearing sensitivity, perhaps due to improved circulation and healthier blood lipid profiles.

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