"Running is more important than ever during the holidays," says Beth Baker, founder and chief running officer of Running Evolution in Seattle. "These are some family- and food-intense times, and you need that stress and caloric release." But with major races wrapped up, running can easily be pushed aside as holiday parties come to the forefront.
Push through the excuses by changing up your regimen and adding some cross-training to the mix: Spinning?, strength training, Pilates, and yoga will all benefit your running. As for running, the following four runs, each 60 minutes or less, will freshen up any body that's tired of the training drive. (Having a goal to train for helps you stay on track during the holidays. Stay fit throughout the season and Train for a Holiday 5K.)
100 (or 10) Push-Ups
On a 4- to 5-mile run, stop every mile to do as many push-ups as you can. "The goal is to get up to 100 push-ups by the end," says Jess Underhill, who coaches at Race Pace Wellness in New York City.
Warm up for a mile at an easy pace. Then set the treadmill at a relaxed, baseline pace for you. Increase your speed by .2 mph every four minutes; by the end of 20 minutes, you're running a full minute faster than your baseline pace. Hold the fast pace for four more minutes, then decrease your speed by .2 mph every four minutes until you're back at a baseline pace. Cool down for 5 to 10 minutes. "This challenges your body and keeps your brain busy, too: key for avoiding boredom on the treadmill," says Jessica Hofheimer, a running coach and Pilates instructor in Reston, Virginia. For more ways to boost fitness indoors, try these Other Great Treadmill Workouts.