Trails & Trials: Stay fit with the family throughout the holiday season

(This post is a part of a regular series “Trails & Trials,” a monthly adventure series inspiring others to experience the physical, mental, and social benefits of cycling, running or swimming in Central Texas. For more posts in this series, click here: Trails and Trials.  – ALW)

By Natasha van der Merwe

We are finally at the Christmas holiday season, which we all look forward to. A time to hit the brakes on our busy lives and unwind, spend time with loved ones and of course, indulge in all our favorite holiday sweets and treats. These are all great things, but in moderation. Don’t let January 1st sneak up on you.  Finish the year strong so that you feel well rested and ready to tackle those big goals next year.

Here are a few fun ways to combine all of the above – Family, Food, Fun and Fitness.

  1. Do a Family Friendly Fun Run for a Great Cause – The upcoming ‘Communities in Schools Wonderland Run’ is a fun run on December 1st in Downtown Waco – corner Austin Avenue and 3rd Street – with distance options available for all family members: A 10k, 5k and 1 mile run or walk. Get the family together, outdoors, and active for a great program that changes lives in our community.
  1. Watch the Waco Wonderland Parade – After the Wonderland Run grab a coffee and snack and find a great spot to watch the Wonderland Parade. If you have little ones, make sure to find the petting zoo and of course, Santa will be around for pictures.
  1. Christmas Light Walk – Find out which neighborhoods in your area have the best Christmas lights and plan a walk with the family to see them all.
  1. Scavenger Hunt for the family – Head to your nearest park and plant a number of items around the park for your family and friends to find. This is a great way to get everyone active, while having fun. Make sure to reward the winner with another fun activity, like picking their favorite board game to play or movie to watch, instead of an unhealthy food treat.
  1. Create a Family Holiday Challenge – Create a goal for the whole family to do throughout the holidays. Options include, running or walking a mile every day, doing a set amount of pushups or jumping jacks together.  You can also simply make an “Activity Calendar” with different activities each day.  Don’t forget the reward board to entice the little ones.
  1. Cycle Your Way to Fitness – Get out that road or mountain bike and ride the many family friendly trails around Waco. A perfect example would be the paved trail around the Brazos River. Stop off at one of the many parks and set up a picnic as the kids play on one of the many playscapes. Then finish your day at the Cameron Park Zoo.
  1. Go Exploring on our Trails – Did you know that Waco is the host of the Off Road Triathlon National Championship Race? That means that Cameron Park is recognized for having impeccable trails to mountain bike, run and hike on. Heading out on the trails would be the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of your daily life.

There are 39 days from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, so you have plenty of time to stay active and actually improve your health over the holidays.

Enjoy the Festive Season!

Natasha van der Merwe is originally from South Africa. She is mom to a 19-month old girl, former professional tennis player and tennis instructor, and a professional triathlete representing Bicycle World and Waco Running Company.  She has multiple top 10 finishes in Ironman and 70.3 events around the world. She is Director of Team Programs for Bicycle World, Texas.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.










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