Your first thought when reading the title of this article was probably one of confusion. After all, the cold weather and the low daylight levels are not exactly what you would describe as ideal jogging conditions. However, if you look a little deeper jogging is actually one of the best exercises you can do over Christmas. In this article I will be explaining why by providing you with 7 benefits of jogging during the festive period:
1) IT CAN HELP YOU AVOID CHRISTMAS COLDS & THE FLU
During the festive period you are much more susceptible to the common cold and the flu. Whilst there is currently no cure for these ailments, a strong immune system can help you deal with them much more quickly.
The good news is that regular exercise such as jogging can boost your immune system in multiple ways. First, it stimulates the production of lymphocytes (white blood cells) and macrophages (cells that attack bacteria). Secondly, it improves the distribution of immune system cells in the body and increases their effectiveness.
2) IT HELPS YOU SLEEP
With all the parties and social commitments over Christmas it is very easy for your sleep patterns to become disrupted. Fortunately, exercises such as jogging can help you set your circadian rhythms and ensure that you get a good night’s sleep despite these distractions. In addition to this, jogging has a soothing effect on your mind which helps you to relax and fall asleep quicker.
3) IT GIVES YOU SOME ALONE TIME
In terms of your social life, Christmas is 1 of the busiest times of the year. If you are not out partying you are probably visiting various friends and relatives. Whilst it is good to catch up with all your friends and family, sometimes you just need a few moments to yourself. The good news is that jogging can provide you with a temporary escape from all the hustle and bustle and give you that little bit of alone time you deserve.
4) IT RELIEVES STRESS
As well as being a busy time of year, Christmas can also be a stressful time of year. Getting the perfect present for each person can be a real nightmare whilst planning the Christmas dinner can cause plenty of headaches.
Fortunately, jogging can come to the rescue in this area too. When you jog for long distances your body releases endorphins which then attach to the parts of the brain associated with emotion. This results in a feeling of extreme happiness that is often referred to as the runner’s high. If you are feeling stressed, the runner’s high can eliminate this emotion and replace it with more positive thoughts.
5) IT WILL GIVE YOU SOME VITAMIN D
Vitamin D (also known as the sunshine vitamin) helps keep your bones and teeth strong by allowing your body to absorb the bone boosting nutrients calcium and phosphorus. Unlike many of the other vitamins, your body can produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Therefore, if you fail to get enough sunlight your body produces less vitamin D and you can become deficient. This is a particular problem around Christmas because there is less daylight and the cold weather makes you want to stay indoors even when it is light outside.
The good news is that jogging can help solve this problem by getting you outside in the sunshine and stimulating the production of vitamin D. Just 15 minutes of sunlight each day will allow your body to produce enough vitamin D so even a short jog will do the trick.
6) YOU SET THE LENGTH
As I mentioned above, Christmas is a very busy time of year. In fact you may not have enough free time during the day to fit in a full length workout. That is where jogging comes into its own. If you only have 30 minutes spare you can put your trainers on and do a few quick laps around the block. If you have more time available then you can extend your jog. No matter how much or how little time you have during the day, jogging can be slotted in.
7) YOU CAN GO WHEN YOU WANT
Since Christmas is so busy you may not have the luxury of sticking to specific workout times. For example, if you normally go to a Zumba class every Friday night, social commitments may get in the way over the festive period. However, this is not an issue when if you choose jogging. You can go jogging at any time which means that unlike many other forms of exercise, it can fit around your routine.
I hope this article has shown you that jogging is 1 of the better exercise options available to you over Christmas. Obviously, if the weather makes it too dangerous you will have to find an alternative exercise. However, if the roads are ice free, go get some warm clothing, put your trainers on and get jogging.
What do you guys think about jogging and Christmas? Do you agree that there are lots of benefits of jogging during the festive period? Do you think that other exercises are more suited to this time of year? Leave a comment and let me know.