Workin’ off the bowl full of jelly12/4/2013
As folks embark on the last month of 2013, it’s finally appropriate to put out Christmas decorations, shovel food into their mouths and spike family punchbowls. But for those already thinking about their New Year’s resolution, getting active in December may be a better choice. While the gym provides everything a person could need to get a workout in without having to lose an appendage to wicked frost bite, there really is no replacement for being active outside. Luckily there are two fun runs going on this weekend to get bodies ready for an active winter.
The Jingle Bell Rock n’ Run hosted by the Science Center of Iowa (SCI) is in its second year after nearly 300 folks turned out last year. This year organizers hope to pull in even more.
“The route is unique in its showcase of downtown Des Moines,” said Judy Crane, special events and promotions coordinator at SCI. “Runners will travel from SCI to the Western Gateway District and back with a chance to see the great sculpture garden.”
What makes this event even more fun is that runners are encouraged to dress up. Santa Claus is the obvious choice, but anything with the spirit of the holidays is encouraged. STAR 102.5 will be emcee-ing the event along with music from Brother Trucker.
And if this isn’t your style, but you still want to dress as the Big Red Guy, the South Suburban YMCA is hosting a run/walk of its own. The Jingle Jam Run has been around for nine years, and folks remain undeterred by the December weather.
“The environment on race day is electric — costumes are everywhere, you can hear the jingles of runners bells all thru the facility and thru the neighborhood when they are running or walking,” said Hollie Zeglen, membership involvement director at South Suburban YMCA. “Everyone is here to have a good time with friends and family. We also offer a one-mile walk for those who do not want to run — and they receive hot chocolate at the half-way mark!”
Jingle Jam has the help of Mrs. Claus, who leads the runners’ warm-up. Father Christmas will also be on hand, wandering around for folks to snap pictures with. In addition, more than 700 varieties of cookies and bars will be available to try.
With both these events, the takeaway is starting or continuing healthy practices. It’s not easy to convince yourself to get outside when the temperature drops below freezing, but if you do, you’ll reap the benefits. Exercising in the cold can help kick start your metabolism to produce heat for your body. Not to mention, it’s fun.
“Play Christmas music real loud and belt it out at the top of your lungs!” advised Zeglen. “And make sure your outfit is just as loud at you are!” CV
David Rowley is an Iowa native with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa and a master’s in film journalism from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
SCI Jingle Bell Rock ‘n’ Run 5K When: Sunday, Dec. 8 at 9 a.m. (rain, snow or shine) Price: $45, includes long-sleeved T-shirt, race bib, hot Hy-Vee-catered breakfast, two general admission vouchers to SCI and a goodie bag from sponsors.
Jingle Jam 5K Road Race When: Saturday, Dec. 7, at 8:30 a.m., register from 7-8 a.m. Price: $30 adults, $25 youth Other: One-Mile Hot Chocolate Walk, 8:30 a.m., $20.