Did you know the average American consumes a whopping 5,370 calories on Christmas Day? Add that to the 3,000 to 4,500 calories from Thanksgiving, and it’s no wonder you can gain a few pounds over the holidays. With busy schedules, shopping and parties, it is hard to find time to get to the gym during the holiday season. How about trying some outdoor exercise to burn off holiday calories instead?
Besides burning off calories, exercising outdoors is a natural antidepressant. It has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve mood and lower anxiety. Not only will you enhance your physical wellbeing by exercising outdoors, but you will better your mental health too.
Find a Park for Outdoor Exercise
A park is a fantastic spot for some outdoor exercise. Wide open spaces leave plenty of room for a walk, jog or run. With over 340 parks in San Diego County, it is not hard to find one. The two below are especially outfitted to make exercising outside easy.
Morley Field Sports Complex
Morley Field Sports Complex is located in the northeast section of Balboa Park. Not only will you find a fitness parcourse (a jogging trail featuring exercise stations for calisthenics), there is a disc golf course, bicycle track, swimming pool, 25 tennis courts and a multi-purpose ball field to help you reach your fitness goals. If you are bringing your pup along, make sure to visit Morley Field Dog Park, an off-leash park.
Embarcadero Marina Park South
Embarcadero Marina Park South, near downtown San Diego, also offers exercise stations to ramp up your workout as well as basketball courts and a bike path. The park offers amazing views of the San Diego Bay to liven up your exercise routine. Leashed dogs are welcome.
A 5k or Half Marathon Burns Off Holiday Calories
Why not get into the holiday spirit while exercising at the same time? Running in a 5k or half marathon is great exercise, gives back to the community and can boost your confidence and self-esteem. You can burn up to 1300 calories running a half marathon and 360 calories doing a 5k.
San Diego Holiday Half Marathon
The San Diego Holiday Half Marathon takes place on December 17, 2022 and benefits Up and Running Again, The Salvation Army and Interfaith Community Services. This 13.1 mile race starts in Rancho Penasquitos and ends at the dazzling Torrey Pines State Beach.
San Diego Santa Run
The 10th Annual San Diego Santa Run is on December 10, 2022 in Pacific Beach. Each 5k participant receives a Santa suit and sunglasses. Over the years, they have had 20,000 Santas fill the streets. Proceeds from this event support the Pacific Beach Holiday Parade, a community staple for over 38 years.
Ohana Holiday Toy Run
The Ohana Holiday Toy Run is a 5k that begins and ends inside De Anza Cove in Mission Beach. Benefitting The Salvation Army San Diego Citadel Corps, each runner/walker who donates a toy will receive a discount on the entry fee. This family-friendly race is happening on December 18, 2022.
Pedal a Boat From Eco Boat Rentals
If you enjoy riding a bike, then you will love pedaling a boat from Eco Boat Rentals. It won’t even feel like exercise as you glide across the harbor, take in spectacular views of the San Diego skyline and watch sea lions frolic in the ocean. Each boat can hold a maximum of three adults and one child with two people pedaling at once. Single riders are more than welcome and can easily maneuver a boat on their own. Bring Fido as Eco Boat Rentals is dog friendly.
Running Stairs at the San Diego Convention Center
The San Diego Convention Center in downtown boasts 100 stairs that are sure to challenge your endurance. The steps are lit in the evening making an after work exercise session possible. One drawback is large crowds during conventions, so make sure to check their online schedule.
Running stairs is terrific for burning fat, strengthening the lower body and sculpting abs. Thirty minutes of this high-intensity exercise burns 320 calories on average. It is an effective way to burn off holiday calories.
Get Zen with Outdoor Yoga
Doing yoga outdoors can be a Zen experience. Noise distractions may force you to increase your focus, uneven terrain can make yoga outdoors more intense and certain smells in nature trigger relaxation. Another plus is there is plenty of floor space to stretch out.
Yoga with Shawna on Mission Beach welcomes all levels of yogis and teaches a variety of daily yoga sessions including hatha, vinyasa and yin. Prepare for your upcoming week with a peaceful vinyasa flow at Sunday Morning Yoga at Sunset Cliffs. The OM Experience at Balboa is a vinyasa style yoga class combined with live music on Sunday mornings.
We hope these suggestions give you a break from the crazy but happy holiday season, and you find a little time to take for yourself. We would love to hear about your favorite outdoor exercise in the comment section below.