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Festive Fitness Challenges To Keep You Moving Between The Mince Pies

Christmas time, as we all know, is a time for mistletoe and wine. A time when children sing Christian rhyme. All the kids in your neighbourhood will be doing it – it’s just what they do at this time of year.

It is not, traditionally, a time for fitness. People tend to stay indoors and eat and drink as much as they can, all the while being serenaded by their children singing Christian rhyme, no doubt.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s no law saying you can’t sneak in a quick 5K, or a lengthy bike ride, before settling down to the next massive meal on the Christmas schedule.

To help you keep your fitness regime intact during the festive period, why not try your hand at one of the challenges below. Fair warning, some are harder than others – most people will find bashing out a parkrun easier than doing 1,000 press-ups, for example.

Walking Home For Christmas

This charity challenge in aid of Walking With The Wounded can be as easy or as hard as you like. You simply sign up to walk a distance of your choice at some point between Thursday 13th and Sunday 23rd December. That can mean walking a couple of miles home from work rather than getting the bus, or taking on an epic 24-hour trek across a couple of counties.

Sign up | Free plus fundraising


As well as the usual Saturday events on the 22nd and 29th December, many parkruns around the UK will host special events on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. You can check if your local one is putting on an event by heading to its website. For those who want to up the ante, you are allowed to register for two parkruns on either Christmas or New Year’s Day, when events will be starting at various times so you can run a couple back-to-back.

Find your local festive parkrun | Free

Rapha Festive 500

This cycling challenge, which has been running since 2010, asks riders to rack up 500km between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. You can log your rides on Strava to be part of the official challenge, or you can pick up a Festive 500 brevet card at certain clubhouses if you want to record your rides longhand.

Sign up | Free


You’re probably thinking that’s too many press-ups, but the good news is you don’t have to do them all at once – you get from 24th December until 1st January. The bad news is that’s still an average of 111 press-ups every day. Thankfully, we’ve got some tips on how to accomplishing the pec-busting feat.

The Big End Of Year Run

This event started in the way all the best events do – a couple of people started doing it, and others wanted to join in. And by it we mean run a half marathon (or 5K or 10K) around the streets of central London on the last day of the year. This isn’t an organised event where you can expect marshals and medals – the pace is very relaxed, and you just join the group and have good old natter about what you’ve done this year and your plans for next year. And if you only want to run 5K or 10K, there are pick-up points on the route so you can join the main group.

Join The Event On Facebook | Free

Start Fitness Serpentine New Year’s Day 10K

Begin 2019 in the best manner possible by tackling this fantastic 10K around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. The atmosphere is guaranteed to be terrific, whatever the weather, which will help you complete the race no matter how bad your hangover is.

Sign up | £20

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