Healthy Holiday Fitness Thinking & Linking

Contributed By Amanda Loudin, Author of Miss Zippy
Great ways to avoid feeling like the Grinch this holiday season
With Thanksgiving upon us and the madness of the holidays now officially in full swing, I’m going to check out for the remainder of the week. But before I do, I want to share with you some of the good things fellow bloggers have going on right now–ways to combine healthy living and in some cases, giving. I encourage you to use these opportunities to stay on track, keep the holiday weight at bay, and to spread some holiday cheer:
Amanda at Run to the Finish is hosting her annual Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge. This fun, creative challenge is in its fourth year now and it gets better each round. This year she is spicing it up with more great prizes, a Facebook page,Twitter chats (use hashtag #bestfoot)  and experts offering their advice and feedback. I’m lucky enough to be helping this year and I’ll be guest posting, as well as answering questions, the week of Nov. 26. Join us!
Runner’s World is hosting its second annual running streak challenge. The magazine wants to know if you can run at least a mile each day from Nov. 22 through Jan. 1. I think it’s an awesome idea, and if it weren’t for CIM, I’d be right on board this year. Maybe they’ll let me count 26.2 on Dec. 2 and spread those miles out over the month? Anyhow–get in on this fun and social way stay on track. Twitter hashtag is #RWRunStreak.
Lindsay, from the Lean Green Bean and Elle from Nutrionella are hosting an Elf for Health Challenge. For six weeks, you get and give the support of a virtual training buddy to help stay on track with holiday fitness goals. The challenge comes with daily tasks, challenges, a Facebook page, and of course, prizes. Look for updates on Twitter under the hashtag #Elf4Health.
Giving back:
With the rush of the holidays, it’s easy to forget that Hurricane Sandy wasn’t that long ago and that people are still hurting. Michele at NYC Running Mama is hosting a virtual 10k/5k (take your pick) on Dec. 8 in an effort to raise money for the Tunnels to Towers Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. Minimum donation is $20, and for every $20 you donate, you get an entry into a ginormous prize raffle ($2,500 worth of running goodies!). This will be one-week post-marathon for an athlete like me, so I do intend to muster slow miles for the cause.
Along the same vein, Kara from Kara Runs is hosting a virtual run for Sandy relief as well. The run can be any of your choosing throughout the remainder of November. She’s already raised some impressive dollars but can always use more participants. Go here to get more details.
Finally, I’m a bit late on this one, but I had to make note of the generous donation made by Christine at Love, Life, Surf. She hosted an Erica Sara giveaway on her blog. She pledged a dollar for each entry received, up to $1,000. The giveaway closed last Monday, Nov. 12, but Christine still ended up donating $1,000 to Sandy relief. Her generosity and kindness to fellow New Yorkers is nothing short of impressive. We can all take a page from her book.
I am certainly just scratching the surface here with these goings on, but wanted to make sure that you were in on what I think are some of the best ways to make the most of the holidays.  

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