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New Year’s Eve

Find Your Stride for 2014 with a Fun New Year’s Run!

Written on December 26, 2013 at 9:53 am , by

Jump on the resolution bandwagon by ringing  2014 in stride. (Photo courtesy of NYRR)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

If you’re anything like us, you’ve already started searching for the best way to welcome in the New Year. A friend’s bash, your favorite bar or simply watching the famous ball drop from your television screen are so 2013. Why not get a jump-start on your fit resolutions instead and run your first race of the year the second it starts? From midnight party runs to New Year’s Day 5Ks, the nation is covered with fun running parties that will definitely get your 2014 started off on the right foot. And trust us, you haven’t seen a real New Year’s celebration until you’ve participated in one of these parties!

  • Ditch Times Square this year and join in New York Road Runners’ Midnight Run. Music, dancing, a costume parade/contest, fireworks and a 4-mile run at the stroke of midnight through Central Park makes for for the hottest soiree of the year!
  • Philadelphia’s New Year’s Eve Midnight 5K Run and Party is the perfect excuse to bust out your best—or tackiest—evening wear and run your heart out! Each participant will receive admission to McFadden’s New Year’s Eve Celebration (read: open bar and food) for before and after the race, not to mention a snazzy sweatshirt.
  • Take on the first sunrise of 2014 with the Brazen New Year’s Day Half Marathon, 10K and 5K race series in Castro Valley, California. Nothing will make you feel more energized and motivated about the year ahead than the beautiful trail views along Lake Chabot!
  • Not a morning person? Try Chicago’s 29th Annual New Year’s Day 5K Run/Walk! Starting at 11 a.m. in Lincoln Park, this race gives a scenic tour of the city and ends with—you guessed it—a party at O’Briens Restaurant in Old Town.
  • If you don’t feel like you’re up for a 5K just yet, join the New Yearathon in Cook Park, Oregon, and warm up to your 2014 fit goals with family and friends. The race includes 1-mile and 5K run options, so everyone can get a great workout regardless of their fitness level. Bonus: hot drinks await you at the finish line!
  • Tackle that healthy New Year’s resolution head on with Life Time Fitness and the American Heart Association’s Commitment Day 5K Fun Run/Walk held in 35 cities across the country on New Year’s Day. You’re bound to find a location near you that can help you start 2014 with a runner’s high instead of a hangover!

Not near any of these running parties? Find a fitness event near you.

More from FITNESS:

Yoga During Pregnancy: Jessica Biel Does It (in New Year’s Eve)—Would You?

Written on December 7, 2011 at 10:57 am , by

Biel flaunted her fit figure at a premiere in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

The holidays are sure a fun time to head to the cinema. Whether you prefer lighthearted family fare or awards show bait, it’s one of the best times of the year to take in a flick.

FITNESS was lucky enough to attend an advanced screening of the star-studded film New Year’s Eve last night, and besides being dazzled by the sheer number of A-listers in each scene, we were entertained by Jessica Biel’s antics as a soon-to-be mom. During one scene, she practices an amazingly graceful yoga headstand—while pregnant!

In our September issue, we reported that expectant moms often are able to achieve strength gains moderate-intensity resistance training routines (skipping on-your-back moves). But what about yoga? We turned to one of our advisory board members to learn more about om-ing while expecting.

“One recent study showed that yoga reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which, in turn, should lower the chance of premature birth,” says Michele Olson, Ph.D, professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama.

A couple other words to the wise from Olson:

  • “‘Gentle’ yoga is often practiced by pregnancy women. Hot yoga is out, though, because of the extreme heat. So are any serious seated flexion moves, like crunches or sit-up exercises, after about three months or when the abdomen is larger.” (This is true for yoga or any workout—skip the on-your-back moves while preggers.)
  • “Joints are more lax during pregnancy due to hormonal shifts, so pregnant women need to be careful not to over-stretch in yoga or any other activity.” *

So ladies who have or have had a baby on board, was exercise on your agenda during the nine months? If so, what was most comfortable and beneficial for you?

*Note: Pregnant women should always check with their doctors before starting any new fitness routines.

For those of you not expecting, you can still in shape like the New Year’s Eve stars do when not on camera:

A few last words of advice related to the movie: Stick around for the closing credits. You won’t be sorry!

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Now tell us: What movie are you most looking forward to watching this season?