What better way to get you geared up for the festive season than feeling that little bit fitter ahead of the yummy rewards? As we love running here at Great Run, each year the office HQ take part in the Advent Challenge. This involves taking part in physical activity for at least 30 minutes each day from 1st to the 25th December – and yes that’s Christmas Day too!

If you’re looking for an office challenge with a difference, check out the benefits to taking part and you’ll be sending that all-staff email before you know it.

Team spirit

No matter what your ability you can all take part in this challenge and spur each other on. To track progress, we set up a social group (you can do this on Facebook or WhatsApp) and then post evidence of your run or walk with that pretty sunrise photo or your four-legged friend in tow. Knowing everyone else is taking part and clocking up the miles really encourages you to keep going and stay active every day.

Planning your day

Planning ahead is key especially on those busy days at work or when you’re out from early morning to late at night. The challenge is designed so you can fit in 30 minutes to any day no matter how busy you are. So whether you have to set the alarm a bit earlier or go out after a long day, you’ll always feel better for doing it.

Not just for work colleagues

If you’re thinking of doing the Advent Challenge in your workplace, the activity doesn’t just start at the office door. Why not get your partner and family involved too? If you’re heading out, it makes sense to double up on the feel-good factor. It’s also another person you don’t want to let down so you’re more likely to keep up the habit.

Spend less

As you’ll be doing exercise each morning, lunch or night-time it actually makes you think – do you really want that extra mug of mulled wine or cider during those post-work festive socials? You could end up saving a little bit of money during the challenge, because you’re thinking ahead and putting your body first. We’re sure you’ll make up for it another time ;)

You can always do more

30 minutes is the minimum. So there’s nothing stopping you from going out for a longer run, or walk. Depending on if you’re training for a running event in the New Year, make sure you don’t go out too hard as you’ll need to plan in your 30 minutes recovery the next day.

Mixing it up

It’s not all about running – you can do ANY form of exercise. From walking the dog to walking to the pub instead of a taxi or even a refreshing indoor swim – anything goes. It all counts towards the challenge and means you don’t get bored or keep repeating the same workout.

Dancing at the Christmas Do

If your office Christmas party falls between the 1st – 25th, don’t fear if you can’t squeeze in your daily run or jog. Make sure you hit the dance floor to burn off those calories before rewarding yourself with festive nibbles.

Christmas shopping

You might be doing most of your shopping online this year but for one day why not head into your local town or city centre to soak up the festive atmosphere, and hustle and bustle. You’ll be burning calories for a few hours on your feet whilst picking out those gifts for loved ones. It might be pretty tiring but it all counts towards your physical activity – and you can reward yourself with a Christmas coffee or mince pie afterwards.

The end goal

Most sporting challenges end with an event or race that you’ve been training for. Well, this is the best reward – Christmas Day! You’ll take on your last 30 minutes that day – preferably in the morning on a family walk or local organised run then you can stuff your face knowing you earned it all December. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll carry on with your daily activity when 2018 arrives.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to send that mass email.