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    The American holiday calendar is kind of unfair. Think about it. We are encouraged to gorge from Thanksgiving to December 25, covering our growing stomachs in bulky Christmas sweaters—then six days later we are expected to bare it all in sequined mini-dresses, showing off toned appendages, all fit and sparkly for the New Year. 

    But let’s face it. The gym is kind of dreary this time of the year. 

    But have no fear—Louisville has a ton of festive fitness opportunities to work off those Christmas cookies, and give you a head-start on your New Year’s exercise resolution. 

    Ice Skating

    Lace up your figure skates (or hockey skates!) and head over to Iceland Sports Complex or Alpine Ice Arena. Whether you glide, twizzle, edge or stumble across the ice, you’ll feel the burn in your core, legs and glutes—resulting in mini-dress worthy legs. 

    Festive Fitness Rating: 350 calories per hour— the equivalent of one serving of mashed potatoes 

    Festive Races

    Go Santa Go 5k—December 7

    Polar Bear Grand Prix – December 14

    Reindeer Romp 4k – December 14

    Just to name a few. Depending on your speed, you can burn over 100 calories per mile.  Most holiday 5k’s are costume-friendly, so toss on your Santa hat or elf shoes and get running!

    Festive Fitness Rating: 100 calories per mile – the equivalent of 1 Christmas cookie per mile.


    For those of you who aren’t too keen on running in the sleet or falling onto a slippery patch of ice, let’s move the calorie-burning suggestions indoors. Get your heart pumping and hips moving at Louisville’s newest ballroom studio, Derby City Ballroom, run by Jani and Viktoria Szukk. Not to mention you’ll pick up some snazzy moves for New Year’s Eve parties. 

    Festive Fitness Rating: 250 calories per hour—the equivalent of a scoop of green bean casserole. 

    Other Indoor Suggestions

    Keep warm with some other fit Louisville suggestions:

    Yoga—Stretch, sweat and savasana your way to a slimmer waistline.  Check out this article here for a list of some favorite Louisville yoga studios. 

    Rock-climbing— Check out Rocksport Inc. to give your shoulders, biceps and triceps a great workout. 

    So Louisvillians, how do you stay fit in the winter? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section below. 

    Ashlie Danielle Stevens's picture

    About Ashlie Danielle Stevens

    I am a freelance food, arts and culture writer. Among other publications, my work has appeared at The Atlantic’s CityLab, Eater, Slate, Salon, The Guardian, Hyperallergic and National Geographic’s food blog, The Plate.

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