With routines falling out of sync across the festive season, workouts and exercise tend to fall down your list of priorities. From winter walks to taking a dip, there are many free things you can do in Wales to stay active.
Here are some activities to get your body moving and boost your wellbeing over the holidays.
Try cold water swimming at a festive swim
For a cold rush of endorphins, join one of the crowds at a Welsh beach for an icy swim in this unique festive tradition.
Cold water swimming is becoming all the rage with people looking for a mental health kick. But the popularity peaks in the last week of December when thousands of people take part in festive swims up and down the country.
You can take part in festive swims at Porthcawl on Christmas Day, Tenby on Boxing Day, or Abersoch on New Years Day. Or get involved with a cold water swimming community group like the Dawnstalkers or the Bluetits on other days across the holiday.
Take the kids swimming for free
Prefer the warmth of a swimming pool than the icy temperatures of the sea? During the school holidays, children can swim for free at local swimming pools across Wales. Bring the grandparents along with you too, as over 60’s can also benefit from free or subsidised sessions.
Splashing and swimming in your local pool is not only beneficial for your body, but it’s also a great way to clear the mind and reduce your stress levels.
Some local authorities offer free swimming for young carers and armed forces. Contact your local public pool for more information and timetables about free swimming for under 16’s and over 60’s.
Take part in a parkrun
Okay, you may have heard about the festive tradition of taking a dip in the sea but now parkrun is getting in on the act. If you’re looking for a bit of exercise with a community buzz, these 5k events will be taking place across Wales on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Newport, Llyn Llech Owain and Aberystwyth will be hosting their parkruns on both days while other venues are choosing just the one special day to plod the path. If Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are a little too busy for you, most parkruns take place at 9am every Saturday while juniors can take part in a 2k run on a Sunday.
And don’t be deceived by the name. If you prefer not to run, you can walk, jog or even be a festive volunteer – Santa hats are optional but encouraged.
Go for a casual run by yourself
A run doesn’t need to be on a special day, it doesn’t need to be organised and it doesn’t even need to be a part of a group. Sometimes you just want to get the trainers on, choose your playlist and hit the road by yourself. You can set a pace that best suits you without the worry of having to converse with a training partner.
If you’re thinking about starting running, NHS Couch to 5K can help set you on your journey. You’ll be chasing PB’s sooner than you think.