One of my favorite times of year to exercise outside is during the chilly month of December. I love to bundle up at night and walk or run up and down the streets of Washington to view the town’s Christmas lights. To my pleasure, some residents leave their lights on for early morning exercisers to enjoy as well. The crisp air met with the spectacular displays relieves stress sometimes felt during the holidays and puts my mind in a place of appreciation for the season. Washington’s square offers a great starting point for a warm-up or to finish with a cool-down as every building is outlined with lights, the shops and businesses have lovely window displays and the fountain glows with the surrounding display of Memorial Christmas trees. The benches in the park also provide purpose as a great fitness tool to use for stability when completing stretches. As I move off the square, I enjoy heading west on the brick paved streets of the Boulevard. An overwhelming feeling of nostalgia hits me as I go past the old two story homes adorned with decorations. The Boulevard leads to Sunset Park where I can proceed on a path around New Dawn (playground equipment) with a lighter traffic load and I enjoy the quiet area of small hills and trees. At times, a trip back to the square may complete my exercise needs, but when I’m wanting a little longer session of Christmas lights and mileage I go south on F Avenue and make my way around the South East section of town to fulfill my quota of decorated houses. The benefits are many for exercising this time of year; I like to burn calories to help offset the extra treats I might take in and exercise helps reduce stress keeping me joyful rather than like a Grinch. I am sure to take a few precautions to maintain a pleasant outdoor experience. I choose a sweat wicking base layer and add to it with clothing according to the temperature and wind, while choosing good footwear-at times yak tracks are necessary on slippery, snowy streets. There is power in numbers so exercising with a buddy is generally how I roll. Most importantly I am always visible to others by wearing reflective clothing and lighting myself up with lighted clips…’tis the season!!