'SantaClaustrophobia' signup is already up and running

By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG

Posted 11/20/17

It is not too late to join the more than 225 people who have already decided to lace up their shoes and overcome their “SantaClaustrophobia” this holiday season. That is “the fear of …

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'SantaClaustrophobia' signup is already up and running

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It is not too late to join the more than 225 people who have already decided to lace up their shoes and overcome their “SantaClaustrophobia” this holiday season. 

That is “the fear of looking like Santa Claus.” It is also the UT Extension of Bradley County’s latest effort to inspire people to get fit. 

UT Extension agent Justin Thomas said this special version of the office’s “Bradley Walks” program is meant to “inspire people to be mindful during the holiday season and stay on track instead of dreading a New Year’s resolution.” 

“Bradley Walks,” which most recently wrapped up in May, is an annual program urging people to form teams and see which team can walk the most miles over eight weeks. “SantaClaustrophobia” is similar, except it is for individuals instead of teams. 

“It’s so hard to coordinate teams of people at a time when most employers have shut downs or extended closures,” said Thomas. “It lets folks be active and accountable with friends but doesn’t bog down their holiday friends with finding the one teammate who doesn’t report mileage.”

When participants register for the free program, they provide their personal info, including their starting weight. Each week, they go online to report how many miles they walked or ran, along with their current weight. 

As the program progresses, the UT Extension will release a leaderboard showing who is putting in the most miles, allowing people to compete for bragging rights. All participants who end up either maintaining their starting weight or losing weight between now and Jan. 7, 2018, will be eligible to receive a free T-shirt. 

Participants can use fitness trackers to keep tabs on their mileage. There is also a mileage converter available at http://walkacrosstn.org which can be used to find out the equivalent mileage of everything from a basketball game to a yoga class. 

Though fitness can tend to fall by the wayside during the busy holiday season, organizers of “SantaClaustrophobia” hope the program will help people stay fit through all the festivities. That way, they can avoid gaining a belly that, like Santa Claus', jiggles "like a bowl full of jelly." 

“Help stay on track with weight and exercise this holiday season and [have] some friendly competition,” Thomas urged. 

The program officially starts today. However, Thomas said it is not too late to join; new registrations will be accepted through Wednesday. 

To register, visit https://extension.tennessee.edu/Bradley/Pages/SantaClaustrophobia.aspx. For more information, email jthom120@utk.edu.


Inset Quote:

“It’s so hard to coordinate teams of people at a time when most employers have shut downs or extended closures. It lets folks be active and accountable with friends but doesn’t bog down their holiday friends with finding the one teammate who doesn’t report mileage.” — Justin Thomas


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