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Festive Fitness: Philly’s best running routes for holiday lights

Baby, it's cold outside! Luckily, you can warm your heart and muscles this holiday season by taking your workout to the streets.  If you want to stay merry and bright during your run, then follow this holly, jolly jogging journey to enjoy all the seasonal sights Philly has to offer.

South Philly.  Nothing says Santa quite like South Philly during the holidays.  The 1600 block of South 13th Street has been called "The Miracle on South 13th Street," because it truly is a gift to those who see it.  Crush calories while you take in some of the best colorful creations of Christmas cheer.  After you feast your eyes, carb load your belly by making a pitstop for meatballs and manicotti at the Italian Market - now that's amore!

Rittenhouse Square.  If you want to feel like you are walking in a winter wonderland, Rittenhouse Square is a must.  Festive window fronts and twinkling trees create a beautiful glow to illuminate and light your way as your work up a sweat.  Whether you want to add this as a stop along the way, or do laps around the park (1 lap = .35 miles), you'll find yourself in the holiday spirit post-sprint.

Boathouse Row & the Art Museum.  Admire the bright lights and big city with a view that will turn any Scrooge into a happy holiday camper.  Whether you scurry along the Schuylkill River Trail, wind around the Art Museum, or take a stretching siesta on a bench, the city looks spectacular from every angle.  Don't worry, we won't judge you if you channel your inner Rocky by rocketing up the Art Museum stairs with a celebratory cheer at the top.

Jewelers Row.  Hey, ladies, if you are sweating it out with your sweetheart, don't be afraid to slow down for some lunges down Sansom, between 7th and 8th Streets, to point out a few favorites from your holiday wishlist.  But diamonds aren't the only thing sparkling on Jewelers Row.  If shopping isn't on the agenda, sprint down this short stretch and stand back to admire the spectacular "Season's Greetings" sign and twinkling snowflakes.

The More the Merrier.  Do you need a little motivation to get your legs moving?  On December 15, two of Philly's top running clubs, the South Philly Striders and and Fishtown Beer Runners, take over the town to enjoy the lights and sights of the season.  At 7 p.m., participants will begin their run at Toll Man Joe's, and finish at the same stop.  Runners are asked to donate canned goods to help Philabundance fight hunger.  Check out their Facebook page for more information.

The weather outside is frightful, but your run can be delightful.

Earn it.

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