By The Active Times Editors

Chances are you’ve started your holiday shopping already. But, we’re also willing to bet that you haven’t checked all of the giftees on your list off yet.

That is, unless you’re some kind of holiday shopping freak ...


If you’ve finished your list already, more power to you. But if you’re not quite done yet, and you happen to have a gym-obsessed fitness fanatic or an adventurous outdoor enthusiast on your list, well then you’ve come to the right place.

In this year’s gift guide, once again, we’ve highlighted ideas in every price range for everyone from the runner to the gym junkie or the outdoorsman to the all-around sports lover in your life. Open the slideshow and let the gift-spiration begin!

By Catarina Cowden

Our imaginations take us to grand and colorful places that we can not conceive as a reality. But what if those colors actually existed right here on Earth?

There are places right here on our planet that are absolutely extraordinary. They defy norms and go far beyond the beauty that a typical landscape can achieve. We see gorgeous landscapes and picturesque views in even the most mundane of places. But to visualize the settings of some of our most vibrant dreams as a reality is seemingly impossible.

Jaw-dropping, other-worldly places actually exist in our world. Formed by natural occurrences, these 12 surreal places explore the artistic and dreamlike qualities that mother nature offers as reality.

By Catarina Cowden

Mornings can be rough. Especially for those of us who aren't exactly morning people; those of us who hit the snooze button time and time again, until we roll over to see we have just 10 minutes to get to work on time.

It may seem like there's barely enough time in the morning to brush your teeth, let alone sit down and enjoy a nice breakfast while filling out a crossword puzzle. But, implementing habits and a routine that allow for some downtime in the AM hours can seriously benefit your energy levels, productivity and overall happiness for the rest of the day.

There are so many easy ways to jumpstart your day that it's worth getting rid of the snooze button and getting up to seize the day. In no time, your body will be used to your newly found morning energy, and you'll be on your way to becoming a 'morning person.'

By Randi Roberts
The Daily Meal

Fighting the Thanksgiving trifecta -- calories, carbs, and fats -- may not be in the cards for you this year on Thanksgiving Day. But after all the damage has been done, you will want to repair it and be able to go back to breathing without bursting buttons.

If you're ready to reset the taste buds, slim down, and recalibrate your metabolism after overindulging, there are various "detox" plans to get your body back on track. Jacqueline Gomes, registered dietician, nutritionist, and owner of CKO Kickboxing Lyndhurst, N.J., says, "Call it whatever you like -- detox, cleanse, eating clean -- they all more or less mean the same thing: a way to rid the body of ‘toxins,’ lose weight, and return the body to a harmonious state.”

However, not all detoxes are created equal. There are extreme cleanses, some of which verge on being dangerous and debilitating. No one should try to subsist on spicy lemonade for a few days or juice for so long you almost forget how to chew, even if those programs initially make your extra inches vanish.

But there are also healthy, sound detoxes that allow you to get the nutrients and calories you need, while still clearing out the toxins. We spoke to nutritionists to help sort out which cleanses are best after that Thanksgiving binge, whether it’s the Raw Diet, going vegetarian or a juice cleanse.

Count them on, but you won’t be counting them off. You will likely consume 2,500-4,500 calories at your Thanksgiving meal. You'd have to run a marathon to burn that off. Good luck! The longest Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot you can find now is a half-marathon in Atlanta.

A morning foot race has become as much a part of the holiday tradition as the turkey itself, a rare chance to race, run or walk with friends and family up and down the generations. More Americans participate in an organized running event on Thanksgiving Day than on any other day of the year, according to our back-of-an-envelope calculation.

We count more than 1,000 Turkey Trots across the U.S., typically 5Ks or 5-milers, and ranging from the seriously competitive to serious fun. You can find one near you here.

Some of these have been trotted for more than century. The Buffalo YMCA Turkey Trot started in 1896 and claims to be the oldest continuously run public footrace in the U.S.

There are many, many small local events. Fields can number a few hundred or even a few dozen. We like the Montauk Turkey Trot held on the eastern tip of Long Island, N.Y. for that reason. As at many small Turkey Trots, winners get frozen turkeys instead of medals. The local joke is that the turkeys arrive fresh, but the cold Atlantic winds soon take care of that. Tradition dictates the prizes are immediately donated to a local seniors home. The same community experience is found at hundreds of such small Thanksgiving Day runs across America.

The Texas-sized Dallas Turkey Trot is at the other end of the scale. It is expecting more than 40,000 participants this year, making it one of the five largest running events in America at any time of the year, and sufficient to put it in the top 25 in the world. In 2011, the event set a record for the largest gathering of people dressed as turkeys. Six hundred and sixty-one, since you asked, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

Costumes are a big part of Thanksgiving races, and can win you prizes at many events. As well as turkeys, there will be plenty of male runners dressed in black breeches, black top with a square white collar and cuffs, wide buckled belt and black steeple hat—even though the first Pilgrims are now thought not to have dressed like that, or at least not until it became high formal wear in Boston from the mid-17th century onwards.

Don't let a little historical inaccuracy put you off. Pilgrims didn’t wear Nikes or any other modern shoe brand either, though you likely will be dressed as a pilgrim, turkey, Native American or just recycling your Halloween costume. Runners are naturally frugal folk, right?

The main aim of Turkey Trots is to run with family, friends and neighbors, and to start off a day of indulgence by combining exercise with good works for local charities. Some communities hold their Turkey Trot the weekend before Thanksgiving so that the money or food raised can get to its intended recipients on the day itself.

One of the biggest charitable events is the Run To Feed the Hungry, held in Sacramento, Calif. since the 1990s and organized by the city’s Family Services department. Tens of thousands of runners turn out to support the Sacramento Food Bank to which all proceeds from the race go.

South along the California coast, the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot in San Jose, is another large-scale race that supports a food bank. It has donated $4 million to the Second Harvest Food Bank and other local charities over its 10-year history. If you can't make the race in person, you can still run (and donate) remotely.

Fast Before the Feast, a 10K, 5K and fun run at White Bear Lake, Minn., goes for weight. This year it is aiming to donate 10,000 pounds of food -- that is five tons -- to stock the shelves of local food banks.

We have picked 10 of the most iconic, offbeat and challenging Turkey Trots, which you can see in the accompanying slide show. As well as the longest, shortest, largest and most historic, they include one where the first across the line rarely wins and one with real turkeys.

Get ready to challenge your body and fitness in new ways -- this workout combines three yoga moves with three kickboxing moves. This fitness style blend forces your body to use "non-traditional" muscles that don’t always get activated. It demands attention from the muscles called "synergistic muscles" -- the smaller muscles that support and direct the larger muscles like the quads, hams, and deltoids. By firing up these smaller, supportive muscles, you get two benefits: new muscle tone and definition, and functional training to promote good joint mechanics.

The Workout: Complete the first three exercises in order for the reps noted. Then complete the next three exercises, each for one minute on each side. After finishing this circuit of the six exercises, rest for one minute, then repeat the circuit two more times for a total of three sets!

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