For many of us, the summer was near-endless. Brutal temperatures took the fun out of outdoor exercise. And now, Mother Nature is rewarding us for our patience. The temperatures are beginning to fall even so slightly. Crisp air not only brings relief; it opens up the outside once again. Fall is the perfect occasion to take your workout outdoors. Without the oppressive heat and humidity, your only limit is your imagination. Need some inspiration?
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Rake and bag the leaves in your yard – or volunteer to help an elderly neighbor. Manual labor can elevate your heart rate just as fast as a traditional cardio workout.
- Take your run to a new trail or path in your neighborhood. For starters, varying up your route helps eliminate boredom. Exposure to different surfaces (sidewalk, grass, street, trail, sand) also could help you avoid overuse injuries and strengthen your leg muscles.
- Go for a hike, and take in the fall scenery. Don’t have the foggiest idea where to find a hiking trail in your area? Check out these suggestions.
- Set your alarm for a few minutes earlier (it’s a good habit, anyway!), and treat your dog to a good, brisk walk before the day begins.
- Take the kids to your local park for a good game of Frisbee.
- There’s no time like the present to try a new sport. Head to an area lake for canoeing or paddle boarding.
- Take an evening bike ride while the sun sets, and feel the stresses of your day melt away.
- Train as a family for a 5K. You can almost always find a 5K in your community, and many of them are likely to be themed races, which just makes these events that much more fun.
- Try an outdoor boot camp. What sounded torturous in July may be a fun way to work out with your friends in November. Community boot camps have become wildly popular in recent years for the camaraderie and convenience they offer busy adults.
With shorter days and longer nights, changes in daylight can leave you feeling low on energy. Now is the time to practice a bit of self-care, making sure that you fuel your body with the right nutrition, get plenty of sleep and block out time for exercise on your calendar. Keeping your commitment to fitness is one of the best ways to boost your mental and physical health throughout the fall. Smart decisions now establish good habits that can help keep you on the right track during the winter months.