Fall is officially here! Crisp air, fall scents, beautifuly changing colors, falling leaves and wearing my favorite sweaters are just a few of the reasons I love this time of year! Of course, at our house, fall also means that the kids are getting excited for Halloween and trying to decide what they want to be (which is pretty much changing daily at this point). With so much to think about, a lot of the time, fitness gets pushed by the wayside….uh-oh, that’s no good!
With Autumn whisking us into cooler weather, there are a myriad of outdoor activities that become a lot more comfortable for most people to participate in. Cycling, hiking, in-line skating and walking are all excellent forms of exercise made that much more enjoyable with all of the beautiful foliage to admire in addition to the sound of crunching leaves underfoot. In addition, backpacking, kayaking and canoeing are all excellent total body workouts if you’re near an area that allows it. Don’t forget that raking all those leaves that are about to fall is an awesome workout in and of itself!
Fall means sports. It is interesting to watch the people that come in and out of the gym. You can tell what time of year it is simply by the high school athletes that come in for practice. If you are not personally involved in a sport, perhaps you have a child that is? I have several clients that, rather than dropping their child off at practice, stay there with them and walk the perimeter of the building, a nearby track or the parking lot. That’s an awesome way to get in some cardio!
Fall days are definitely shorter on daylight, but just because it is dark outside doesn’t mean you can’t exercise! You’ll need to be smart and safe about it, but it can be done! If you’re going jogging outside, make sure to wear appropriate attire, a reflective vest and light colored clothing, and carry a flashlight as well. Using park trails or outside tracks to avoid areas where there is sure to be traffic is another good idea. If you’re going to be biking, attach a headlight to your bike to allow for better sight as well as to alert others of your whereabouts.
Another thing to remember if you choose to be outside in fall is to wear layers. Three layers seems to be the best choice, in my experience. The first layer should be made of a fabric that is moisture wicking (you don’t want sweat to stay on your skin, you’ll get chilled). The second layer should be for warmth (I like fleece) and the third layer to protect you (such as a wind breaker). If you’re going out while the sun is still up, don’t forget your sunglasses. UV protection is important all year long, not just in the summer.
Don’t forget that with Fall here, winter is just around the corner and winter means CHRISTMAS. Countless people each year fret about the pounds during hte holidays. Getting a running start now is the best Christmas present you can give yourself and all your loved ones. It means you’ll already be in the habit of exercising and watching what you eat so the holidays won’t feel so overwhelming…and that means a healthier you! What’s not to love?