Fall is approaching – the leaves are turning colors, school is back in session, and before you know it, the holiday season will be upon us. Whether fall means back to school, or just signals the end of summer, it’s important to stay active as the days grow shorter and busier. Ultimately, fall is a great time of year to reassess your health and fitness goals before the holiday season swings into gear.
Here seven tips to help you stay active and healthy during the fall:
Take advantage of the weather.
Cool mornings and warm afternoons make fall an optimal time of year to exercise outdoors. Head to a local park or hit local hiking trails for a win-win situation. It’s about a 1-mile walk around Earl Reservoir or you can head over to the Heritage Trail in Monroe, which extends 11 miles to Goshen. You can walk, run or bike and take in the beautiful foliage while improving your health and fitness.
Pick the right surface.
If you suffer from any type of joint pain, walking on nature trails helps reduce repetitive stress caused by treadmills or paved surfaces. A local track is also a good option as the spongy
surface is just the right balance between soft and sturdy. You can even head to your local mall if the weather isn’t cooperating.
Enjoy seasonal activities.
Some family fun ideas are only options in the fall, such as walking through a corn maze, raking and jumping in piles of leaves and going apple or pumpkin picking. It’s always great to have fresh apples on hand for a snack and to make a few healthy treats with.
Be sure to bring along water and apply sunscreen for outdoor activities. Cooler temps mean you may not feel as thirsty or as warm as you do in summer months but you still need adequate hydration and sun protection.
Can’t get outside? Make a fitness game out of your favorite TV show. Do 10 squats every time a key phrase is uttered, or do pushups, lunges and planks during commercial breaks. You’ll stay active while catching up on your favorite show.
Run a race.
Do you need motivation to exercise? Sign up for a local race. There are plenty of 5k’s, 10k’s and half-marathons throughout the season. Pick one that your schedule allows adequate time to train for and is within your fitness level. A seasoned runner may not need much time to train for a 5k or 10k, while a new runner will need around 8 weeks. If you’re targeting a longer distance, it takes about 12 weeks to adequately train for a half-marathon.