As the air turns cooler and the leaves drop from the trees, it’s a great time get into shape and begin a fitness program. By choosing to do so you will create good habits for the holiday season and the upcoming winter months. Here are 5 ways to start making the most of autumn and fall into healthy exercise habits!
1. Take advantage of the weather. Fall can be a treat for the senses: the crisp air, apple picking, and pumpkin carving. These months are also a great time to exercise outdoors and enjoy cooler temperatures. Discover park trails and take in some new scenery, whether you're walking, biking, or in-line skating. In places where snow falls early, try cross country skiing or snowshoeing. And remember, it doesn't have to seem like exercise to be a great workout. Raking leaves or doing some fall outdoor yard work is another great way to get the heart pumping.
2. Think outside the box. Always wanted to learn to tap dance? Attempt to box? Master the jump rope? Ask any schoolchild: Fall is a great time to learn something new. Many classes at gyms and elsewhere get started in the fall, so look around and see if something intrigues you. And with the kids in school, parents should have more time to check out those classes. Fall is the perfect time to gain new physical skills, because you burn fewer calories when you begin a new activity (thanks to the learning curve). If you learn something new now, by next summer, you'll have mastered the skill -- and you'll burn more calories doing it, just in time for swimsuit season.
3. Be an active TV watcher. Many people get geared up for fall premieres of their favorite television shows. If you're going to sit down and watch hours of TV, get active. While you watch, you can walk or run in place, do standing lunges, do tricep dips off the couch, or lift weights. During commercials, do push-ups or sit-ups. In a one-hour show, you probably have close to 20 minutes worth of commercial interruption.
4. Deal with darkness. The best way to enjoy fall is to exercise outdoors. But it is getting darker earlier, and staying dark later in the morning, so be smart and safe. Just because it's 6 p.m. (or a.m.) and dark doesn't mean you can't work out. If walking or running outdoors, wear a reflective vest and carry a flashlight. When cycling, affix a light to your helmet or bike. If possible, use trails or a local school track to avoid vehicle traffic. Try to work out at the same time every day, so drivers get used to seeing you.
5. Dress in layers. When exercising outside, layer your clothing. Before your body warms up, you may feel chilled, but once the blood gets pumping, you'll feel overdressed. You should wear three layers: the inner layer should be a moisture-wicking fabric (also known as Dri-Fit), so it wicks away sweat and you're not chilled. The second layer should be a warmth layer, and the third layer should be a protective layer (like a windbreaker or rain slicker, depending on the weather). And don't forget the sunglasses. UV protection is important year round. Fall sun can be blinding at certain times of the day.
Source: WebMD: 10 Tips for Fall Fitness