Autumn is a transitional time of year. The leaves on the trees change, it becomes darker earlier, and the temperatures cool down. It is a favorite time of year for many people. However, these same changes can also lead to stress for individuals who tend to fall off the health and fitness wagon during the transition. There are many enjoyable opportunities to remain fit, or even begin a fitness program in the fall that can work for everyone. Planning for seasonal changes, finding support from group exercise and embracing events and activities that the season has to offer are key factors in staying fit through the transition.
Take Advantage of Autumn Activities
Autumn group events like pumpkin picking, corn mazes, haunted trails, and building leaf piles are active options that can also be fun bonding experiences for family and friends. Organize a weekend trip or local get-together with an autumn theme and plan to be active.
Get Involved in Community Events
With the fall season come many holiday-themed local fun runs and events. Look in the newspaper for Halloween runs, turkey trots and reindeer romps. According to a 1991 summary report by ERIC Digest, training for a specific goal such as a race increases adherence to an exercise program. Signing up with friends or family will hold you accountable for completing the training.
Head to the Trails
Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year for getting outside. Grab a friend and find some local parks or trails to walk, run or bike and take in the view of changing leaves.
Dress for the Weather
When weather gets cooler, it can deter people from going outside to work out. This problem can be mediated by wearing wind-shielding clothing and dressing in layers. Proper attire and accessories (hats, gloves, etc.) that cut down on bulk but still allow for warmth make outdoor fitness more enjoyable as the chill of fall approaches
Stay hydrated even when the temperatures cool down. People often feel less thirsty when it is not hot outside, but staying hydrated is just as important in the fall as it is when the sun is blazing. When fall rolls around, remember to stay on top of your fluid intake to help with both exercise recovery and appetite control.
Drink more tea to warm up for the cooler temperatures. Green tea and black tea contain antioxidants that help ward off diseases during flu season so you can remain healthy and active as the season shifts.
Avoid Holiday Candy
According to the National Institutes of Health, on average, non-obese adults gain about a pound a year around the holidays. In addition to creating unhealthy habits, accumulation of this weight over time can lead to obesity. Be sure to pack lots of healthy snacks to munch on throughout the day to help deter you from grazing on sweets that pop up in the office, at home or at holiday parties.
Turn Fall Chores into a Workout
According to Health Status, a 150-lb. person can burn 135 calories by raking leaves for 30 minutes. Turn outdoor chores into a game by setting small, achievable goals to help pass time and burn away fat.
Exercise Early in the Day
Try to work out in the morning or during the day. With the time changing and the sun setting earlier, it can feel as though it's later in the day than it really is. This can make people more tired than usual. Getting into a routine of working out early will guarantee the workout gets done and still allow time in the afternoons and evenings to relax.
As the weather cools down and summer ends, it can become difficult to stay motivated. Trying a variety of different activities and varying workouts will help keep a fresh spin on exercise and allow for confidence to build within a wide range of activities.