get active this fall

The clocks have changed and summer is long gone so it’s natural to want to hibernate or focus on the holidays to ease the pain of the approaching winter weather. However, fall is the perfect season to get outside, take in nature or learn something new! Plus, you won’t feel so guilty come Thanksgiving dinner if you have had an active November! Here are some great ideas to get active and keep working out this fall!

1. Take Advantage Of The Weather

Fall can be a treat for the senses with the crisp air and the crunch of leaves underfoot; walking, hiking and cycling are all great in fall, so take the opportunity to discover park trails and take in some new scenery. In places where snow falls early, try cross country skiing or snowshoeing, or, if you live near the beach, get out and play volleyball, throw the Frisbee around, or play a vigorous game of fetch with your dog – being beside the ocean can be really invigorating in the colder months and it’s much less crowded. If you live near a lake, try kayaking or canoeing for an excellent whole-body workout and a great change of pace. And remember, it doesn't have to seem like exercise to be a great workout; raking leaves or doing some outdoor yard work is a great way to get the heart pumping, and it's great for burning calories.

2. Get There Before The January Rush

Everyone joins the gym in January, so this month is a great time to get there before everyone else and feel like an expert by the time the New Year’s resolutions roll around. Many gyms also have offers at this time of year as these months are usually slow for business since everyone is thinking about the holidays and puts off getting fit until January. You’ll benefit from all the benefits that exercise gives you, and what’s more, fall is the perfect time to gain new physical skills, as 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. Don’t Hit Snooze

We all know it’s tempting to stay in bed longer and put off exercising until tomorrow, or decide to hide under the covers all weekend if the weather’s terrible. But, continuing a routine of getting up with your alarm and making sure you stay active during fall will mean you’ll be more prepared when the full-on winter weather rolls in. If you feel tired in the mornings, go to bed earlier – the earlier sunsets should make this easier as your internal clock will start to wind down with the darkness.

fall workout tips

4. Deal With Darkness

Don’t dread the darkness; the best way to enjoy fall is to exercise outdoors, but it’s getting darker earlier, and staying dark later in the morning, so be smart and safe. If you’re walking or running outdoors, wear a reflective vest and carry a flashlight. When cycling, fix a light to your helmet or bike, and 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. Be An Active TV Watcher

Many people get geared up for fall premieres of their favorite TV shows, but if you're going to sit down and watch hours of TV, then this is the ideal time to also get moving! If you can record your favorite show, do that and go for a walk after dinner, then you don’t have to sit through the commercials and you’ll feel more energized after some time in the fresh air. If you want to watch live or the weather’s bad, you probably have close to 20 minutes worth of commercial interruption during a one-hour show, so use this time to do push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, tricep dips or lift weights. In addition, you’ll keep yourself occupied and avoid mindless snacking in front of the TV.

6. Dress In Layers

When exercising outside, layer your clothing. These days, there's no lack of great weather gear; the best out there is clothing with wicking, often called ‘DriFit’. This fabric takes moisture away from your skin so you're not exercising with wet fabric hanging on you and getting cold. Your inner layer should be a moisture-wicking fabric, 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. Put on a pair of sunglasses with UV protection to block out the low autumn sun and you’re good to go!

7. Strive For The 3 Cs

To ensure that your work-out program is going to be successful, you need to make sure it has all of “the three Cs”: commitment, convenience, and consistency. First, exercise takes commitment; this time of year is busy with work, school, holidays and all the other things that we use to excuse ourselves from exercise so it’s the perfect time to test if you have what it takes to go the distance. Planning is the key to weight loss success; you have to plan time for exercise just like you would plan to do anything. Put it on the calendar, because later always turns to never. Convenience means choosing a gym that's close by, an activity you can do at home, or a time when you're not likely to be interrupted. You know your routine and whether you can fit in your plan to work out, so if it’s not convenient, change it. Lastly, there's consistency; ten minutes a day is better than an hour a month, so make sure it’s something that you can do regularly, even if only in short bursts.

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