The air is getting crisper. The days are getting shorter and schools have started back. Yes, fall is here.
The end of summer can seem like a sad time, but you have to admit there’s something about cooler days. Cooler days can help breathe new life into your outdoor fall activities.
You often think of summer with outdoor activities, but you can do many of those same activities in the fall.
Actually, for some it might be more enjoyable because it isn’t as hot. The heat and humidity have begun to simmer down and you can be outdoors for almost ever.
There also are many benefits to outdoor exercise according to the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. The benefits include mental and physical well-being from taking exercise in the natural environment.
Fall activities usually include apple picking and pumpkin patch visits, but there are so many more things you can do alone or with your family.
Explore park trails
Parks and forest trails offer the opportunity to explore new scenery whether you are walking, running or biking.
Whether you’re going for a hike or running the trails, a softer surface can reduce the impact on your joints.
Go for a walk
Walking is one of the easiest ways to exercise outside. With cooler weather, you don’t have to worry about sweating as much, so that may make it easier to be active all day long.
All you really need is a good pair of walking shoes. You can work it into your daily life:
- Make it a habit to walk every day when you get home from work or at night after dinner.
- Get up 10 minutes early and start your day with a brisk walk around the block.
- Get to work a few minutes early and take a few laps around the parking lot.
Fall is a great time to go hiking. Depending on the location you can get some amazing views while burning calories.
Just a couple reasons to add hiking to your routine:
- It works multiple muscles: Hiking up and down even small inclines involves the glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and your core.
- If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time inside working. Hiking lets you get back to nature and clear your head.
If you’re in a flat area, try a lake, forest preserves or bike trails that allow you to enjoy the outdoors.
Fall is probably one the best times of year for running outdoors. It’s not too hot or cold. The change of leave colors can also be something to enjoy while you are out on the pavement for a run.
The real key to making fall running more comfortable is to dress in layers. Before your body warms up, you may feel chilled, but once the blood gets pumping, you’ll probably feel overdressed.
I recommend wicking fabric that will pull moisture away from your skin so you’re not exercising with wet clothes hanging on you.
Hit the water
You can still enjoy the water in the fall. If you’re near a lake, try kayaking or canoeing. It’s an excellent full-body workout and a change of pace.
Apple picking and pumpkin patches
Apple picking, pumpkin patches and corn mazes are three tried and true activities for families and kids.
You’ll find most orchards offer more than just apple picking, so you’ll likely have other family activities to choose from like a guided orchard tour, farmer’s market, or a horse-drawn wagon ride through the orchard.
Visiting a pumpkin patch is a popular autumn activity among kids and adults. You’ll typically find pumpkin picking, corn maze and more.
Fitness as a part of your daily life
You may not always be able to go to the gym or get outside for an organized fitness workout. So, plan how you can make movement part of your day. Here are some ways you can do this:
- Park farther away from your destination.
- Skip the elevator. Take the stairs.
- Walk during lunch.
- Move during your kids’ events. Take advantage of kids’ sport practices and games to move during these activities. While your kids play, walk or run the perimeter of the field/track. You also can lunge, squat or do push ups.
- Rake leaves. Raking leaves and outdoor yard work burns a lot of calories.
- Schedule walking meetings.
What’s your favorite fall activity?