The days are getting shorter and the air cooler, but your fitness plans don’t have to fade with the summer sun. Instead of relying on a fall parka to hide what the bathing suit couldn’t, here are some ways to get a head start on fall fitness before the holiday season sneaks up.
Rake the Leaves, Torch the Fat
A 170 pound person can burn over 650 calories doing two hours of moderate activity such as yardwork. Raking leaves, chopping firewood, and cleaning out the garden are all ways to get your heart rate up while enjoying the crisp fall air. Find little ways to make yardwork an even better workout, like dropping for a set of pushups every 15 minutes.
Do a Rerun Run
Watching T.V. doesn’t have to be a sedentary activity. The average sitcom runs for 30 minutes, plenty of time to break a sweat and get in a good cardio workout. The new shows typically premier during the fall months, and it’s amazing how quickly a workout flies while engrossed in your favorite show. Don’t have a treadmill or stationary bike? No problem. Alternate jogging in place and jumping jacks, and do pushups and body squats during the commercials.
Forget New Years. Make a Fall Resolution
New Years can always be counted on for two things: too much champagne and failed resolutions. The cold and bleak winter months following January 1st are tough times to muster up any fitness motivation. You are more likely to stick to what you are already doing, so stay ahead of the game by making a fall resolution to get fit. The average American gains at least a pound during the holiday season, so resolving now to eat right and exercise can help negate that extra baggage.
Grab your Nuts and Hit the Trails
Fall is the best time of year for hiking. If you are new to the outdoor activity, trails.com has a searchable database of hiking trails by state, as well as general information regarding hiking, camping, and other outdoor recreation. Besides letting you experience the sights and sounds of nature, hiking burns a ton of calories, and more advanced hikes will also give your leg muscles a solid workout.
Workout with Granny Smith
Most apples reach peak picking stage during the fall months. Of course, you could pay top dollar for them at the grocery store, but where’s the fun (or fitness) in that? Make apple picking a workout by downloading one of the many free distance trackers on your smart-phone, and determine a set distance to reach while roaming the apple orchard. Take the whole family, log a few miles, and return home with a bag full of fresh low-calorie snacks.
The Ultimate Way
Until I actually played in a game, I never realized how tiring Ultimate Frisbee can be. According to exercise.com, a 170 pound man can burn 620 calories per hour while playing. Plus, your speed and endurance will improve after a few games. If you have never tried it, gather some friends this fall and give it a shot; it’s so much fun, you won’t even realize it’s a workout. Check out Ultimate Frisbee in 10 Simple Rules if you’ve never played.
Lift Your Way to Fall Fitness
Instead of plowing forward with your tired old weight lifting routine, make a fresh start in the gym this fall. Now that summer is over, concentrate less on ab-sculpting beach-bod exercises and concentrate on functional lifts for the next few months. Functional exercises work multiple muscle groups and focus on building strength to assist in day to day activity. Think deadlifts, bent over rows, and lunges. Come December, you’ll be lugging that Christmas tree out of the lot one-handed.