6 (fun) ways to stay fit in the fall - By Carrots'n'Cake
As soon as the summer ends, I always seem to struggle with sticking to my regular workout routine. There are fewer warm, sunny days and my New Year’s motivation is months away, so it's almost like I'm in no-man’s-land. But, I know if I don’t fit in some quality sweat sessions during the fall, I'll celebrate the holiday season with a few extra pounds on my small frame—and it’s tough to feel festive when my clothes are too tight! Of course, I want to stay healthy and fit all year round, so I've found that as long as I try new activities, my workouts stay fun and exciting. In the fall, in particular, this means I end up feeling motivated through the cooler months and all winter long too. Here are my favorite ways to keep fall workouts fun!
Take a hike
Hiking is a great way to get your heart pumping while enjoying some fresh air in the great outdoors. LocalHikes.com provides information on local hiking opportunities near both large and small metropolitan areas in the US, so find a place to hike and make a day of it. Grab some friends, lace up your sneakers, pack a lunch or some snacks, and get your hike on! The scenery and feeling of accomplishment after your hike are better than an afternoon at the gym any day!
Register for a fall road race
September, October, and early-November are packed with 5K, 10K, and half marathon races. Instead of trudging it out on the treadmill day after day, register for a road race to keep you motivated. First, find a training plan online (I like Couch to 5K and SmartCoach) to build up your endurance and keep you on track with your workouts—you’re training for a race after all! Then, add your workouts to your daily calendar to keep you accountable to your race training. You’ll stay motivated all through the fall and kick butt on race day! Been there, done that? Register for an obstacle course race, such as the Spartan Race, Rugged Maniac, or Warrior Dash. These kinds of races are becoming really popular because they combine fitness with fun and adventure, so you'll need to keep up your fitness to climb over walls, under barbed wire, and navigate water pits. Now, that's an exciting way to stay fit!
Create your own bootcamp
Bootcamp-style workouts are a lot of fun. Who doesn’t love a challenge? You can create your own bootcamp by doing strength and cardio exercises at home, gym, or outside at a park—all you need is a good pair of sneakers! Try this circuit: Burpees, walking lunges, push-ups, triceps dips (off a bench or curb), and sit-ups. Do the first exercise (Burpees) for 90 seconds without stopping and then rest for 60 seconds. Move onto the next exercise (walking lunges) and then do the same. Continue to work for 90 seconds followed by 60 seconds of rest for the remaining exercises. If you want more of a challenge, repeat the entire circuit two or three times.
Unleash your inner athlete
Sometimes dragging yourself to the gym can be, well, a drag, so how about joining an adult league to mix things up? Sports quite literally make a game out of working out, so you'll get your heart rate up, burn calories, and have a great time doing it. Many adult leagues hold both outdoor and indoor competitions in the fall months, and they're a great way to stretch your body and social calendar too. If you already missed the chance to sign up for a team, offer to be an alternate. When the season gets going and schedules get busy, teams often need extra players, so you'll be the first person they call.
Turn fall chores into a workout
Does it seem like fall chores take up the majority of your free time? Turn those chores into a workout! You'll get your heart rate up, burn calories, and cross those tasks off of your to do list. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! The key to turning your chores into a workout is focusing on the ones that have the highest calorie burn, like raking and bagging leaves or cleaning out the gutters on your house. To get yourself in the right mindset, throw on your sneakers and put on some rocking tunes. And, if you want a real challenge, do 10 push-ups, sit-ups, or squats every time a new song starts to play.
Offer your services
Volunteering for a community-service project, such as cleaning up a park or other green space, is a great way to add some outdoor activity to the fall season while improving your community at the same time. If you spend the whole day moving around, it definitely counts as a workout!