As the cool fall breeze blows glistening gold leaves from neighborhood trees and the sun prepares itself for another season of hibernation, your body might be more in tune with taking a long winter nap this time of year rather than springing into action for an outdoors workout. Instead of sidelining your fall fitness routine during the changing of the seasons, though, it’s actually a great time to add some special plays into your workout playbook to keep your fitness routine running strong in the final quarter of the year.
“We go by the 'commit, convenient and consistent' philosophy in our studio,” says Stacy Adams, personal trainer and studio owner at FT Central Georgetown. “I say that back to school means back to fitness. The fall season is when you should get back into fitness so you can establish a solid routine before the holidays.”
Adopt a Convenient Fitness-Friendly Fall Schedule
With mornings buzzing to get kids to school on time and afternoons filling up quickly with after-school activities, your window of opportunity for getting in your workout may seem to be disappearing quicker than the afternoon sun setting on the horizon. To keep your fitness routine on track, you may have to adjust your workout schedule to earlier in the day before everyone in the house is awake or head outside to exercise right after you drop your kids off at school.
If your kids are enrolled in after-school activities, you also can schedule your own fitness time during their extracurricular commitments. Rather than sitting on the bleachers reading a book during sports practices, walk laps around the field with a friend or go for a run around the park. By being active when your kids are busy, you can be more efficient with your time and make working out convenient with your family’s schedule.
“When you work out, your location should always be convenient to where you work and live,” Adams explains. “With the days getting shorter and darker earlier, pick somewhere close so you don’t have to waste time driving far to your workout location.”
Embrace Consistent Activity as Seasons Change
If you love exercising outside, the fall season can bring gorgeous sunsets, fabulous fall colors and cooler daytime temperatures to your workout scene. By soaking up the brilliance that nature can serve this time of year, you can rejuvenate your workout spirit to get outside, explore and actively embrace the changing of the seasons.
As weather fluctuates during the fall season, though, it can be helpful to have a few indoor alternatives lined up for when the calm fall weather quickly turns into cold, wet thunderstorms. The fall season can be a great time for incorporating new indoor activities into your fitness routine such as racquetball, fall fitness classes or strength training. The most important thing is to not let unbearable weather derail your fitness program and attitude. Instead, focus on staying consistently active for the remainder of the year by striving to do something, even if it’s only a 10-minute workout, every day.
“A lot of people enjoy being outside during the fall,” notes Adams. “It’s nice and it’s pretty out there this time of year. It’s also a great time to look for new fall programs and try out different activities to help you stay motivated.”
Commit to Lead by Example
Committing to working out on a regular basis is not only important to your health, but also to the health of your family. Parents are a huge influence on their children’s lifestyles. If you are active, then it is more than likely that your kids will be too. Scheduling your workouts just like any other appointment tells your kids that being active is important to a healthy lifestyle. But, actually following through with working out regularly shows them that you mean business.
Take time outside to be active as a family this fall – whether it’s going out for evening walks or playing football in the yard on a Sunday afternoon – to not only help improve your fitness levels, but to also strengthen the bond between family members. Enjoying a breath of fresh fall air with your loved ones can make some of the best life-long memories.
“Growing up as a kid, my family was always active. I am so thankful now for that,” reflects Adams. “As a parent, you have to practice what you preach. Any bit of activity is worth it.”
Gear Up for the Elements
With fluctuating temperatures and quickly changing weather conditions, what you wear can directly impact the success of your fall outdoor exercise experience. Dressing in layers with a moisture-wicking material at the base can help keep you dry and warm as your sweat levels rise and the outdoor temperatures cool. Reflective gear is an important piece of safety equipment any time of the year, but especially if you are being active before dawn and after dusk during the fall and winter seasons
As the conditions of the outdoor environment change this time of year, you can use all of these fitness strategies to ensure your activity levels and workout routines don’t fall to the wayside. Grab a friend or a family member to get outside, get active and enjoy the fall fitness season.