The fall season sometimes has a way of slipping by us. The steady transition from the heat of the summer months to cooler temperatures and fewer hours of daylight soon dissolves into endless days of cold, snow, and, too often, inactivity.
Whether you’re waiting in anticipation for the first good snowfall of the ski season or anxiously looking toward warmer, sunnier days, maintaining a consistent level of physical activity in the fall is not only good for your physical and emotional health. Still, it is an ideal time to get outdoors and be active.
Here are five things that will help you stay healthy and fit through the fall that will hopefully help ease the transition into winter.
1. Enjoy the Weather
The fall season is an occasion to venture out to the parks and trails to take in the scenery. Whether taking a bike ride, a morning jog, or a day hike, getting outdoors and doing something physically active can be a pleasant routine throughout the season.
Sometimes, heading out for a casual walk and enjoying the open air can be the best workout. The idea is to find something that motivates you to get outdoors to savor some of the best conditions of the year.
2. Integrate Activity Into Your Routine
When regular exercise becomes part of your lifestyle, it doesn’t seem like exercise because it is merely a part of your everyday movement. Walking or cycling to work and running errands have become commonplace over time.
Even just setting aside an hour or two during the day to do something purely physical can tear you from a sedentary lifestyle or encroaching cold weather inactivity. It may not be as easy to rouse yourself for that morning jog during the fall, but it is well worth the effort.
3. Commit to a Schedule
At times, life itself can seem like one large schedule, but in instances of staying motivated and productive, having a defined schedule can produce lasting organization and discipline. You’re more likely to adhere to a healthy lifestyle when you make living healthy a routine.
During the reduced daylight hours of fall, it’s important to plan your outdoor activity a little more precisely. Dedicating 3 or 4 days a week to doing something outside is a good way to take advantage of the fall conditions and manage your exercise regimen. Staying consistent is important to integrating fitness into your daily life.
4. Try New Activities
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle goes beyond just physical workouts, and new activities don’t always have to be aerobic. Explore opportunities to increase your overall wellness.
Look for mentally and emotionally engaging activities that challenge you. Play chess, read more books, take an art class, do yoga, participate in community events, or enjoy the charm of the fall season in whatever capacity rejuvenates you most. Staying healthy requires a holistic approach to activity—mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
Staying consistent is important to integrating fitness into your daily life.
5. Adjust to the New Season
The transition from fall to winter can be emotionally stressful due to the fewer hours of daylight, consistently cold weather, and diminished outdoor activity. By beginning to adjust your lifestyle to the changing season, you can still find plenty of opportunities to stay active and enjoy the outdoors—skiing and snowshoeing, anybody?Just because the sun sets earlier, doesn't mean you can’t enjoy outdoor exercise. Cycling and jogging at night can be enjoyable, though make sure you dress in layers, wear comfortable shoes, and illuminate yourself as needed. If all else fails, however, there is always the gym!