Now is the perfect time to begin an exercise program outdoors. Fall is a treat for the senses and a wonderful opportunity for an eco-friendly workout! Group events like pumpkin picking, corn mazes, haunted trails, and building leaf piles are fun family options. Here are three simple forms of exercise that everyBODY can enjoy:
Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise. The key to making it enjoyable is to build it into the family schedule. Plan on after dinner walks or before work and school. You can also plan family activities that involve walking such as apple-picking adventures, or nature trails at an Arboretum or Conservatory.
Fall is a great time to go hiking–low humidity, no bugs and magnificent views. Plus, hiking burns mega-calories as you increase your elevation and really work those large muscle groups. To get started, try a Trail Finder. These interactive listings let you search by activity (from birding to horseback riding), by state, by terrain and more. Check out the options in your neighborhood or at your next vacation destination with a simple-to-use trail finder. The National Wildlife Federation's Hike & Seek program supports the Be Out There campaign and is a wonderful physical and educational activity for the entire family.
Fall is probably the best time of year for running outdoors. It's not too hot, not too cold, and watching the leaves change colors each time you hit the trail can make each workout a new adventure. The National Park Service is a great tool to find a park by name, location, activity, or topic. Consider using a heart rate monitor because you will definitely be burning the calories!
- Check with your physician before you begin an exercise program.
- Try to exercise in the morning or during the day. With the time changing and it becoming darker earlier, it can feel as if it is later in the day than it really is. Getting into a routine of working out early will still allow time in the afternoons and evenings to relax.
- Be sure to perform a quick warm-up and cool-down including stretches.
- Stay well hydrated. Drink water before, during, and after physical activity.
Have fun. Happy Trails!