It's officially cozy season. The crisp autumn weather, savory comfort food, and warm sweaters make us want to curl up on the couch and watch a classic fall movie. As tempting as remaining snuggled up indoors is, it's still important to get our bodies moving. Maintaining a consistent routine of exercising throughout all seasons is beneficial to our overall health in so many ways.
We're familiar with the positive impact exercise has on our physical health, but did you know that it also boosts our mental health, improves cognitive function, and reduces anxiety and depression? As the weather cools, it can be difficult to find motivation for physical fitness. Just remember, remaining active doesn't always have to entail hours of lifting weights and sweating - you can find movement in many fall activities.
Hike Through the Fall Foliage
More than likely, you are in proximity to a beautiful state or National Park. A simple Google search will tell you where to find the closest one along with information on their hiking trails and the different species of wildlife you'll encounter. If hills and rough paths are more challenging for you, just step right outside into your very own neighborhood. Walking through lush foliage surrounded by hues of reds and yellows is one of the most serene fall activities there is.
Take Charge of Household Chores
Save money on yard work and cleaning by doing it yourself. Chores such as raking leaves, scrubbing the floors, and pre-planting tulip bulbs will still get your heart rate up and your body moving. Take it up a notch by walking around the house after each pile of leaves is complete or jogging up and down the stairs for every room cleaned.
Target Muscles with Pumpkin and Apple Picking
Going to the pumpkin patch is a must during the fall. Instead of opting for a wagon, carry the pumpkin yourself whether it be for 10, 15, or 20 minutes. A ten-pound pumpkin can help you burn calories as you browse for other festive goodies. Along with pumpkin picking, apple picking requires lots of walking, plus, you will be tempted to make some healthy apple dishes once you're home.
Start a Touch Football Tradition
Along with the start of fall comes the ever-so-entertaining sport of American football. Perhaps that is why touch football seems to be a tradition many families take up during this wonderful season. Not only will it get your heart rate up, but this intermittent activity is also a great way to work on coordination and balance - something that we tend to lose as we age.
Hop in a Canoe or Kayak
These two activities are great workouts that improve muscle strength, and the best part is that it doesn't even feel like exercise. It's a great way to observe the changing leaves from afar, get some fresh air, and spend quality time with loved ones. As peaceful and important as it is to sit back and relax on the water, be sure to repetitively paddle so that your biceps, triceps, and lats remain engaged.
Take a Scenic Bike Ride
No bike? No worries. Check with the city to see if they provide community bikes or take a peek at your Merritt app to see when is your club's next Cycle class. Biking is a great cardio workout that targets your entire body. Even a casual cruise through the neighborhood while taking in the fall colors is beneficial. If you want more of a challenge, try mountain biking through local trails (a mountain bike will be needed for this).
Amp Up Your Halloween Decor
Spooky season is fun for many reasons. One is the spectacular Halloween decorations that people put up outside of their homes. Building a scarecrow, hanging lights, or creating other displays for your front lawn is a great activity to do with the family. An even cooler idea would be to transform your garage into a haunted house. It may take a lot of work, but it will help you burn calories, create memories, and potentially be the coolest house on the block.
We seem to always find ourselves regretting not spending more time outdoors when the weather is tolerable. Keep this in mind as you begin to make weekend plans in the upcoming months. As cozy as a cup of hot coffee is on a cool Saturday morning, your body will thank you for the movement. There are so many fun activities to enjoy that will make you gain a whole new appreciation for fall.
If the weather isn't cooperative, many workouts can be adapted for indoors. Just head on over to your most convenient Merritt location!