"Raking leaves or doing some fall outdoor yard work is a great way to get the heart pumping, and it's great calorie-burning," says Freytag.
2. Think outside the box. Always wanted to learn to tap dance? Attempt to box? Master the jump rope? Ask any schoolchild: Fall is a great time to learn something new.
Many classes at gyms and elsewhere get started in the fall, so look around and see if something intrigues you.
And with the kids in school, parents have more time to check out those classes, Freytag says.
Fall is the perfect time to gain new physical skills, Price says, because you burn fewer calories when you begin a new activity (thanks to the learning curve). If you learn something new now, by next summer, you'll have mastered the skill -- and you'll burn more calories doing it, just in time for swimsuit season.
3. Be an active TV watcher. Many people get geared up for fall premieres of their favorite television shows, says Freytag. "If you're going to sit down and watch hours of TV, get moving," she suggests. "Make a date with exercise and TV."
While you watch, you can walk or run in place, do standing lunges, do tricep dips off the couch, or lift weights. During commercials, do push-ups or sit-ups. In a one-hour show, you probably have close to 20 minutes worth of commercial interruption.
4. Integrate exercise into your life. You already know the obvious suggestions: park farther away from your destination; take stairs instead of elevators; take a walk during your lunch break. Here are a few that are less obvious:
- If you're spending the afternoon taking kids to soccer practice, instead of reading a book or visiting with another parent, "why not walk around the outside of the field while they practice?", suggests Price. "Or (if you feel comfortable) warm up and cool down with the kids."
- Or try "walking meetings," like those Price and his colleagues at Biomechanics often hold. '"We go for a walk, we brainstorm, and we figure out who's going to take what responsibilities," says Price. "'Things get achieved much more quickly," he says, and everyone feels better for doing it.
- You can even get moving while you get motivated -- for fitness or other life goals. '"Get some inspirational music or find a motivational talk and download it to your iPod," suggests Durkin. Walk while you listen for 30 minutes.