10 Tips for Fall Fitness
Fall is a super season for shaping up, experts say.
How many New Year's Eves have you spent sipping champagne and vowing to get
more fit in the coming year? And how many times have you failed to follow
"December 31 over a drink is too late to set goals and make
promises," says Justin Price, owner of The Biomechanics, a personal
training and wellness coaching facility in San Diego, Calif.
Fall, on the other hand, is a great time to start a fitness program because
"'you're going to create good habits for the holiday season and the
upcoming winter months," says Price.
Chris Freytag, a fitness instructor and fitness expert with
Prevention magazine, agrees.
"With the change of seasons comes a renewed time to rethink and
restart," she says. "'What's so special about January?"
Besides, says Freytag, a mother of three, moms with school-aged kids
"think of September as the new year."
Here are 10 ways to start making the most of the season. And who knows? This
year, you might be in great shape before that New Year's Eve party rolls
1. Take advantage of the weather. Fall can be a treat for
the senses: the crisp air, apple picking, pumpkin carving, a gorgeous canopy of
fall foliage, and the crunch of leaves underfoot. These months are a great time
to exercise outdoors and enjoy cooler temperatures.
"Walking, hiking and cycling are all awesome in the fall," says Todd
Durkin, MS, fitness coach and owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego,
Discover park trails and take in some new scenery, whether you're walking,
biking, or in-line skating, he suggests.
In places where snow falls early, try cross country skiing or snowshoeing.
Or, if you live near the beach, get out and play volleyball, throw the Frisbee
around, or play a vigorous game of fetch with your dog.
"It's a great time to do beach activities because it's so much less
crowded," says Price.
If you're near a lake, try kayaking or canoeing, for an excellent whole-body
workout and a great change of pace.
And remember, it doesn't have to seem like exercise to be a great
"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