The change in seasons can mean a disruption to your exercise routine. As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, it is easy to fall into a rut of skipping workouts. Our bodies respond to a lack of sunlight by going into hibernation mode. This means eating more and exercising less. It is important to combat the sluggishness that accompanies the winter months by maintaining your workout regimen.
Take Advantage of What The Season Has to Offer
Exercise early in the day. When it starts to get dark earlier, it is harder to muster up the energy and motivation to work out in the evening. Let the crisp morning air invigorate you and get your blood flowing first thing in the morning. A morning workout is a great way to jump-start your metabolism.
Make the most of the cool weather. The autumn chill means an end to the oppressive humidity of the summer. This is the ideal time for hikes and bike rides. The beautiful colors of the changing leaves are a breathtaking backdrop for long family walks. Apps like AllTrails and MapMyHike will help you find nearby hiking trails and keep track of the miles you log while you exercise.
Shake Up Your Exercise Routines
Change up your workouts. Now that the kids are back in school, your schedule may have more flexibility. Many communities have created exercise groups for people looking to stay fit and meet new people. Group activities such as tennis, racquetball and soccer are all fantastic ways to burn calories and have fun at the same time. While the weather allows, these workouts can be organized at local parks and fields. When the temperature drops, move these sports inside to your local gym or indoor sports facility. Also consider Zumba, spinning or dance classes. These fun and exhilarating options are all fantastic forms of cardiovascular exercise that can be enjoyed in any weather.
Turn yard work into workouts. The amount of upkeep that our yards require in the fall can be daunting. Incorporating weeding, raking, seeding and planting into your exercise routine is a practical way to keep your property looking great while getting in your workout fix at the same time. The next time you look out and see a mountain of leaves on your lawn, consider that raking leaves for a half an hour burns 150 calories. That should be a great motivator to grab a rake and head outside for a fall clean up.
Stay Warm, and Stay Safe
It is very important to stay safe during your outdoor fall workouts. If you do exercise outdoors in the evening, remember that it gets dark much earlier. Don’t get caught jogging or biking in the dark without reflective gear on. Dress in layers to avoid catching a chill or getting overheated. Keep your head and fingers protected by wearing a hat and gloves when exercising outdoors. Also, remember to hydrate. Just because you are not sweating as much, you can still become dehydrated if you are not drinking water consistently while you exercise.
One last bonus for keeping up with your workouts during the colder months: the hormones our bodies produce when we exercise can help to boost mood and immune function. So grab your jacket, hat and gloves and enjoy the beautiful fall weather!