Fall Fitness: Hold On to Summer with These Outdoor Exercise Activities

Close up of runner’s feet running in autumn leaves training exercise

My favorite time to run is in the fall! When’s the next 5K?

While it isn’t quite brisk yet here in North Carolina, yesterday was the first day of autumn! If you like exercising outside during the summer months, here’s some good news: when the season ends, you don’t have to move your workout indoors. Cooler weather, colorful scenery, and fewer crowds can make exercising outside in autumn the most enjoyable workouts of the year. Try any of these outdoor fitness activities this fall and let a little summer back into your exercise routine.

Practice yoga outdoors. Hot yoga at the studio may be all the rage, but practicing yoga outside is refreshingly peaceful–and scenic. Yoga classes are offered at all kinds of outdoor venues, including wineries, rooftops, and stadiums. Check your local paper or look online for a class that piques your interest. Then enjoy the crisp, cool air while you work on toning, strength, and balance. Namaste to that!

Hit the lake. Don’t let the cooler water temperatures keep you from enjoying some lake exercise in the fall. Throw on a wetsuit and have fun paddle boarding, water skiing, wakeboarding, or swimming–without all the boat and beach traffic of the summer. Of course, you don’t have to get in the lake to get exercise. Why not kayak, canoe, or row for a great way to work your biceps, shoulders, and core?

Go park hopping. Parks have a myriad of fitness activities at your disposal, and with the kids back at school, there’s more room for you to do what you like. Check out the trails, try inline skating, or bring your dog and toss the Frisbee. Whatever your fitness flavor, parks have it all in the fall. Don’t limit yourself to one park, though. Hop around, and get a different workout in each time.

Run stadium stairs. Take a break from the stair mill at the gym and get some fresh air. Go to your local stadium or park and run up and down the bleacher stairs. This is a great booty and cardio workout. Finish up with push ups on the track or tricep dips on the bleacher benches.

Join a fall league. If you enjoy competing in summer sports, like tennis, volleyball, or golf, don’t quit playing just because it’s fall. Why not join a fall league? Some of the most popular warm-weather sports are extra fun in autumn when cool temperatures make them more comfortable for playing. Look for fall leagues through your local parks and recreation department or start one with friends.

Tackle the chores. Did you put off doing chores this summer? There’s no better time than autumn to get them done–and get fit. Many fall outdoor chores, such as chopping wood, raking, and cleaning gutters, involve moderate to vigorous exercise. Besides getting a good workout, you’ll feel useful and productive. Just be sure to stretch, stay hydrated, and take breaks when needed.

Don’t let the end of summer change your exercise plans. Fall outdoor fitness can be even more fun than exercising outside in the summer. Take your pick of the season’s activities, and enjoy a great workout in the comfort and beauty of autumn.

Krista Sabol manages the fit life one rep at a time. She’s a wife, mother, business woman, fitness enthusiast, NPC bikini competitor, and blogger.

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