Guide to Autumn Fitness and Health
The end of summer may seem like a sad time of year, but there's something about the cool, crisp air that can invigorate your daily routine, especially when it comes to exercise.
Make the Most of the Great Outdoors!
Outdoor workouts become much more comfortable without the heat and humidity, and after a busy summer, many of us are ready to get back into some sort of fitness routine. Autumn weather provides some of the best outdoor workouts of the year in many areas.
With the kids back in school and the holidays approaching, it may be difficult to find time to exercise, especially when there is less daylight. However, challenge is at the heart of staying fit, especially with the long days of winter ahead. Starting now can help you gain the momentum you need to get through the upcoming seasons without gaining weight.
To stay in shape this Autumn, try these fantastic workouts.
Walking is one of the simplest ways to exercise outside and a great way to get some extra movement in during the day. Cooler weather means you won't be sweating as much, which may make it easier to stay active all day. All you really need are some good walking shoes and possibly some Autumn weather gear to keep you warm, dry, and protected. The key to making it enjoyable is to do it on a regular basis:
- Make it a habit to walk every day when you get home from work or at night after dinner.
- Get up 10 minutes early and start your day with a brisk walk around the block. Use the time to think about what you want to accomplish and make your to-do list.
- Plan Autumn activities that involve walking: apple-picking, hunting for the perfect pumpkin or enjoying the beautiful colours with some colourful autumn walking.
- Get to work a few minutes early and take a few laps around the car park.
To reach the next level of walking you could also use ankle and wrist weights, helping to keep your heart rate up by increasing the intensity of your walk. Check out our set here!
Autumn is an excellent time to go hiking because of the cool weather, lack of bugs, and, of course, the spectacular views. Hiking also burns a lot of calories as you gain elevation and work your legs hard. Here are a few reasons why you should incorporate hiking into your routine:
- It targets several areas of fitness: Climbing not only strengthens your muscles, but it also improves your cardio endurance. Walking or hiking up an incline raises your heart rate, which helps you burn calories and get in shape.
- It works a variety of muscles: Even short incline hikes work the glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, core, and feet.
- It gets you outside: Most people spend a significant amount of their time working inside. Hiking enables you to get outside: If you're like most people, you spend most of your time indoors working.
- Hiking allows you to reconnect with nature, clear your mind, and remember that there is a world outside.
- Hiking is a great Autumn activity: Autumn is not only ideal for hiking, but if you go at the right time, you can see incredible colours as the leaves change.
Look for small lakes, forest preserves, or bike trails in flat areas to get away from city life and enjoy the great outdoors. If you hike, make sure you have the proper equipment, such as hiking boots and a way to stay hydrated, such as our 66fit stainless steel water bottles!
Autumn is probably the best season for running outside. It's not too hot or too cold, and watching the leaves change colours every time you go outside can make each workout feel like a new adventure. The key to making Autumn running more comfortable is to dress in layers to avoid becoming too hot or cold. Next? Wearing reflective running gear ensures that people can see you if you're running in the dark.
Making Your Exercise Habit Stick
Making fitness stick is all about momentum (among other things), so if you're a beginner, start with about 3 days of exercise a week.
Do more if you can, but always start where you are rather than where you want to be. Ease your body and your mind into your new exercise schedule to minimize the risk of injury and add on as you get settled in.
Get Fit at Home
You don't need to join a gym to get back into shape. Working out at home can be just as effective, especially if you dislike going to the gym or are on a tight budget. Working out at home has several advantages, including:
- You don't have to pack a bag or drive anywhere.
- Flexibility: Having a home gym allows you to work out whenever you want.
- Variety: While you may not have access to all of the machines in a gym, you do have access to a wide range of exercise options. Workout videos, workout apps for your smartphone or tablet, or creating your own workouts are all options.
- Budget-friendly: All you really need for a great workout is your own body. As you progress beyond bodyweight exercises, you can invest in low-cost equipment like resistance bands or dumbbells.
One thing to remember is that working out at home does need some self-discipline. There is always something that needs to be done, whether it is work, laundry, or bill paying. It's all too easy to use this as an excuse to skip your workouts. Make a habit of working out at the same time every day and including a lot of variety in your routine.
Why Not Try Something New?
Summer often finds us being weekend warriors--going for long bike rides, playing sports and just generally getting out and being more active. When Autumn hits, many of us head to the gym or bring our workouts indoors and that can quickly lead to boredom and burnout. So this is a great time to try something completely different.
Tai chi is a slow, fluid activity that helps improve balance and strength while keeping you relaxed and connected to your body. It is also known as a moving meditation. Tai chi is an excellent activity for staying active on a chilly Autumn night. It can improve your mood, posture, and even your heart health. With the stress of returning to work and school, tai chi is the ideal stress-relief workout.
Yoga is a form of moving meditation that promotes balance, flexibility, and the relaxation of mind/body connections. Yoga can be relaxing or challenging, depending on the type you choose, and sometimes both. You can go to a local yoga studio, try a yoga app or videos, or even create your own set of poses.
Check out our Yoga Bundle here.
Circuit training involves selecting 10 or more exercises, either cardio, strength training, or both, and performing each one, one after the other with no breaks in between. This type of training allows you to work on multiple aspects of fitness, burn more calories, and make your workouts more interesting.