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Top 10 outdoor activities to keep you fit in fall
For those privileged enough to have traveled extensively across our Great White North, you will know that Canada always dresses herself up to the nines in the fall to unabashedly show off her splendour and charm as only she can.
It is a lovely and picturesque season as the summer gives way to cooler temperatures and shorter days while the cycle of life continues before our busy, unseeing eyes. It’s time to pull out your woollies for your walk in the trails—to dress warmly for your favourite activity. The cool crisp air in the early morning is invigorating and will make any outdoor activity easier, minus the heat of a summer sun and the accompanying humidity. Indeed, the onset of fall is an opportunity to maintain your fitness gained during spring and summer, by performing tasks you may not even think of as ‘good for your body’ exercise.
To get a jump start on your autumn workout routine, we hereby present the top 10 outdoor activities to keep you fit as a fiddle for fall:
•Raking leaves can be a good workout and the bonus is your yard work gets done. It helps build upper body strength, as well as core strength and strength in your back and stomach according to Barbara Ainsworth, an exercise epidemiologist at San Diego State University. Before you start raking, dress in layers, with a water bottle nearby. Wear a hat to keep your head warm or if it rains. There are many other outdoor chores, such as cleaning your windows or painting your house, garage, etc.
•Hiking – is a good way to keep fit while exploring beautiful trails close to your own back yard. Spend the day with family or friends and make sure to bring some snacks and water with you. If you are beginner, start with easy terrain. Bring a map or know your route and figure out how long the hike will be. Dress warmly and bring an extra change of clothes. Wear hiking or trail running shoes to avoid slipping or falling.
•Try yoga outdoors and enjoy the beautiful scenery around you. Bring a mat or blanket and dress for the conditions. Bring your favorite music with you and water.
•Consider washing your car once a week. This will help keep you in shape and you get a clean car. All you need is a pail, wash cloth and soap. Don’t forget to wash the tires – it will work those muscles. Waxing your car afterwards can be a good workout too.
•Golfing can be a good workout. Consider walking the course instead of using the cart. Autumn can be a good time to practice your golf game as well as invest in some gear. Dress in layers and keep hydrated.
•Trail running in the fall is more enjoyable because of cooler temperatures and beautiful scenery. Start with an easy trail until your fitness improves. Know the route so you will not get lost. Watch your footing to avoid tripping over roots.
•Fruit picking can be a great outdoor activity because it is low-impact and is a great family outing. Dress for the weather.
•Walking your dog is a win- win situation for you and Rover. Dogs are good walking companions that also provide safety. If you are a new dog owner start your dog with shorter walks. Walk your dog every day and try different routes.
•Biking or mountain biking can be a great workout and a good cross trainer. Bring rain gear, wear a helmet. Know your route and safety procedures. Bring water with you.
•Circuit training in the park can be a good cross trainer for the runner who doesn’t go to the gym to get that total overall fitness. Find a park that has circuit training. Start easy if you have never done it before. Do two sets of 10-12 repetitions of all moves with little rest.
The next time you see a happy dog on a trim lawn, free of leaves, surrounding a freshly painted house with a shiny car in a renewed garage, don’t be surprised if a couple of very fit people live there.
Christine Blanchette is a runner and writer. Follow her on Twitter (@christineruns) and at www.christineruns.com