Chilly mornings, changing leaves, and crunchy apples signal fall’s arrival, and with the stunning change of scenery comes comfort food, bulky sweaters, and cozy nights at home. Yet, as beautiful as this season is, it can be difficult to summon motivation for physical activity as the temperatures start to drop.
The key to making exercise a part of your daily life is to up the “fun” factor — if you enjoy the activity, it won’t feel like another thing on your “to do” list. Not only does physical activity help you manage stress, it also boosts your mood, reduces your risk of chronic diseases, and contributes to your overall self-esteem and well-being. Here are five ideas to keep you active this fall while still enjoying everything the season has to offer.
Rake leaves. This one comes with a bonus. Those pesky leaves need to leave your yard, and they can’t do it on their own. The solution? Buy a rake and get to work. In just a half hour a 165-pound person burns about 150 calories racking. If you have kids, recruit them into helping and, if necessary, bribe them with jumping into a leaf pile afterwards! If you don’t have a big tree, volunteer to rake someone else’s yard. This will make for great memories while being productive and active at the same time.
Go to a corn maze. Fall is known for pumpkin patches and corn mazes, so take advantage of those seasonal activities and make a day out of it. Walking around the corn maze is a great way to be active while still enjoying yourself, and if the maze is really large, you could be out walking for an hour or more! That could be up to 5,000 extra steps, depending on the maze size, which is half of the recommended daily steps. For added fun, bring your friends and family along to enjoy the experience.
Enjoy nature. Whether you decide to go outside on your lunch break or take the dog for a walk in the evenings, enjoying nature is key this time of year. With so many gorgeous colors to look at, how could you not want to soak it all in? Try to make time this season to take the family on a walk around your neighborhood (or even a nature hike) to see all of the changing leaves. This fun activity has multiple benefits, as it makes for a great photo opportunity, fills your lungs with fresh air, and allows your body to move.
Go apple picking. Apple picking is the perfect blend of fun and exercise, as this activity allows you to spend all day outside. Other than benefiting from the crisp, delicious apples, you get to walk around the orchard and help increase your recommended daily step count, which is around 10,000 steps a day. Plus, you can invite your friends over for delicious apple treats when you get home.
Buddy up. For most people, exercise is much better when it’s sweated out with someone else, so recruit a friend to share the fun. Whether you go on a nice morning stroll through the park or meet up at the gym, find someone who you can stay accountable with and still enjoy yourself. Remember, exercise is all about having fun, so make sure you find someone who is just as excited about staying active as you are.
With so many exciting options, you’re sure to stay happy and healthy this fall season. What are some of your favorite fall activities? I’d love to hear them!