fall time activitesSadly, summer’s over – the days are getting shorter, and the mornings chillier.

All those fun summer activities that helped you burn calories, stay fit, and stock up on healthy vitamin D won’t be feasible for much longer. How will you keep fit as the cold weather season approaches?

Fall doesn’t have to mean packing on the weight while hibernating in front of the TV. Cooler temps may mean the end of weekend beach fun and hours of fat burning action in the local pool; but it doesn’t have to mean the end of healthy, outdoor, fitness-enhancing activity!

Here are 12 ways to cold weather proof your workouts, and enjoy the season while keeping fit.

Seek Out Fun Fall Activities

Every season of the year has its unique charms:

Winter – Has the joys of the holidays and New Year’s fun. The beauty of falling snow turns local parks into a fairy land of new and inspiring sights.

Spring – Brings warm breezes, sunny days, and the rebirth of new flowers, green grass, and longer days.

Summer – Is when every weekend is a chance to enjoy sun, surf, icy treats, and endless days of outdoor action.

Fall – Is traditionally a spooky time of haunted houses and the melancholy that comes with summer’s end and a return to school runs, cold rain, and swiftly shrinking daylight hours.

I think autumn gets a bad rap; Halloween parties are a blast, picking pumpkins for jack-o’-lanterns, that smoky smell from freshly lit fireplaces around your neighborhood, and the prospect of Thanksgiving just on the horizon makes September an exciting time!

Instead of the pool or beach, you have apple picking, long walks under brightly colored fall leaves, and no more worries about overheating on your daily jogs.

How About Something Different?

leaves on a benchWhatever your fitness routine was during the summer; you’re sure to be a little bored with it by this point. Why not make fall the time to try something new?

How about taking dance classes at a local studio or getting into indoor cycling? There are so many ways to stay active that you can always find something new to get excited about.

Variety isn’t just the spice of life – it’s the best way to beat boredom and stay enthusiastic about working out!

Find Ways to Fit In Working Out

Fall means school runs and after school activities that can keep you sitting around for extended periods of time; how about fitting in some calorie burning action while you wait?

If you’re waiting for ballet or karate to let out, try finding a quiet corner to do a series of yoga moves or calisthenics exercises. Hanging out on the sidelines of a football or soccer practice? Then come prepared to do sprints on an unused section of the field!

Stay Hydrated

Regardless of the temperatures outside, your body still needs to stay hydrated.

It’s easy to forget that simple fact as the air cools and we bundle into jackets and sweaters. Exercising in cool weather still draws moisture out of your body through both respiration and perspiration. Bring water with you whenever you enjoy outdoor, physical activity.

Get Enough Sleep

pumpkins freshly cutDaylight savings time and the growing periods of darkness can disturb your sleep patterns.

Not getting enough sleep can make you crave sugary snacks and encourage your body to put on unwanted weight. Make sure that you’re getting the amount of sleep that you need to wake refreshed and ready for the challenges of the day.

Chores Are Exercise Too

Whether you’re raking leaves, prepping the garden for next year, or chopping wood for the fireplace; you’re also burning loads of calories and exercising your muscles as if you were at the gym!

Take advantage of these typical fall chores to enjoy healthy and productive exercise that will help keep you ‘beach body’ trim until the warm weather returns.

Increase Your Visibility

Shorter days mean that you’ll probably find yourself getting your outdoor exercise under a dark sky.

Wear a reflective safety vest, led safety lights, and carry a flashlight with you to ensure that motorists and others know where you are on bike rides or runs through parks, town or down quiet roads.

Dress Appropriately

fresh applesAs chilly as you may feel before you get started, once you’re moving you’re going to heat up.

If you wear a single layer of heavy clothing, you may find yourself uncomfortably sweaty under that jacket or thick sweater. Instead, you should dress in layers, preferably relying on sports clothes designed to wick moisture away from the body.

Dressed appropriately it’ll be easy to open a couple of zippers or undue a few buttons as you heat up during your workout.

Give Your Fitness a HIIT

It’s understandable that the typically dreary autumn weather doesn’t encourage spending too much time outdoors.

Consider incorporating high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise into your routine.

HIIT workouts can be as simple as sprinting in for 5 cycles of 30 seconds running with 10-15 seconds of rest between sets – studies have shown that HIIT is an effective way to build fitness and burn fat without the time commitment that more conventional training can require.

Avoid Temptation

pumpkin pieThis is probably the hardest thing anyone can try to do over the cold weather season.

Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and cozy nights spent on the couch – there are too many opportunities to indulge in tasty sweets and other calorie rich foods. You need to remind yourself that the more you give in; the harder it’s going to be to look trim come spring and summer.

Rock Your Favorite Tunes

Nothing motivates you like listening to your favorite tunes while you’re working out!

Take inventory of the songs you’ve been listening to all summer and change it up. Find new music that will put pep in your step and give you that push you need to get through that tough, last 10 minutes of training.

It’s All about Your Attitude

Summer’s over, get over it.

You can’t do anything about the weather, but you can absolutely change your attitude. Focus on the best things about fall and winter; there’s a lot to love:

  • No more stifling heat
  • Enjoying that hot cup of tea before bed without breaking into a sweat
  • It’s not ‘too hot’ to exercise anymore
  • You can wear your favorite sweater again

Most importantly; you get another chance to shock everybody with how good you look when it’s beach time again!

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George Citroner

GW Citroner is a Hudson Valley, NY based writer whose work has appeared in over 20 publications and on an incredible range of Health & Wellness topics.

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