As autumn approaches, the temperature drops and the days get shorter. While you might be tempted to hunker down indoors and stay warm, this time of year is the perfect occasion to get in shape. Here are some top tips for autumn exercising.
Walk in the woods
Easily one of the most visually stunning periods of the year, autumn is a wonderful time to get outside and immerse yourself in the colourful foliage. Take a walk in the woods or park and breathe in the sights and sounds of this most endearing of seasons. Autumn really is a feast for the senses so enjoy it before its colours fade into the grey of winter. Researchers have found that spending time amongst trees, also know as forest bathing, brings benefits to both the mind and the body.
To add extra interest to your autumn expeditions, forage for berries or go pumpkin picking at a local farm. Getting in tune with nature and the seasons keeps us grounded and is a tonic for reducing stress and anxiety.
Rake the leaves
Summer might be behind us but you don’t need to retire your gardening tools to the shed for the winter just yet. There are still plenty of jobs to be done in the garden that can carry into autumn and beyond. In particular, as the trees start to lose their leaves, rake them up and place them into bags to make leaf mould, a free soil conditioner for the garden. This satisfying task not only gets you out in the fresh air, but a 45-minute leaf-raking session could help you burn around 235 calories. Other jobs to do now include pruning, sowing bulbs and improving the lawn, all of which count as exercise.
Hit the beach
While you’re not likely to experience the high temperatures of summer that make bathing in the sea a tempting proposition, autumn is still a worthwhile time of year to visit the beach. With the summer crowds long since gone, you can have vast swathes of sand all to yourself – ideal for running, walking or flying a kite.
Set new goals
Many people set goals early on in the year, focusing on getting their body beach-ready for the summer. But, what happens once summer has past and autumn looms on the horizon? It’s time to set new fitness goals. Think about what you want to achieve for the coming months ahead. Perhaps you feel inspired to run a marathon next year, if so, now is a good time to start training. Maybe you’re planning a skiing trip over winter, in which case, autumn is the ideal period to get your muscles into gear so you don’t hit the slopes aching.
Join the gym
It’s good to get outdoors as much as possible in autumn to soak up vitamin D from the sun before it sinks lower into the sky, but if the darker nights make it harder to fit in exercise outdoors after work, consider joining the gym instead. Many people join a gym at the turn of a new year, but autumn is as good a time as any to become a new member.
If you do manage to make it outdoors for some exercise, layer your clothes so that you feel comfortable and warm, and make sure you can be safely seen by wearing light or reflective clothing.
Autumn is a top time of year to purchase a bike, as new models tend to be released after the summer months, which means you can often bag a bargain on an older type. It goes without saying, but if you take up cycling in autumn, always wear a helmet and put lights on the front and rear of your bike when it gets dark.