Autumn is officially here and, as John Keats said so eloquently, it’s “the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”. It can be a beautiful season, but the end of summer can also be traumatic for those of us who love the long, warm days and seeing the sun in the sky. There are, however, many positives because it’s the start of cooler and crisper weather which can make for some of the best outdoor workouts of the year.
The kids are back at school, but the days are getting shorter, and so we can feel that our chance to exercise outside is more limited. It may take a bit more planning to fit in, but the payback will be enormous as you maintain, and even increase, your fitness during the cooler months. It will also give you a ‘sling shot’ through to winter and the festive holidays without gaining weight.
Autumn Fitness………….What does it look like.
Walking – It’s one of the best ways to get in extra exercise throughout the day and, with cooler weather there won’t be much sweating, so you can fit it in throughout the day. All you really need is a pair of comfortable shoes, and some fit for purpose clothing to keep you warm and dry. Make it a habit to walk every day by picking a time convenient to your schedule, and enjoy the beautiful Autumn colours.
Hiking – Autumn is a great time to go hiking. Cool weather, no biting insects, and the potential for magnificent views. If you have some hills close by, or can travel to them, elevation will burn extra calories, and really work your legs. If you live in the city, and can get away to enjoy the countryside or the sea so much the better for both mind and body.
Running – Autumn is one of the best times of the year for running outdoors. It’s not too hot, not too cold, so is a great time for people like me to run the longest distances of the year. Whether you’re a beginner, or a seasoned campaigner, get out of the gym, watch the changing colour of the leaves, and feel the wind on your face.
Home Exercise – If you’re not a fan of the gym, then this a great time to get your home workouts on track. You don’t need a lot of equipment to create an effective home exercise plan – bodyweight exercises alone can make you fit and strong. If you have a full home gym with cardio machines, dumbbells, and barbells that’s great too. Remember though, in order to avoid injury and ensure the best possible results, make sure that you have a well thought out programme which incorporates ongoing progression.
During the Summer, we can be weekend warriors going for long bike rides, playing sport and generally getting out and being more active, but in Autumn we spend more time indoors, and may go back to the gym. This can quickly lead to boredom and burnout, so why not try something completely new?
Autumn is here, so make the most of it, get outdoors; Use this time of the year to start, maintain or improve your fitness and, don’t forget, as a part of your healthy lifestyle plan, make sure that your diet includes all of the fabulous seasonal produce that Autumn has to offer.