The crisp, cool air and colorful, changing leaves mean autumn is officially here. But before you resort to months confined in a stuffy gym to stay active until spring, consider taking your workout outdoors. Chillier temps help keep you alert and make it harder for your body to become overheated. And, if you’re lucky enough to live near a park or wooded area, the scenery is more entertaining than TV or people-watching at the gym.
Bundle up and break free from the sound of clanging weights and pounding feet on treadmills with these fun, calorie-burning and muscle-toning outdoor activities:
Fall is a great tie to go hiking, with cool weather, no bugs and, of course, magnificent views. Plus, hiking burns mega-calories as you increase your elevation and really work those legs. Hiking works multiple areas of fitness, it focuses on strengthening your muscles by climbing but also increases your cardio endurance as well. Hiking up an incline gets your heart rate up, helping you burn calories and get fit. You’ll also be working multiple muscle groups. As you hike up and down even small inclines involve the glutes, quads, hamstrings, core, and feet. Best of all hiking gets you outside, lets you get back to nature, clear your head and helps you remember there is a world outside.
Touch football or soccer
Got kids? If not, got friends? Gather a group and head outside for a game of flag football or soccer. Sports activities are a great way to blow off steam, have fun and work out without feeling like you’re exercising. An hour-long football game will get your heart pumping, work several different muscle groups and burn off about 400 calories. When you’re finished, celebrate the win by sipping a steaming mug of hot cocoa.
Autumn is the perfect time for bike riding. Surrounded by nature’s beautiful colors and feeling the chilly breeze against your skin, you won’t even think about how much time you’ve clocked or how many calories you’re burning. But burn, you will. An hour-long ride will knock off 500 calories or more.
So it’s not your typical workout. But heading out to the country and hopping on a horse feels so fall, and it’s a surprisingly good way to work your leg muscles. You’ll also burn 350 calories an hour. Bring the kids or a friend and make it a memorable day.
Stadium training Head over to a local high school or sports stadium for a mini personal bootcamp or training session. Jog or walk around the track, do lunges across the field, climb the stadium stairs and incorporate pushups and sit ups.
Run a trail
Instead of taking a hike or running on pavement, challenge yourself by blending the two. Combining these activities works both the muscles and cardio because of the uneven and continuously changing terrain. It’s a great, challenging workout, especially if you’re already a runner. This type of running burns about 10 percent more calories than regular running and also helps develop agility, core and balance.
Run or walk for a cause
Are you passionate about a particular cause? Find a charity run and sign up! Whether you run or walk doesn’t matter. Just being there and participating is what counts, and you won’t even realize the calories you’re burning along the way.
• Be sure to stay hydrated before, during and after an outdoor workout. When the weather isn’t as warm you may not feel as thirsty and forget to hydrate. Always keep water handy in a reusable, BPA-free bottle.
• Just because it’s cool outside doesn’t mean the sun’s rays aren’t strong. Apply sunscreen before heading outdoors.