Fall is a great time to enjoy exercise in the great outdoors. With all the color and beauty of the fall foliage and the cooler crisp air, outdoor activities can be a fun alternative to the same old workout routine. Remember exercise doesn’t have to seem like exercise to be a great workout. Here are a few options.

Head to the Trails

Discover park trails and take in new scenery, whether walking, biking, or running. The uneven terrain and inclines encountered on hiking trails forces the body to work harder than walking on a flat surface. That means you’ll be recruiting more muscle fibers (to adjust to the terrain) and challenging your balance. That translates to a bigger calorie burn than walking alone. Plus, the scenery, sounds and scents along the way are so beautiful that you’ll forget you’re huffing and puffing as you climb the hills!

Take Advantage of Autumn Activities

Autumn group events like apple picking, pumpkin hunting, corn mazes, haunted trails, and building leaf piles are active options that can also be fun bonding experiences for family and friends. Organize a weekend trip or local get-together with an autumn theme and plan to be active.

Horseback Riding

Many national parks and city parks offer horseback riding. Further, rural and suburban areas throughout the country have horse farms. Horseback riding is great if you love animals and want to feel connected to nature. Horseback riding is not only fun, but it also works muscles you’re not accustomed to using. It’s a great way to enjoy nature and the beautiful season.

Get Involved in Community Events

With the fall season come many holiday-themed local fun runs and events. Check the newspaper or internet for Halloween runs, turkey trots and reindeer romps. Research shows that training for a specific goal such as a race increases adherence to an exercise program. Signing up with friends or family will hold you accountable for completing the training.

Think outside the box

Raking leaves is a great upper-body workout! When raking leaves, change the movement and direction to make full use of your muscles. Rake in front of your body to target your shoulders. Rake both right to left and left to right to work both arms evenly. This way, you’ll help prevent blisters by avoiding repetitive motions too.
If you live near a lake, try kayaking or canoeing, for an excellent whole-body workout and a great change of pace.

Get Back to the Gym

A well-rounded fitness regimen is important. While aerobic activity such as running or bicycling is good for your heart, resistance training is also a critical component of a balanced program, so be sure to take advantage of your club’s weight lifting equipment.
Try a new class. Fitness facilities often offer new classes in the fall, to motivate participants through the holiday season. Try a yoga or Thai Chi class to improve your balance and flexibility. Pilates is a great way to improve core strength and spinal suppleness.