7 Ways To Be More Active This Fall
For full disclosure, I began brainstorming this post on a 97 degree day in July. I've been longing for the crisp air of autumn for the majority of the summer, and now that it's finally arriving, I am a very happy girl. Fall is, by far, my favorite season for many reasons, one being how tolerable the weather is here in Nashville. However, the one (and quite possibly only) thing I dislike about this time of year is the shorter days. Our bodies definitely take notice once it begins getting dark earlier outside, causing a shift in our circadian rhythms. This biological response can make us feel sleepier and less motivated. So if you've been feeling a little less energetic than usual, you're not alone! It's actually a common response, which is why I try to be a little more intentional with my time and more creative with my physical activity this time of year. In my opinion, Fall is one of the best times to try something new, especially if it involves being outside!
Here are 7 ways you can be more physically active (and happier) this season:
1. JOIN A WALKING OR RUNNING GROUP
This time of year is one of my favorite times to begin running consistently. I don't enjoy running in the heat and humidity, and Luna doesn't handle it too well thanks to her fluff, so we opt for shaded walks during the summer months. As soon as we feel a slight crisp in the air, we both get a little extra pep in our steps and are chomping at the bit to run. But for those of you who hate running, don't worry, you can walk and reap a ton of health benefits! Seriously, here are a few benefits of walking. I think the best way to begin is with a friend or a group of people. Search online for local running/walking groups in your area. It's a great way to meet new friends with similar interests! Having a healthy community of people around us is extremely important for our wellbeing. In fact, having quality connections with other people is an actual universal need that we all possess. So, not only will exercise be more fun with someone else, but you'll also feel pretty darn fulfilled emotionally afterwards!
2. HOST AN ACTIVE COOKOUT
'Tis the season for bonfires and gatherings, so why not add some fun activities to your party? Whether it be a simple game of wiffle ball, volleyball, touch football, or a creative and fun relay race, mixing in a little healthy competition and physical activity will no doubt add some fun and laughter to your party. And for those of you, like me, who can be a bit competitive, just remember to play nice! :)
3. BIKE AROUND TOWN
I love riding bikes! It makes me feel like a kid again, happy and free. It's such a fun way to get a little exercise while cruising through my favorite parts of town, gawking at all the beautiful homes and cute little shops. And, while I'm aware this statement will sound motherly, I feel it's important: please be safe and wear a helmet!
4. TAKE YOUR WORKOUT TO THE PARK
This is one of my favorite things to do! If you're not able to do this during the week, try going on the weekends! Even better, invite a friend to do it with you. Here are some of my favorite workouts that can be done anywhere with little to no equipment:
- The Buddy-Up Friend Workout
- The "I Don't Want to Work Out" Workout
- Total Body Interval Workout
- The 10 Minute Workout
5. WALK DURING YOUR LUNCH BREAK
Even if you only have about 10 minutes to spare, head outside for a few minutes of walking. When we spend time in natural sunlight, our bodies create Vitamin D, which plays a role in increasing our energy levels (along with many other benefits). Sunlight has a positive impact on our serotonin levels, so you may notice an improvement in your mood and energy after just 10 minutes outside! Does it rain a lot where you are? Avoid the rain, and try these 6 exercises you can do at your desk instead.
6. EXPLORE NEW HIKING TRAILS
I love hiking! There's something special about wandering around the woods, watching as the leaves transform and fall from their branches. Even research shows that walking in nature may have a positive impact on us neurologically. Luckily we live near some really beautiful trails that my husband and I often frequent. It's also a really nice time for uninterrupted, technology-free conversation. So grab a pal, or your furry friend, and head into the woods!
7. TRY A T.V. COMMERCIAL WORKOUT
I'd be lying if I said one of the things I love about fall isn't that all the T.V. shows start back up. My husband and I have a handful of shows we enjoy watching together, and if we're not careful, our evenings are quickly gone without us moving a muscle. So instead of sitting around all night, we try to make things interesting by doing a few exercises during the commercial breaks! Try doing 1 minute of these three ab exercises below during the commercials of your next T.V. show:
- Russian Twists
- Cherry Pickers
- Plank Hip Taps
I'd love to hear about your favorite ways to stay active during the fall in the comments below!
*Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects about 5% of Americans. If you've been feeling a sense of hopelessness, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, low self-esteem, extreme mood swings, fatique, or the inability to tolerate normal daily activities, please contact a mental health care provider who can provide you with proper treatment options.
All photos by Kelsey Cherry.