Leaves are changing, and sweater weather is coming. Cooler weather offers new options on how to enjoy the great outdoors. Regular exercise is one of the foundations of a healthy lifestyle. It helps control body weight and protects against a variety of diseases. Exercise also helps lower blood pressure and improves overall health.1
Try these exciting outdoor activities to stay active this fall.
*Please note: Before you start any new exercise routine, talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe.
Hiking is a relaxing way to keep your step count high during the fall. The changing leaves create a beautiful outdoor landscape. Visit a park or nature trail, or plan a day trip to the mountains. Some parks offer paved and wheelchair-accessible trails so that everyone can enjoy them. Invite friends, family or a significant other. You can pack a light meal for a picnic. Homemade, healthy trail mix is a great option for light trail snacking.
Visit a pumpkin patch
It’s harvest time. Visit a local pumpkin patch and browse the fields for the perfect pumpkin. Many farms offer family-friendly activities like pumpkin decorating and hay rides. Walking the fields and kneeling to look at different pumpkins keeps you moving. As a bonus, you get a delicious (or spooky) pumpkin to take home.
Don’t like pumpkins? Try apple picking as an activity. If you live in a climate where apples grow, visit an orchard. Pick enough to snack on or cook with for weeks. Apples will add a boost of healthy flavor to your menu. Plus, you may have enough left over to share with friends.
If you are looking for a weekend adventure, camping has much to offer. You can hike or ride bikes on a camping trip. Spending the night under the stars can be a low-cost way to escape daily stress and a good way to ground yourself. Spend your days exploring your surroundings. Spend your nights making lifelong memories with family and friends around the campfire.
Biking burns calories and is a popular way to stay active. Many national parks have bike trails to enjoy. Much like hiking and camping, biking in the fall can be visually stunning. Not getting away? Biking locally allows you to bask in the changing seasons.
Looking for colorful leaves is like taking an art walk in nature. There are books and apps that identify different leaves. Borrow one from the library and see which ones are in your local area. Like recording your activities and feelings in your journal, pressing leaves between the pages is a way of being mindful of your days.
Adding physical activity into your daily routine delivers feel-good chemicals that help boost your mood and reduce stress.2 It also improves your physical health and mental well-being. While you are out and about, relax and breathe deeply. Become aware of your senses. Focus on your breath and relax your muscles to help soothe your nerves.
How do you increase your activity level when the seasons change?
If exercising outdoors is not for you, here are exercises you can do from anywhere.
Published October 4, 2023