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Get Active in The Cooler Weather

posted Oct 16, 2014, 12:42 PM by

The fall season presents new joys and challenges when it comes to staying active.  The weather is cooler, so outdoor exercise is refreshing; however, with the "fall back" time change, taking that walk after dinner may no longer happen due to an earlier sunset.  Chilly mornings make it harder to get out of bed for the early workout and extra layers of clothing may allow us to feel a little bit more comfortable with a less-toned physique.  Whatever the new challenge may be, try to stay focused on the pleasures of fall fitness:
  • Cooler weather:   Cooler weather makes it easier to exercise longer and harder than on those steamy summer days.  Use this transition season to really push yourself to increase your jogging pace, bike a more strenuous path, or hike a steeper peak.  However, it is just as important to stay hydrated, so drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty. 
  • Beautiful views:  Fall is one of the most majestic times of the year when it comes to nature's beauty.  There are several area hikes that showcase fall colors.  Click here for information on some of the best hikes in the DC/Metro area. 
  • Gardening: Walk into any garden center and you'll see rows of bulbs that are perfect for planting in the fall.  Take a weekend to plan out your landscaping for next year, and plant your bulbs.  If you want to try your hand at a fall vegetable garden, try planting a few vegetables listed below in our seasonal produce article.  Tending garden beds weekly is a great way to fit in a few extra minutes of physical activity.  Fall is also the perfect time for aerating and seeding your lawn or spreading a new layer of mulch.  Save money and break a sweat by doing these chores yourself.    Finally, we can't forget raking the leaves!  Depending on your size and how briskly you move, raking leaves can burn between 100-200 calories in just 30 minutes.  This heart-pounding chore most definitely counts toward the recommended goal of 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each week.