Fall a fine time for fun and fitness

As the seasons change, it’s no longer summer, but not yet winter. Fall can be a time when exercise routines can waiver. It becomes too cold to continue with many of the summer activities you enjoy. You might even get a little blue realizing summer has come to an end and your favorite activities are over for awhile. But fall brings with it many other opportunities. 

Here are a few tips to keep you active and ready to embrace this beautiful season:

Take it outside: Fall is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful Grand Valley. With so many options to choose from — like mountain biking and hiking — there’s no reason not to get out and enjoy the scenery of vibrant colors.

Go exploring. Hike a new trail or visit a park. Raking leaves or doing some fall outdoor yard work is a great way to get the heart pumping, Spending time out in nature and the fresh air does wonders for your mind as well as your body.

Layer your fall clothing: Learning proper fundamentals of layering for fall and winter activities can mean the difference between comfort and misery. It’s important to layer while exercising in chilly weather. You might feel cold at first. Then, as your body warms up, you might feel overdressed.

Follow the three-layer rule. The first layer next to your skin should be made of a moisture-wicking fabric, often called DriFit. This fabric wicks moisture away from your skin so you don’t feel wet and cold.  The second layer should be a warmth layer and the third layer a protective layer, such as a windbreaker or something water resistant depending on the weather. Don’t forget your sunglasses.

Don’t be blue: Many of us get the winter blues as the weather gets colder and the days get shorter.  It might be tempting when waking up in the dark to hit the snooze button on the alarm, but don’t. With less sunlight, you might want to avoid the blues with increased Vitamin D.  Eat foods rich in this vitamin, such as fish, egg yolks and mushrooms.

Remember that exercise releases endorphins that enhance a good mood and feelings of happiness.

Watch the treats: By some estimates, the average American gains between 5 and 9 pounds during the holiday season that begins at Halloween and continues through New Year’s Day.

Halloween is a time when you stockpile bags of candy from the store for the one evening when a few trick-or-treaters could come to your door.  The day after, leftover candy offers the kids a sugar source that will surely fuel unhealthy eating habits into the holidays.

Then, people just put off losing weight until their new year’s resolutions. Remember that Halloween is just one day.

Paula Reece

Plan ahead for the holidays: Take out a calendar early. Like now. Mark off time for exercise each day. Schedule a little exercise between things on busy days — 10 minutes is better than nothing.

Keep your goals in mind throughout the holiday season. The time you allow for yourself through exercise, sleep, nutrition and organization will make the busy season more manageable.

Remember to eat right and buy healthy snacks.  Don’t fall into the trap of “I’ll start after the new year.”  This is really saying you’ll find an excuse no matter what time of the year. There’ll always be birthdays, parties and special events.

Enjoy the change of seasons. Fall is a perfect time to keep fitness routines on track. Instead of using the cooler weather as an excuse not to exercise, try using it as an excuse to exercise.

Paula and Dale Reece own Crossroads Fitness Centers in Grand Junction with a downtown location in the Alpine Bank Building at 225 N. Fifth St. and an airport location at 2768 Compass Drive. For more information, call 242-8746 or log on to www.crossroadsfitness.com.
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Posted by on Oct 23 2012. Filed under Contributors. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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