Follow these timely tips to keep fit for fall

Paula Reece
Paula Reece

Fall can be a season when exercise routines waiver. It’s no longer summer, but not yet winter. It’s too cold to continue with many of the summer activities you enjoy. You could even become a little blue with the realization summer has ended and your favorite activities are over for a while. Still, fall brings with it many other opportunities.

Here are five tips to help 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 from which to choose — like mountain biking and hiking — there’s no reason not to get out and enjoy the scenery and vibrant colors. Go exploring. Hike a new trail. Visit a park. Raking leaves or getting in some yard work offer great ways 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 clothing. Learning the 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. But then as your body warms, you could feel overdressed. Follow the three-layer rule. Your first layer next to your skin should be made of a moisture-wicking fabric. 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 experience the winter blues as the weather cools and days shorten. Although it’s tempting when waking up in the dark, don’t hit the snooze alarm. With less sunlight, you might want to increase your consumption of Vitamin D. Eat foods rich in this vitamin, such as fish, egg yolks and mushrooms. Remember, too, that exercise releases endorphins that enhance your mood and feelings of happiness.

Watch the treats. It’s estimated the average American gains between 5 pounds and 9 pounds between Halloween and New Year’s Day. Remember to eat right and buy healthy snacks.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’ll start after the new year. This is really saying you’ll find an excuse no matter the time of year.  There will always be parties and special events.

Plan 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 yourself for exercise, sleep, nutrition and organization will make the busy season more manageable.

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

Happy fall.