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Fall Fitness

This is how the holiday pounds begin. The mornings get a little nippy. The days get a little shorter. The sun is setting by the time you get off work. All of which means that you no longer feel like going for a swim or playing an impromptu racket ball match. And yet, you know you should be exercising.

Fall is actually a great time to exercise. Itís beautiful out, itís neither sweltering nor freezing, and youíre not expected to reveal copious amounts of skin. And while a few of the activities on this list are best suited for autumn, most of them will carry over very nicely into winter.

Ready to get started? Here are five easy ways to get moving this fall.

  1. Go for a hike. You donít need to be the outdoorsy type to enjoy a brisk walk in your local open space preserve or park. Autumn offers some of natureís richest and most concentrated colors Ė and a lot fewer mosquitoes. As with all outdoor fall activities, remember to dress in layers and wear sunblock.

  2. Jog. The world can be divided into two groups of people: people who think running is energizing and refreshing, and people who never run unless theyíre late. If you fall into the former, autumn is a perfect time to jog. The air is crisp but not cold, and you have just enough light to go running before or after work. If you canít stand jogging, you can always walk.

  3. Return to the gym. Itís hard to swap sunlight and grass for fluorescent lighting and whirring machinery, but easing back into a gym routine now will increase the odds that youíll keep going in the winter. You probably already have a languishing membership to your local gym. Take advantage of it by signing up for a fun class! And if youíre not a gym member, maybe paying a monthly bill will guilt trip you into exercising more often.

  4. Pull out the exercise DVDs. Exercise videos have come a long way since the days of Richard Simmons. It may be dark and cold outside, but thereís nothing stopping you from putting one of these on for half an hour in the comfort of your own home. And because no oneís watching, go ahead and try one of the more adventurous ones. You know youíve always wanted to learn how to bellydance!

  5. Go to the mall. There are worse places to walk than in the mall. If you have some errands to run, why not power walk through the mall to get to the stores you need? True, this means that you wonít be able to browse your way there, but think of how much money youíll save. Be sure to choose a weekday to do your mall-walking: thereís no way youíll be able to power walk in there on a Saturday afternoon.

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