Every year, Summer seems to go by so quickly! The end of summer can bring sadness and mourning for some, while for others, they welcome the transition into Fall.
Whether you love the Fall season or whether you wish Summer stayed forever, Fall is a fantastic season for getting back on track with fitness, healthy eating and prioritizing your health and wellness in general. As cooler weather settles in, it provides an energy burst that the hot summer days soaked up. Seasonal foods come into the market and the desire to be more grounded is abundant.
Make Fall your best season to wrap up a hectic, busy summer and ensure you are in your most optimal health for when the holidays arrive.
Gearing Up for Fall Fitness
Let’s look at “gearing up” for Fall Fitness in two different ways. I’ll mention some helpful gear/equipment that can be useful and I will also speak about how to gear up your schedule/routine.
Fall Fitness Equipment
As Fall arrives, the daylight begins to fade with later sun rises and earlier sunsets. You may need to consider purchasing a few things to ensure you are safe, dry and comfortable for whatever Fall activities you may do outside. Of course you can purchase these things new, but there are also local stores that are gently used second hand stores. If you are in the Denver area, I can’t recommend Wilderness Exchange enough! Here are some potential things you may need:
- Reflective Vests or Light Up Vests: Ensure you are seen in dark hours for drivers and other walkers/joggers/bike riders.
- Headlamp: When it’s dark out, you will want to see where you are going. Whether you are walking in the grass, hiking on trails or even just walking sidewalks, this will help you be more safe!
- Rain Jacket: Most rain jackets double as wind resistant also so you are essentially double protecting yourself! Staying dry and warm is key to being comfortable! Rain jackets will keep you active with no excuses even in wet weather.
- Waterproof Spray: I love coating specific pants and shoes with this spray to help ensure I stay dry!
- Crampons: depending on where you live, Fall can mean ice and snow! For walking, running, hiking etc, you want to prevent slips and falls, so grabbing a pair of crampons will help! There are spiked kinds or coiled kinds (more for running). Just be cautious about wearing spikes around your house, on rocks or pavement.
- Sunscreen: Lathering on SPF is not just for summer days, you need it all year long. Chronically skipping sunscreen is a fast way to sneaky skin cancer and melanoma. Be sure to coat any exposed skin including your ears!
- Layers including Gloves, Beanies and Scarves: You may start out with a sunny, warm day, but changes of seasons can bring storms in very quickly-especially if you live in Colorado like me! It’s always worth it to bring more than you think you need! Long underwear is important as a base layer, but also having a few light weight fleeces can help too. We lose most of our body heat out of our head, so a beanie to wear is a must! Gloves these days are so amazing! They even include the “phone touch fingertips” so you don’t have to remove them to use your phone!
- Hydration Pack: Just like sunscreen, water is something we need to keep on top of even though it’s cooler and darker in the Fall. For outdoor activities like hiking, biking, running etc, getting a Hydration Pack will ensure you can drink water on demand. There are different kinds of packs out there, but for hiking, I recommend getting a pack that holds at least 2 liters of water. This pack will serve you in more ways than one; you can store all your layers, sunscreen, headlamps etc!
Creating and Mastering Your Fall Schedule
As far as gearing up your schedule and routine for the Fall season, it’s important to consider what has changed in your schedule.
Summer schedules are very different from any other season. With the kids out of school, more travel and people visiting, there isn’t much space for a regular routine in Summer.
Take 30 minutes and use a calendar (paper or digital) and consider what your life looks like for Fall. See if you can create a schedule for yourself for 3-4 of the days of the week that relate to exercise. Perhaps 2-3 of those days can be indoors because the Fall season happens to be the best time of year to join a Fitness Community for small group classes.
With the limited daylight hours and cooler weather you will have options to exercise if inclement weather comes in. The other 1-2 days you can build into your schedule can be outdoor exercise/activities. No matter what, building your strong fall routine will help you stay more consistent through the holidays and even the start of the new year.
If you are ready to really kick things into gear, see if a local fitness studio near you is offering a 28 Day Challenge that can help kickstart your consistency for strength training!
Fall Fitness Activities to Train For
With the intense summer heat behind us, this is where we can increase our exercise and activity without overheating. It’s also that unique time of year when the leaves change color and there’s nothing like experiencing that!
Here is a small list of some of the most popular fall activities you can incorporate into your life and train for. As you fold in strength training workouts weekly, you will see and feel an improvement in your endurance for these types of activities!
- Running/Walking races: There are 5k’s, 10k’s and Half Marathon’s galore this time of year. You don’t have to be a runner to enjoy race day and earn your medal; feel free to walk! Each race you do, you can go for a PR (Personal Record) to stay competitive with yourself!
- Hiking in fall foliage: Grab your camera and a hot cup of coffee and go explore the trails for a treat! The reds, oranges and greens are on display and you want to experience it! Hiking requires agility, balance and endurance, so get training!
- Horseback riding: Maybe it’s a part of a Fall Festival or perhaps you and the fam go to a ranch for the day. Staying at a healthy weight and being physically able to get on and off the horse is a reason to stay or get into shape!
- Camping: Sleeping under the stars, the camp fire, the cool air… camping is a lot of work (physically and organizationally) but oh-so-worth-it! You’ll need to be able to lift odd size things out of your car and bend over often as you set your tent up.
- Bike riding: Road biking or mountain biking. Either way, endurance and balance are key! Strength training for your calves, legs and core will help you have a stable and successful ride no matter what the terrain is.
- Climbing 14ers: if you happen to be in Colorado- these are our 14,000 ft peaks and CO has 58 of them! They happen to be one of the most notably challenging things to do physically in the state. Climbing thousands of feet in elevation gain and hiking down the same elevation loss presents many challenges. Stability and endurance (physically and mentally) are must haves! Exercising consistently will help you build just that!
How to Stay Motivated this Fall
Keeping a positive mind-frame will help you stay motivated this Fall. Incorporating friends and family into your plans can also give you additional adherence benefits.
Perhaps create a “Fall Bucket List” for yourself and present it to friends and family to see who wants to join you for what. Put that bucket list on a white board, chalk board or even a sticky note on your fridge to remind you of what you are passionate about.
Don’t be afraid to try new things! Meditation and yoga are also very popular for this time of year. Explore your horizons; as you try new things, you can determine if they are a keeper or something you will pass on going forward.
No matter what you find that works for you consistently, just know that it will improve your mental health as the days get shorter. SAD (Seasonal affective disorder) is a real thing; however staying on top of physical activity will help combat this! You will also see better sleep, and be less anxious this fall.
Happy Fall Fitness!
If you’re looking to stay motivated, check out our 28 day challenge!