A fall fitness workout program is a great idea. This is a wonderful time of year with cool mornings and crisp, invigorating weather. Fall also leads into the holiday season – filled with parties that include a lot of foods you might not normally eat.
The holidays mean you might put on some unwanted pounds. Fall is a great time to get ahead of that possibility by setting some fitness goals and starting an exercise program. Whether you choose an interval training program, strength training or anything else, there are plenty of reasons to get – and stay – in shape.
Here are a few activities that can get you out in the fresh air, and help you maintain your good health as the winter months arrive. Of course, you should never start any sort of workout routine without first talking to a doctor.
Cardio Workouts: Support Heart Health And Burn Calories With Fun Outdoor Activities This Fall
A cardio workout is designed to build cardio strength and support the health of your heart and the rest of the cardiovascular system. These kinds of exercises temporarily raise your heart rate and challenge your respiratory system. They will also expand your blood vessels, supplying your muscles with more oxygen.
Here are some of the benefits of a regular cardio workout, for both the body and the mind.
- Helping you lose weight – Research indicates that about 150 minutes of cardio work each week can help you lose weight and keep it off.1
- Heart health – A cardio workout can go a long way toward helping you avoid developing heart problems.2
- Improving your mood – A cardio workout is great for your physical as well as mental health. It stimulates your endorphin levels, hormones that promote feelings of happiness.3
There are a lot of options when it comes to indoor and outdoor cardio exercise. You typically won’t need any sort of special equipment, and you can practice some of these exercises in the fresh air, in your home, or in your local gym. These include the following:
Take a Hike
Fall colors are spectacular. What better way to experience them by taking a hike through the forest? Whether you want to explore on a leisurely walk or take on some challenge yourself with a high-intensity trail, hiking is a fantastic opportunity to see nature at its finest while helping yourself to get in shape.
Run or Jog
There won’t be any shortage of running events you can participate in this season. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to reap some excellent benefits from running either. You might find a halloween-themed 5K in your area to sign up for. If you want to wait until Thanksgiving, a turkey trot will be a great way to work off those extra calories you might have accumulated.
Otherwise, try walking or jogging around your neighborhood before work or at a nearby park.
Other ideas include:
- Jumping jacks
- Jumping rope
- Riding a bike
You’ll need to speak with your doctor as well as a personal trainer to determine exactly what kinds of cardio training exercises are safe for you to try – and how to properly perform them.
Strength Training Routines: Squats, Lifting Weights, Resistance Training, And More
Many people include strength training in their fall fitness program. Some like to lift weights or perform other strength and resistance training exercises at home. Others like to hit the gym. Whatever your preference and fitness goals, this type of program could well be worth the challenge once you get the go-ahead from your doctor.
Here are a few strength training exercises you might ask your doctor about incorporating into your workout routine.
There are a lot of benefits to performing squats. For one thing, this exercise does a great job of strengthening your core muscles. One study shows that squats strengthen the muscles that help support the back.4 Squats also strengthen your ligaments, bones and muscles, helping to reduce the chances of being injured.5
Some people like a brisk walk to get their exercise, while others like to lift weights in the gym every once in a while. If you’re among the latter group, there are a lot of benefits to this type of fall fitness workout routine.
High-intensity strength training helps build muscle, of course, but what you might not know is that we lose a surprising amount of muscle mass starting at about the age of 30.6 Lifting weights might help you offset this loss.
Any activity designed to strengthen muscles can help protect us from issues involving the joints and bones as we get older.7
Weightlifting is a form of resistance training. You’re using resistance in order to oppose the amount of force your muscles are expending – strengthening them in the process.
But you don’t need weights to perform resistance training. You can do push-ups or pull-ups, or exercise using ropes or resistance bands.
One of the main benefits of resistance training is supporting your metabolism.8 That can help you burn more calories and lose weight. It can also improve your movement control as you age, as well as other functional abilities.9
Staying Motivated: Group Fitness Classes
It can be hard for many of us to stay motivated when working out alone. You might want to consider taking a group fitness class at your local gym as part of your fall fitness routine. There are a lot of reasons why you might want to go this route.
According to one study, nearly 100 percent of participants who were involved in an exercise program to lose weight completed the program. This is compared to about 80 percent of those who chose to go it alone.10
One of the possible reasons why group fitness exercise programs work is a phenomenon known as the Köhler Effect. In a nutshell, this is the idea that, in a group setting, no one wants to be known as the weakest.11
While this may be true, group fitness classes can also be a fun, social way to get in shape. They also work well for those who prefer some sort of guidance when working out. The extra push and encouragement from the trainer can’t hurt either.
Be Smart About Staying Active This Fall
Whether you choose to start a fall fitness routine on your own or join a group exercise outdoor boot camp program, be safe. Talk to your doctor to get the OK, and then talk to a personal trainer to make sure you’re employing the right techniques to avoid injury.
Also, don’t neglect your nutrition plan when embarking on your personal training program. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which will supply the energy you need for your training to be as successful as possible.
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