Fall is, in my opinion, the best time to workout outside with all the beautiful changing colors. Crisp temperatures can invigorate a workout without all that sloppy sweating. The right clothing will be essential for your outdoor workouts so be sure to review the Seasonal Fitness Fashion post for some great apparel tips.
Depending on your desired activity, a few extra pieces of equipment may be necessary to facilitate your workout. A hydration backpack is a great investment and ideal for biking, canoeing, or rock climbing. Fitness trackers are also perfect for outdoor workouts and can analyze all the calories burned and miles traveled.
Rather than run
Outdoor exercise doesn’t necessarily have to include just biking and hiking. Any activity done at a moderately hard level can burn some serious calories. Some great options for outdoor exercise this fall could include tennis, hiking, canoeing, basketball, rock climbing, football, ultimate Frisbee and basically any other sport you can think of. What could be more fun than flag football or ultimate Frisbee in the park with a large group of friends?
Rather than taking a drive to see the fall foliage, plan a day to go hiking through your favorite mountain range. If hiking and biking are your thing, research your local state parks for the best trails. Many trails will have difficulty ratings for hiking and biking allowing you to determine how intense your workout can be. Also, try researching local biking routes around your area for a road biking workout. Another great option for an outdoor workout venue is a local school. I love suggesting schools because most have an outdoor track, benches, and monkey bars that can add to your workout. Schools are also great because they are usually well lit, easily accessible and have fewer injury risk.
Mix and Match
There are so many different outdoor workouts and knowing the basics is the best place to start. When structuring your workout choose one main component and manipulate it to make an awesome workout. You can modify sets, reps, tempo (speed) or intensity to customize your workout. When doing bodyweight exercises, intensity can vary widely based on your skill level. A bodyweight squat and a pushup can be night and day for certain individuals.
Below are a few body weight exercises that can be done with little or no equipment. Select a few upper body, lower body, core, and high intensity exercises when designing your outdoor workout. Pair these exercises with a cardio segment, which can be a walking, jogging, biking or anything else your enjoy doing. My recent workouts around my neighborhood include a 1 mile jog around the loop followed by a set of 10 to 15 repetitions of two exercises from each category. I repeat this routine 2 or 3 times, and that’s one heck of a workout!
Upper body: Dips, Pushups (all variations), pullups
Lower body: Glute Raises (single or double leg), Calf raises, Step-Ups, Lunges (forwards, backwards, lateral), Squats (single or double leg), Lateral shuffle
Core Exercises: Planks (all variations), Crunches (all variations), back extensions,
High Intensity Exercises: Jumping Rope, Jumping Jacks, Burpees, Jump Squats, Jump Lunges, Speed skaters
Now, get out there, get creative and have fun in the cool, crisp air. Most importantly, get sweaty!