The Sport Information Resource Centre
The Sport Information Resource Centre

Looking to start a new fitness program? Why wait until the new year? Fall is a great time to either start a new fitness routine or shake up your current routine in preparation for the festive times in the coming months. Autumn weather offers a number of indoor and outdoor opportunities that active individuals can take advantage of to make changes from summer routines. And why not take the opportunity to start creating good habits in advance of the holiday season and winter months ahead.

Look at the weather of the season as an opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities. If you love the sounds of crunching leaves beneath your feet take a run, walk, bicycle or hike through parks and neighbourhoods to enjoy the changing colours and the crisp cool air. It’s a great time of year to explore new trails and check out the changing scenery of old favorites. If you are near the beach, it’s often less crowded and an ideal time to play some volleyball or toss around a Frisbee or football. Even tackling some yard work by raking leaves or cleaning out the garden can get your heart pumping and uses some different muscles. And while daylight may be shortened at this time of year it doesn’t have to be the end of your outdoor activities, adapt to changing light levels and temperatures by dressing in layers and topping them with reflective clothing and wearable lights. Sometimes cooler temperatures and less light challenge our motivation to get up and get active. Counter this by signing up for one of a variety of community events that are prevalent at this time of year. Check out local Fun runs, turkey trots, or reindeer romps and sign up with your friends or family to keep you all accountable to pre-race training.

If the outdoors is not your favorite workout location, Fall is also the time of year when many gyms and clubs update their schedules and start new programs or classes. It’s an ideal time for adults and kids alike to investigate new activities. And if you are looking for some new ways to spice up your favorite exercises, Best Health Magazine has identified 5 top Canadian fitness trends for Fall. Check out your local gym to see if they’ve picked up on these trends:

  1. Brief 10-15 minute intense workouts when you are pressed for time can help you get in those precious active moments in your day.
  2. Strength training workouts without weights, using alternative resistance equipment such as Ugi Balls or ViPR and integrating resistance through body movements.
  3. Body-weight or suspension training.
  4. Dance fitness takes advantage of the popularity of tv dance shows with new offerings in Zumba and Bellyfit classes (a blend of belly dancing, African dance, Bollywood and mind-body moves).
  5. Balance training using balance balls or Bosu balance trainers can help target lower body and core muscles to improve your overall balance and functional movement for everyday life.

Exercise can also be creatively incorporated into your every day. If the kids need to be taken to practice, instead of sitting in the stands or sidelines, try spending the time walking or running around the field or the halls of the gym. At work, suggest a walking meeting instead of a sit-down meeting, take brainstorming sessions out onto the street and let the cool air clear heads and get the creative juices flowing.

There are many opportunities with the changing seasons to pump new life into your exercise routine. Trying out new spins on old favorites or just plain trying new activities can be just thing to help you combat the challenges of the upcoming winter season by creating new habits and giving them a chance to settle into an established and strong routine when winter festivity temptations come to call.

References:

Landers R. 10 Tips for Fall Fitness. Livestrong.com

Sarnataro BR. 10 Tips for Fall Fitness. WebMD.