The leaves are changing colors, the temperature is starting to drop and fitness enthusiasts are itching to stretch their limbs and feel the freedom of the great outdoors. Fall ushers in a slew of beautiful transitions, including the ability to get back into the activities you avoided during the hot summer months.
If you’ve been waiting for the never-ending heat wave to pass in order to get your sweat on in the fresh air, then now’s the time to make it happen. We asked four fitness experts to share some creative ways to kick-start your fall workout program and get you moving on your exercise goals. Here are the seven workouts they say will get you outdoors and feeling fit in no time.
Join a local exercise group
Friends and fitness go hand in hand when it comes to finding the motivation to exercise. If you like to run, Pilates instructor and studio owner Jennie Gall tells SheKnows that joining a local run group is a great option. Plus, you’ll meet some new people as well. “Many training groups for runners have slower-paced groups for fast walkers as well,” she adds.
If running is not your thing, fitness expert Patricia Friberg suggests joining an outdoor boot camp class. “Fall is the perfect time of year to do these programs since you will get vitamin D, and as we go into the holidays, you will have a good routine in place,” she tells SheKnows.
Take your workout to the pumpkin patch
Who says the pumpkin patch is just for kids? One of the fall workouts Gall loves to do is head to the pumpkin patch. “We lunge and jog around and use the pumpkins as weights.” Tip: See if you can get a group of two to three people together. Approach the pumpkin patch owner and ask about using the area during a low-traffic time. When you’re finished, you can hunt for pumpkins and play in the corn maze.
Hit the track
Your local track is the ideal location for a fall workout. Look for tracks at a community center or your local high school and perform this workout designed by fitness expert and triathlon coach Dr. Rick Kattouf:
- Jog or walk-jog one lap (400 meters).
- Perform the following: 10 repetitions of push-ups, 10 repetitions of sit-ups, 10 repetitions of jumping jacks.
This is one round. Kattouf tells SheKnows that depending on your fitness level, you can perform up to eight rounds.
Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just getting started, this workout is adaptable to all fitness levels. “You can choose to jog or a jog-walk combination,” says Kattouf. “This is an incredible workout, as it will work the cardiovascular system as well as [being] great strength work for the lower body.” Here's what he suggests:
- Begin by jogging or jog-walking for four minutes and 45 seconds.
- Stop and perform body-weight squats for 15 seconds.
This is one round. Perform up to six rounds (this depends on your fitness level).
Bike & barre
Getting outdoors for a bike ride and a little booty building is a great way to kick-start your fall workouts. Gall says she and a friend use their bikes in a way similar to a ballet barre for fun barre workouts. “We ride the bikes to a park, then we park the bikes and use them as a stability barre for pliés, squats and lunges,” she explains.
Kattouf says the walk-strength circuit is a great workout you can do at your local running track.
- Begin by walking one lap (400 meters).
- Perform the following: 10 reps of jump squats, 10 reps of leg or front lunges, 10 reps of leg side lunges, 30-second plank hold (on forearms and elbows), 30-second plank hold (hands on the ground, arms extended).
This is one round. Perform up to eight rounds (this depends on your fitness level). For more intensity, hold a medicine ball during the jump squats and lunges.
Tone & tighten while you’re waiting
Getting a quick workout in while you’re watching soccer practice, on your lunch break or just hitting the park for a crisp fall day outing is easy with these five moves that fitness trainer and RSP Nutrition athlete Danyele Wilson shares with SheKnows.
This total body HIIT workout will increase your heart rate and strengthen your muscles. Plus, Wilson says it’s great because it can be done anytime, anywhere, any season and is even better for fall when it's not as hot.
Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds and then rest for 15 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. After completing all five movements in the circuit, rest for two minutes and repeat the circuit three to five times.
Here are some specific exercises from Wilson (click here for descriptions and pictures of the exercises):
- Plyo push-up
- Fast feet
- Mountain climber
- Speed skaters
If you can’t find what you’re looking for in one of these workouts, there are always the trails. When all else fails, lace up your shoes and head to your local trailhead. Walking, running or simply exploring the outdoors is a great way to escape the stress of the day and get some exercise in!