Summer sunshine and warmth make being outside easy and fun—even when you’re working out. But as soon as that first gust of fall air blows in, you may be inclined to head indoors until it’s warm again. Hey, I don’t blame you.
Needless to say, this won’t be good for your workout routine.
It’s an unfortunate side effect of the changing seasons, too, since outdoor exercise has many proven benefits, including increased calorie burn. In order to maintain these good vibes, here are five ways to make your fall workouts even more fun than your summer ones:
1. Take in the scenery.
Exercisers love summertime workouts because they get to soak in the sunshine. Your fall workout might not be as bright, but it can be just as beautiful. Find a spot to work out where you’re surrounded by the warm colors of fall, and voilà: You’ll have a new natural distraction to keep you engaged while you work up a sweat.
2. Incorporate the harvest into your diet.
Another great way to get outdoors? Visit your local orchard or farmers market to find fall’s freshest produce. To make sure you’re buying in-season fruits and vegetables, check out a produce calendar to see what’s at its best in September, October, and November.
Once you know what you’re looking for, try to find hearty recipes and incorporate them into the mix. Find recipes that match the weather. Warm and filling soups, for example, will combat the chilly weather outside.
3. Join the race.
Cold weather makes it easy to lose motivation for your outdoor runs, no matter how much you looked forward to them during spring and summer. One way to keep yourself on the run—and accountable for your workout goals—is to sign up for a race.
Find a local race that matches your ability level. While some might be ready to train for a marathon, others might do better in a 5K footrace. No matter what, you’ll have a reason to get your outdoor training sessions in.
4. Work out while working.
As the leaves begin to fall, they might cover your entire yard. While that’s a beautiful sight for a few days, the soggy brown leaves they’ll turn into probably aren’t quite what you have in mind for your lawn.
Fortunately, an afternoon spent raking the leaves can burn plenty of calories and restore your home’s curb appeal. If you want to make it even more of a workout, spend a bit of time running and jumping into the leaf piles regardless of whether or not you have kids to join you.
5. Work out early.
The seasonal changes, such as lack of sunlight, can have an impact on your mood—which can potentially affect your workout schedule. Keep in mind that those who partake in daily exercise are 25 percent less likely to develop symptoms of depression and anxiety. Try to knock out your fall workouts as early in the day as possible. As the sun starts to go down and temperatures drop, you’ll probably want to curl up in front of the fireplace instead of hitting the gym or going for a run. This way, you can maintain your fitness momentum and enjoy the coziness of fall.
We have to say, there’s nothing better than that.