The crisp, cool air and colorful, changing leaves of fall will soon be here. But before you resort to months confined in a stuffy gym to stay active until gardening season kicks off again next spring, consider finding alternative outdoor activities. Chillier temps help keep you alert and make it harder for your body to become overheated. And, if you’re lucky enough to live near a park or wooded area, the scenery is more entertaining than TV or people-watching at the gym. Consider the following tips to stay motivated! 

1.  Enjoy the foliage. Exercising outside feels like a lot less work if you’re doing something you enjoy. Relish the cooler weather and take advantage of outdoor adventures before the winter rolls in. In addition to cleaning up the garden, research park trails nearby to enjoy a hike or bike ride amid fall’s colorful foliage. Even apple picking or pumpkin gathering is a fun activity that is sure to burn calories.\

2.  Savor fall produce for less. Walk the farmer's markets for exercise and fall’s freshest produce including apples, figs, pears, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and more. In-season produce is rich in flavor and very affordable! 

3.  Volunteer.The number of calories burned doesn't have to be the sole focus of your physical activity. You can get active outside and give back to your community at the same time. Walking dogs for a local shelter or cleaning up a nearby park in the neighborhood are all great calorie burners plus a nice way to give back. 

4.  Try something new.As the kids head back to school this season, remember that you, too, should never stop learning. Are you interested in outdoor recreational sports, hiking, or biking? Give it a try. Ask about deals on intro classes at your local rec center to find out if it’s right for you. 

5.  Work out at home.Now that the days feel shorter and the holiday season is around the corner, fitting physical activity into your daily routine may become more difficult. But remember, even 15-30 minutes moving outdoors is enough time to get in significant activity.  If you must stay indoors, consider quick DVDs or YouTube video workouts.

Here's to a wonderful post-gardening season!

Peace & Veggies,

Stacy