As the summer winds down and the kids are back in school with their routines, now is the perfect time for parents to adjust their workout routines. Don’t let fewer daylight hours become an excuse to cut back on outdoor activities. Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year for walks through your neighborhood or local parks and enjoying the local color and crisp air. If you typically workout indoors, plan weekends for extra credit exercise and jog in the park, hike on the trails, ride a bike, kick a soccer ball, throw a football, baseball, frisbee or just do anything that gets you moving outdoors. If you have a new baby, stroller power walking is a quick way to get back into shape. Add lunges, squats, sprints and stop at park benches for pushups and dips for an overall body workout.
Good health and fitness takes an effort, and when daylight is shortened, it can take even more of an effort to find the time to enjoy the outdoors. Pack a brown bag lunch for extra time during your workday and head out for a brisk, midday walk. Give the television and computer a break and experience the great outdoors. Hiking, skiing, snow shoeing, ice skating, bike rides, jogging, running, just bundle up and enjoy the invigorating gift of movement. Regular physical activity or exercise helps improve and prevent the decline of muscle strength, balance and endurance.
And don’t forget the seniors in your life. If you have parents, other family members or neighbors and friends who find it challenging to get out to enjoy fall activities, make an effort to take them with you for a short walk at an outdoor mall or park. If they are confined to a wheelchair your company will be appreciated while you get some exercise and you both benefit from natural daylight therapy.
The days may be getting shorter, but making time to get outside and enjoy the season will brighten your spirit and improve the quality of your life.
Joyce Daoust is a Certified Nutritionist, Balance Bar® spokesperson and national best-selling co-author of THE FORMULA, A Personalized 40-30-30 Weight Loss Program