With the hot and humid days behind us and the pleasant crisp fall weather upon us, it’s time to get moving again! Movement is not only beneficial for your muscles, but also for your mind. The fall is a great time to take advantage of exercise to relieve stress and boost your resiliency. Taking a walk with your spouse, co-worker or friend is also a great way to connect during this busy season.
Moreover, daily exercise along with a healthy diet stimulates your immune system to help attack foreign invaders like germs and viruses. Research has shown several positive changes occur in the immune system during moderate exercise. Although the immune system returns to pre-exercise levels very quickly after the exercise session is over, each session represents a boost that appears to reduce the risk of infection over the long term.
When exercising outside in colder temperatures, dress in layers. Before your body warms up, you may feel chilled, but once the blood gets pumping, you can peel off layers as needed. Before starting an exercise routine, consult with your doctor.
Did You Know?
- Hiking burns mega-calories as you increase your elevation and really work those legs.
- Tai Chi is an excellent activity to do on a chilly fall night to help you stay active
- Yoga is another kind of moving meditation that promotes balance, flexibility and soothing mind/body connections
Fall Fitness Ideas
- Raking up leaves has an upside. Raking leaves for 30 minutes can burn 150 calories – it might actually take longer than a half hour to get the job done! Squat properly as you pick up the leaves to prevent back injury.
- Sign up for a fall fun run or walk. Many communities sponsor walks and runs, some aptly called “Turkey Trots.” Enlist a co-worker or buddy and train during your lunch hour.
- Explore parks in your area. Take a hike in the woods or bike on a new path. If you are near a lake, try kayaking or canoeing, for an excellent whole-body workout and a great change of pace. Be sure to wear proper clothing and gear.
- Pick your own produce. Find a local orchard and take your family apple or pumpkin picking. Apples and pumpkins are rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber which all help to boost your immune system. Walking through the orchard is also a great way to squeeze in some extra exercise.
Sources: President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports LifeWork Strategies, and Adventist HealthCare. Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your physician. Feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.