If you avoided being outside this summer like I did (because it was 110 degrees for weeks on end), then you probably haven’t laced up your running shoes in a while. With the calendar officially turning over to the fall and the temperatures surrendering to the earth’s new position, none of us have any excuses left.
It’s time to get outside and move, my friends!
I’m going to tell it to you straight – sitting is unhealthy and sitting is killing us. You spend at least eight hours a day on your rump, using only the muscles in the tips of your fingers as your heart lethargically pumps blood to keep you upright. It’s making us fat, it’s slowly killing us. So whether you spend three hours a night at the gym or just take a 30 minute walk after dinner, just find some way to get outside, enjoy this beautiful season and move. We, of course, have a few suggestions.
Walk. It’s the oldest form of exercise in the universe, right? Move one leg in front of the other and make a loop through your neighborhood, through a nearby park or with the kids in tow to stop and collect acorns and leaves. “What I love about walking is it can do something else that’s interesting for your heart – it can increase the quality time you spend with loved ones,” Dr. Travis Stork from The Doctors told us. Do you need a better reason?
Run. You don’t have to wake at 4am to beat the heat of the day to log a decent run. These fall temperatures make it possible to comfortably run a few miles in the evenings. If you have been able to run through the heat of the summer, then put your legs to the test and sign up for a charitable 5K, 10K or even half marathon in your area. It’s a tremendous goal to set and achieve.
Bootcamp. These “crazy” fitness classes are growing more and more popular, and for good reason, they are a legitimate sweat-inducing, fat-burning, muscle-building workout. They are usually organized by a personal trainer in a park and anywhere from three to a dozen participants will join. These are non-traditional workouts where you’ll pull ropes, flip tractor tires, swing sledgehammers and sprint your tail off. They are a heck of a lot of fun if you rally with a group of friends.
Cycle. Depending on where you live, a regular cycling schedule can take you through your community and beyond to really enjoy the crunchy beauty of fall. You’re not limited by how far your running legs can take you, and on a Saturday morning you can easily clock a 50 mile ride. If you are a distance runner, cycling can actually be a beneficial part of your regimen. Our Lacy Jaye Hansen has completed two Boston Marathons and has said, “As much as I can, I like to include cycling into my marathon training. Cycling makes me a better runner.”
Yoga. We typically picture downward dogging in a dimly lit studio amongst flickering candles and soothing chants. But yoga, like anything else, can get a little monotonous. So take your yoga practice outdoors. “While yoga studios offer peaceful ambiance, nature can’t be beat when it comes to appeasing the senses and enhancing many aspects of the practice,” our yoga expert Jill Lawson has said. Whether by yourself or with your class, connecting with yourself becomes even more spiritual when you’re communing with nature. Take time to feel the cool grass between your toes and feel how effortless those long, deep breaths become.
By Brandi Koskie
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