By: Sheila, Borgen, PT
This time of year is beautiful! Watching the leaves turn from bright green to various yellow, orange, and red hues is spectacular. However, the temperature becomes somewhat indecisive, landing on cooler nights and more tolerable daytime temperatures. Being outside becomes a more desirable option vs. a necessary one. In fact, many people choose fall time to begin getting in shape because of the pleasant weather. Others may choose fall to work on physical fitness to allow for extra desserts and more enormous helpings at the dinner table! Either way, no judgment here!
This crisp season holds many out-of-the-box activities to squeeze into life that can be pretty enjoyable. So let’s look at four fall-themed events that can be disguised as exercise, all the while having a fabulous time!
Corn Maze: Most states have corn mazes. You are surely missing out if you have never set foot in a corn maze. These mazes vary in size from less than one acre to 63 acres. Corn mazes are life-size mazes solved by walking on foot versus using a pencil. They typically portray a theme and offer challenges to those who dare walk their trails. It is easy to become distracted by trying to navigate the maze and lose track of how far you have walked. That is definitely a win for your health!
Geocaching: Believe it or not, this adventure is still attracting participants 20 years after its origination. This activity is similar to a scavenger hunt in that clues are provided for the location of hidden items. The website or app offers coordinates, and a GPS device assists in locating the objects. Searches for caches are in rural as well as urban areas. In addition, seekers can choose hard-to-navigate turf or easy terrain spanning only feet from the starting point or miles!
Cycling: Cooler weather beckons cycling. If you are looking for a social activity combined with a physical one, cycling is it. Many cycling clubs exist, and most accommodate cyclists at all levels. Completing a simple google search for your area will lead to various opportunities. The physical benefits of cycling are vast, including improved joint mobility, muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness, and coordination.
Camping: Combining camping with hiking is a fantastic way to exercise. Not only can you enjoy filling your lungs with fresh air the entire time you are on your adventure, but you can also witness the sunset, sunrise, and gaze at the stars. For the most courageous campers, hiking a trail while carrying your supplies to search for the perfect camp spot can be rewarding. Don’t worry, though; there are many campgrounds where you can set up camp and then hike the surrounding trails without the heavy load.
Any way you look at it, fall is the time to get outside and move! If your goal is to improve your fitness, try one of the four activities to get started. The same suggestion applies if your goal is to eat more cake! Oh, and don’t forget….. perceived lack of ability or fear of falling is no excuse to remain sitting on the couch. Not when you have a group of talented physical therapists at Age Fit Physical Therapy and Wellness only a phone call away!!
Sheila is a freelance writer for physical health, mental health, and parenting. She has four exceptional children, one adopted from South Korea. She lives in Alabama with her husband and children. Sheila enjoys cheering her children on at archery tournaments, soccer games, and color guard performances. She has over 24 years of experience as a physical therapist with a special love for the senior population. Learn more about Sheila at WriteInventive.com.