As the weather cools down and the leaves start to turn, take advantage of the changing seasons with some fall-inspired outdoor fitness. Check out these 10 fun ideas:
Cycling – new research has revealed the regular cycling could be one of the best things an older adult does for themselves. In addition to combating age-related muscle loss, routine cycling has been shown to improve immune health and lower risk for prevalent lifestyle diseases (high blood pressure, stroke, etc).
Hiking – score an effective cardio workout with an hour-long hike with friends or family. Not only are you going to give your heart some exercise, but the exposure to nature and sunlight has been shown to help boost mood and reduce stress levels too.
Raking – sure raking leaves seems like more of a chore than exercise, but it’s been shown to burn upwards of 100 calories per half hour! In addition to a sturdy rake with an ergonomic handle, don’t forget equipment like gloves, tarps, and a reacher grabber which helps you pick trash up off the ground and in hard-to-reach places.
Nordic pole walking – upgrade your daily walk with Nordic poles and start engaging more muscles and burning more calories with every step. Originally developed for cross-country skiers training in the summer, Nordic pole walking is trending bigtime with adults over 55.
Volunteer – opportunities to volunteer or participate in charity athletic events are plentiful during the autumn months. Check with local organizations you support or look online for volunteer jobs near you using sites like Createthegood.org.
Apple picking – head out to the orchard with your grandkids and spend a day apple picking. Not only does the walking and harvesting keep you moving, but the literal fruits of your labor will provide healthy snacks and meal additions for weeks to come.
Pumpkin carving – exercise your hand strength and dexterity with intricate pumpkin carving. In addition to honing your fine motor skills, you’ll end up with a great fall decoration to adorn your front porch for Halloween.
Gardening – it’s not too late to plant your fall garden! Cooler-weather autumn staples like acorn squash, cauliflower, and sage are perfect this time of year and don’t forget to plant your spring bulbs. You’ll want to get them in the ground 6 to 8 weeks prior to the first frost.
Badminton – whether on an indoor court at the senior center or simply outside in your backyard with friends, badminton is a great multiplayer racquet game for seniors that involves lots of movement, balance, and coordination.
Ball toss – no matter if you’re a baseball fan or crazy about football, fall is your season! Take your love of the sport out of the living room and toss a ball back and forth with a grandkid or friend. The fresh air, movement, and hand-eye coordination practice will help keep you sharp!