Some people just aren’t “gym people.” Maybe you hate the idea of spending your weekends trapped inside, or maybe the campus athletic facility is always beyond crowded. Whatever your reason, don’t worry: fall is the perfect time to get fit without setting a foot inside a gym.
Here are five great ways to stay fit in the fall without the hassle or cost of a gym membership.
This one is the classic, the Big Kahuna of fall fitness activities. With the leaves changing colors and crunching underfoot, suddenly that local trail goes from “that would be nice to hike sometime” to “we have to go this weekend it’ll be magic.”
To up the workout factor, try to find a hike that incorporates some hills to get your legs working and burn more calories. You can also aim for a longer distance than you’d usually do by picking a round-trip trail - but make sure to pack extra water and maybe some snacks to avoid hangry hiking if you’re going out for more than an hour.
There’s something about fall that makes everyone feel like they’re up for a rousing game of flag football or ultimate frisbee. Personally, I blame the brisk weather and gorgeous foliage, but whatever the reason, getting a group of people together to face off in a friendly team sport challenge can be a great way to burn some extra calories.
If your friend group is more pumpkin spice latte, and less pickup flag football, you can also look into extracurricular rec leagues in your area or at your school. They can often set up individuals with established teams who need an extra body, and bonus: you’ll probably score some new active friends while you’re at it.
And if fall is the only time of year that you get the urge to play sports, make sure to stretch before and after each game. Injuries happen, people!
Make More of Typical Fall Activities
So sure, apple picking with your friends doesn’t sound like a workout, especially when you consider all of the apple pies you plan to consume afterwards. But so many of those traditionally “fall” activities, like apple picking and pumpkin-patch visiting, come with built in resistance training opportunities.
Seriously, just bicep curl that full bag of apples a few times with each arm and tell me you don’t feel the burn.
Unless you’re an avid cyclist, biking can feel like a quaint throwback to your childhood days, and it doubles as a killer way to get around town. Fall is a great time to pull out your bike, strap on a helmet and stay active on your way to class or to visit friends. The weather’s perfect for it, so you might as well get out there before the first snow starts to fall!
As a bonus, if you haven’t been biking on the regular, your legs will definitely thank you, especially if there are hills involved in your regular routes.
Go Play at the Park
If you’re looking to really feel the burn, head to your local playground - seriously. Fall weather makes for the perfect temperatures to rock a body-weight workout outdoors, and parks have everything you need to get into tip-top shape.
You can do sprints on the soccer field, box jumps on the park benches, pull-ups on the monkey bars, and just about any other bodyweight activity you can think of. If the thought of doing pushups and squats by yourself near the jungle gym isn’t your scene, rope some friends into joining you.
If they hesitate, just remind them how many calories are really in that pumpkin beer they like.