Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Fitness Tips

With summer gone and the crisp cool air setting we are getting ready for winter, the holidays, shorter days and less physical activity.  Take advantage of the time you still have left and spend it outside.  It’s the perfect time of year for outdoor activities.  You no longer have to battle the bugs, the humidity and the heat and you get to enjoy the fall colors. 

Get outside and go for a walk.  Even a twenty minute walk can be refreshing and exerting.  Be sure to do some warm up stretching even for a short walk and wear appropriate footwear.

Rake the leaves.  You have to do it anyway so think of it as a workout.  Put on your favorite tunes, some old clothes and really get into it.  Warm up stretching is very important.  It is likely that raking will affect muscles that you don’t realize aren’t getting used.  Here are some proper body mechanics:

  • When raking, stay close to the work area
  • Keep you back straight and stable.
  • Use your arm movements to do the work
  •  Move your feet so you do not have to reach, bend, or twist.

Take a trip to the apple orchard.  This is a great way to get some exercising in and to do something with the family.  Search for the perfect apple - use this as a way to extend walking.  Not to mention having a healthy snack on the way.

Visit the mountains.  The colors are wonderful this time of year and living in New England gives us the advantage of being surrounded by mountains.  Even a short easy hike can be invigorating and offer a spectacular view at the top.  Be sure to wear appropriate footwear, such as hiking boots.  Having ankle support is imperative when there is an incline or decline.  Make a point to warm up with stretching and follow these proper body mechanics:

  •  On upward slopes be sure to watch your posture.  It is easy (especially when carrying a pack) to be slouched.
  •   Going down, use shorter strides and go slowly.  This will reduce the impact to your knees.
  •  Use a heel to toe motion.  This will reduce the impact on your foot and ankle, also taking additional stress of your knees and spine.

There are many ways to get out and enjoy the weather.  Just keep in mind that safety and injury prevention are extremely important.  Be sure to research items, such as good body mechanics and proper attire, when trying something new!

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