6 Fall Activities That Are a Hidden Workout

As the weather cools and focus turns to holiday preparations, it may become a bit harder to find time for structured workouts. Just because you miss a trip to the gym doesn’t mean you have to abandon your fitness routine all together. Check out these six ways you can “sneak in” a workout with fall activities that already might be on your calendar.

1. Closet Clean Up

Fall’s cooler weather means it’s time to swap out tanks, shorts, and summer dresses for long sleeves, pants, and coats. Boxing up warmer weather clothes, moving them into storage, and re-organizing for the new wardrobe means squatting, bending, and lifting.

Consider your closet overhaul project a great functional strength and flexibility workout. If you keep up the pace or if you have to move from floor to floor with the changes, you’ll be able to up the ante in the cardio department. If you throw in a few burpees, your personal trainer would be so proud.

2. Fall Foliage Fun

Leaves falling are a definite sign of the season. But, with the mess comes opportunity to rake, pile, bag, and haul the leaves. Do it yourself and burn some serious calories! 

Add a few rounds of leave jumping to up the fun factor and the calorie burn. Get your kids involved and double your work immediately, as they typically mess up the leaves the minute they’re raked.

3. Decorating

Decorating begins in October for most households and doesn’t end ’til January. Getting the fun started: Thanksgiving leaves you cleaning and sprucing up your house for gatherings. Christmas trees and additional festive decorations round out the season.

Between the shopping, hauling, pumpkin pitching, boxing and unboxing, hanging, trimming and cleaning, you can get a full body workout every time you make a holiday theme switch. If you need a ladder for any of the decorating, add a few extra step ups or trips fully up and down for an added lower body blast.

4. Holiday Shopping

If you work it right, you can get some steps in and upper body lifting during your holiday shopping. Start by parking as far away as you can and walking quickly to and from the entrance. Keep up the pace during errands to ensure maximum calorie burn.

In the grocery store, if you’re not going in for much, load up your bags or use the smaller handheld baskets for a little upper body work. At the mall, combine your bags and even out your load between right and left arms. Do a few curls while waiting to check out at the next store instead of putting them on the floor.

5. Game Day Goals

Nearly every fall weekend is marked by big games. Of course, you could lounge on the couch and eat your way through the game, or you could make an effort to get in a bit of activity while you watch. Every time there’s a commercial or time out, make a trip around the house.

To the bathroom, to the kitchen (for water, of course), to put a load of laundry away, or to pick up a room. You will accumulate steps that add up to extra calories being burned during your day. If you’re up for it, head outside during halftime and toss the football around for 15 minutes. Not only will you get a little workout in, but you’ll keep your hands out of the fridge!

6. Look at the scenery

If you have the opportunity, one of the best ways to work out during the fall is to take in the scenery outside. On milder days (or if you’re brave, just bundle up), take a walk, a run or a bike ride. The changing colors, the crisp fall air and the smells of the season will make time fly by. Grab your family and drive somewhere with spectacular views or simply walk out the front door. Play a game of tag to add to the workout.

Fall provides the perfect opportunity for fun-filled activities that can double as workouts. Even though the days are shorter and the to-do lists are longer, look for the small ways you can burn a few extra calories to keep those holiday pounds at bay.

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Shannon Fable, 2013 IDEA and 2006 ACE Instructor of the Year, is the VP of Fitness Programming for the FIT4MOM® franchise. For more than two decades, she has helped impressive brands such as Anytime Fitness, Schwinn®, Power Systems, ACE, Silver Sneakers, and BOSU® as a fitness business and programming consultant. An experienced educator, freelance writer, and certified Book Yourself Solid® Business Coach, she helps fitness entrepreneurs navigate the industry and make more money. Fable serves as Vice Chair of the ACE Board of Directors and is the founder and co-owner of GroupEx PRO®, a cloud-based group fitness management tool.