The change in seasons provides the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and shake up your fitness routine while enjoying the crisp air and colorful foliage. Studies show that outdoor physical activity positively impacts health outcomes.1 So, take advantage of the fall season to get outdoors, boost your fitness regimen, and burn off the extra calories from all those pumpkin spice lattes!

Hike a Scenic Foliage Path

Soak up the autumn colors, crisp air, and outdoor scenery with a hike on a scenic trail featuring fall’s finest foliage. Visit a State Park or local Forest Preserve, or, maybe just take a walk down a local street you love.

Play Fall’s Favorite Sport

Fall means football! Join an outdoor touch football or soccer league or get the neighbors out to play. Studies show that team sports boost physical and mental well being. Not only can you start some friendly competition, but you’ll burn calories and get a great workout.

Get Back to What You Love

Follow a Fitness Trail

Many parks and forest preserves offer walking or running paths that include fitness stations challenging you to complete a strength or cardio exercise. When you complete the trail, you’ll have achieved a full-body workout and increased your heart rate. A quick online search should show options in your area.

Pick Apples and Pumpkins

Nothing says fall more than an apple orchard or pumpkin farm. Spend a few hours in search of perfect apples and pumpkins and burn calories in the process. As an added bonus, you’ll have lots of crisp fruits to turn into healthy recipes when you get home.

Rake Leaves

Some call raking leaves a chore, but the more optimistic look at it as a full body workout. Raking leaves is one of the best workouts you can get as it helps build upper-body strength as well as core strength. Plus, your yard will look great!

Authored by Zach Meeker, Research Assistant for Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center

1 Harada, K., Lee, S., Bae, S., Harada, K., Suzuki, T., Shimada, H. (2016). Objectively-measured outdoor time and physical and psychological function among older adults. Epidemiology, Clinical Practice and Health. First published: 16 September 2016

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