Fall Into Fitness

Friday, September 26, 2025

The cooler autumn weather is an invitation to get outside and get moving, with plenty of benefits.

Along with building strength, stamina and physical health, exercising outdoors can improve your mood and enhance your self-esteem. Just seeing the colors of nature and seeing or hearing birds makes you feel better, even if you have depression.

Plus, it doesn't have to cost much. To get started, all you need is time and a pair of comfortable shoes. You also have plenty of room (unlike a crowded gym).

Here are some ideas to try:

Take a walk. This exercise is easy to do. It's also easy to adjust your walking speed to your fitness level. Simply step outside for a stroll through your neighborhood or take a longer hike in a park. Ditch the car and walk to the store or to visit a friend. Amp up the fun by walking with someone else—a friend, a family member or your pet.

Bike it. The kid in you will love riding through parks, under leaves that have turned vibrant yellow, orange and red. Bring your own kids along for added fun.

Go for the gold. Why not train for a 5K run or walk? Having a goal is a great way to spur your fitness routine. Look for a program that gets you safely in shape to make it from the couch to the finish line.

Grow some benefits. Caring for your home's outdoor space gets your muscles moving. Raking fall leaves, weeding, and harvesting fruits and veggies that you've grown will keep you active. Plus, just being outdoors can calm your busy mind and make you feel better.

If you want to pick up more strenuous activities than you are used to, check with your Watson Clinic Family Medicine or Internal Medicine physician or provider first. They can guide you toward the exercises that are safest and healthiest for you.

Sources: AARP; American Council on Exercise; American Psychological Association; National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability; National Institute on Aging


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