by Katie Ferraro
Summer has flown by, bringing cooler temperatures (hello, sweater weather!), colorful foliage, cider and donuts and eventually, snow. For most, these upcoming seasons mean even more packed schedules as you prep for the holidays, spend time with loved ones and, of course, indulge in some seriously good food. The gym and staying focused on exercise sometimes take a back seat because there just isn’t enough time. Or is there?
Everyday fitness may look different depending on the season, and that’s okay. Changing it up can keep your routine fresh and exciting. Gym memberships are great options for indoor workouts, but if your time is limited, why waste time commuting? There are plenty of ways to get your exercise in without having to leave your house! However, if you’re feeling the cabin fever, getting outside is totally doable, too.
Fall and Winter Outdoor Workouts
Believe it or not, outdoor workouts in the colder months provide a lot of seemingly hidden health benefits. Research suggests that the health benefits of outdoor fall and winter workouts can include brain boosts, improving allergies, lowering inflammation, skin rejuvenation and better sleep. All of this simply from sweating outside!
Tasks like raking leaves and shoveling snow are necessary chores that totally double as your daily calorie burn. If you’re looking for activities that fall more into the “fun” category, try outdoor sports like snowboarding, ice skating and sledding (trudging back up that bunny hill is serious work!). Don’t sleep on fall though — grab some friends for a friendly (or not) game of football or kickball.
If you’re looking for something that falls more squarely into what we think of as traditional exercise, there is something oddly satisfying about going on a run or brisk walk in the fall. Throw on a pair of compression socks, and you’re good to go.
Home Workout Ideas
If you can’t sneak outside for some fun and games — maybe you’re stuck inside on cooking duty or simply have limited time for fitness — home workouts are an equally great option. Most home workouts can be achieved with no equipment, but bonus points if you have a kettlebell or some dumbbells lying around.
Creating your own home workout plan does not need to be complicated. Start by picking three to five exercises targeting different muscle groups, then do 15-20 reps or 30-60 seconds each, and repeat the circuit for 15-20 minutes. No need to reinvent the wheel — the examples below are all a great place to start (and come in handy while traveling). If you’re looking for even more inspiration here is a great list of 50 movements to choose from.
For 15 minutes:
- 15 squats
- 20 burpees
- 15 push-ups
For 20 minutes:
- 20 jumping lunges
- 20 flutter kicks
- 20 mountain climbers
- 20 tricep dips
- 20 calf raises
- For 15 minutes:
- 20 single-leg deadlifts
- 30 second plank hold
- 15 squat jumps
- 20 step-ups
If you can’t carve out some dedicated time to working out, work a bit of movement into activities like cooking or cleaning. Throw on some compression socks to keep the blood flowing and set a movement timer. Every five minutes or so, take a quick break to do 20 reps of squats, lunges or jumping jacks so you’re not just standing for hours on end. This practice keeps things interesting.
Spring and Summer Workouts
Home workouts are great during every season, and spring and summer are no exception. However, these months are even more popular times to get outside. Swimming is an amazing low-impact workout, but volleyball, basketball and other outdoor sports can be fun, too!
The Bottom Line
No matter what the weather is like or how much you have on your plate, staying active in every season is simple. Give yourself the gift of 15 minutes of movement. This can be done right when you wake up in the morning or before you go to bed, or done as resets throughout your day. Regardless of when or how, the goal here is consistency.
Katie Ferraro is a writer and group fitness trainer in Los Angeles. When she’s not writing or at the gym, you’ll find her somewhere in the wilderness camping, hiking or backpacking.