7 Fall Activities to Help You Make the Most of the Season
The leaves are changing colors. The air is crisper, and fall has officially arrived. With cooler temperatures guaranteed for the next few months, you can finally head outside to work up a sweat without worrying about overheating. Here’s our ultimate list of fall activities every Spartan must do so you can make the most of this season.
If scorching summer weather kept you running indoors, consider trail running as one of your fall activities to switch up your routine. A change of scenery can inspire you. Plus, running on the ground outside is easier on your body than pounding away on a hard, flat surface.
“When you think about running on different surfaces in the trails outside, it can be a lot better on the joints, the hips and knees, the lower back,” says Alan Snyder, PT, DPT, owner of Breakaway Physical Therapy in New York, NY. Snyder also has completed six Spartan races.
Synder says that trail running also can improve your proprioception or what he describes as “the information you get from the ground.” This can help you move through uneven terrain.
“You start training your ankles to not injure themselves when the race day comes,” says Snyder.
Run to the top of Sandstone Peak — the tallest point in the Santa Monica Mountains at 3,111 feet and one of Southern California’s classic trails — for breathtaking views all around.
Travel to Boston, Chicago and California for a Spartan race
Consider traveling to a place you’ve never visited before to race this fall. You can compete at Boston’s Fenway Park to experience one of the country’s most beloved ballparks. Do burpees in the clubhouse and sprint through the finish line at home plate. Chicago’s Wrigley Field is also hosting its own race. Or you can race through rugged Virginia countryside as part of the Virginia Trail 21K and 10K. Run through Tejon Ranch — about one hour north of Los Angeles — as you climb up hills, run through mountains and wooded valleys of Southern California. See even more races throughout the country here:
If you really want to experience the outdoors, consider sleeping under the stars in a tent. Eating, sleeping and exercising in the great outdoors can make you feel more in touch with nature. National parks are perfect places to camp out, with many different campsites. Maine’s coastal Acadia National Park offers rocky beaches and granite peaks. Colorado’s high mountain peaks are on display in their full glory at Rocky Mountain National Park. Tackle rugged terrain of the 10-miles long Sunset Trail and then relax post-hike in the soothing thermal waters at Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas.
One of our favorite parts of hiking?
“You’re walking with a destination in mind,” says Snyder. And when you know the end of a hard, long hike will lead to a gorgeous place, that can motivate you to finish. And yes, hiking is walking. But depending on the difficulty of the trail, it can be as tough as any long race.
But besides just working up a sweat in a gorgeous setting, you’re also strengthening your bones.
“Weight-bearing exercise is really, really big for bone density,” says Snyder.
If you’re searching for a challenge, consider the Yosemite Falls Trail. Climb 2,700 feet in this 7.2 miles round trip hike. Your reward? Unparalleled views from the top of North America’s tallest waterfall at 2,425 feet.
“The thing with mountain biking is there's so much inherent resistance built-in, which is so good for building up strength and for building up cardiovascular endurance,” says Snyder.
As an added bonus, mountain biking at higher elevations can boost your overall performance.
“If you really are serious about improving your red blood cells, your ability to do higher work by training and altitude can really help you out,” says Snyder.
Choice mountain biking trails include Sedona’s scenic single-loop Slim Shady Trail, with the Northern Arizona’s town red rocks as the backdrop.
Cross Train In the Outdoors
Fall’s more mild temperatures mean that you get to head outside to exercise. And you can perform a myriad of different exercises. Run outside. Head to your local park to complete the obstacle course. Hike. Bike. The possibilities are endless. And if you get bored of a certain activity, you can pick another one.
We couldn’t run a list of fall activities without mentioning apple picking. This classic autumn activity is not just a fun way to spend an afternoon at a farm. Apples are a nutrient-dense food. Apples are rich in fiber, phytochemicals, and Vitamin-C, according to Harvard. Some studies have even shown that apples may help boost cardiovascular help. And best of all? They taste good and are an easy treat to pack too.