9 (Unexpected) Fall-Inspired Fitness Ideas for Women Over 50
Cooler weather is just around the corner, and that means time to plan for some fun, health-boosting fall fitness activities! Don’t miss this quick essential list!
Nordic Pole Walking
Take your outdoor walking game to the next level with the wildly popular Nordic pole walking! Originally developed as an off-season cross-training exercise for cross-country skiers, Nordic pole walking has gained momentum with athletic and non-athletic people alike, especially amongst the 50+ crowd.
Because you engage more muscle groups when you walk with poles in your hands, you end up burning more calories and improving your posture. Ask around at your local gym or senior center for tips on getting started with Nordic pole walking.
The focus on fall fitness may be all about your arms, legs and core, but giving your hands a workout every now and then can play a more important role in your longevity than you realize.
Naturally, ageing diminishes dexterity, grip strength, even the elasticity of skin on the hands. One way to combat this loss in coordination and strength is to exercise your fine motor skills – like you do with scooping out the inside of a pumpkin and carving jack-o-lantern faces on it!
Pick Your Own Food
While many fall foods, like apples, are readily available in your grocery store year-round, depending on where you live, there might be a local farm or orchard that allows you to go and pick your own food.
You can visit PickYourOwn.org to find a list of produce that is coming to harvest near where you live, or simply google “local pick your own orchards and farms.”
Depending on the type of farm, even older adults who utilize mobility scooters may be able to participate in a fun activity like this. Coordinate an outing with family or friends and make a day of it!
Lace up those walking shoes and raise money for a good cause at the same time! The temperate fall weather creates a perfect environment for charity athletic events including walk-a-thons, fun runs, 5Ks, you name it.
Find out if a charity you support is hosting a local walk to raise money and coordinate a group of friends to participate with you. The fall months are full of awareness events for prostate and breast cancer, mental illness, family caregivers, Alzheimer’s disease and more.
Have you heard? A recent study out of King’s College in London has found that older adults who cycle regularly are not only more likely to maintain critical muscle mass well into their later years, but they also develop stronger immune systems that mirror those of much younger adults.
Cycling isn’t just a great cardio workout that helps maintain your waistline though. It could be your key to safeguarding yourself against illness during cold and flu season too!
Transform your regular yoga practice by taking it outside into the cool, crisp fall air. The beautiful outdoor setting will enrich this mindfulness-cultivating activity and can be even more stress-relieving compared to practicing in an indoor studio.
Find a yoga class near you that practices outdoors sometimes and reap the health-boosting benefits yoga can offer, like decreased joint pain, improved flexibility, lower blood pressure and increased bone density.
While it’s nice to give your neighborhood teens a way to earn a little extra cash doing yard work for you, getting out and raking up all the leaves that fall from your trees could be just the quick exercise session you need.
You can quickly work up a sweat raking, especially up or down a hill, and even burn upwards of 100 calories in a half hour. Even better, join a community clean-up event and volunteer to beautify your local parks and rivers!
There is never a shortage of volunteer opportunities, especially around fall and the holiday season. Volunteering is not only a great stress-reliever and conduit for social engagement, but research has shown that it can also help prevent high blood pressure in adults over 50.
Search for local volunteer opportunities near you with tools provided at VolunteerMatch.org and Createthegood.org.
Do Something Fun with the Grandkids
Whether you’re attending the elementary school fall carnival fundraiser or taking them to the Halloween corn maze, there are loads of fun fall activities to do with your kids and grandkids that will get you all outside, moving and having fun.
Take advantage of this valuable time of the year, where the weather is still fairly cooperative and the days aren’t super short yet, to make memories with your grandkids and get a mini-workout in too.
What activities do you like to do in the fall? Do you think any of them classify as exercise? Which new activity would you like to try this fall? Please join the conversation and share your fresh ideas!