Autumn is here and the weather is changing. With cooler temperatures it can be an excellent time to focus on outdoor exercise in advance of the winter. Here are 5 tips for improving your fitness this fall:
- Take a walk or run outside.
Fall is the perfect time start a walking or running program at your local park. You can enjoy the scenery of the fall foliage while exercising at a comfortable temperature. Start on a level surface if possible and progress to hills or more strenuous hikes or runs. Twenty to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day can help you lose weight before the holidays come.
2. Get your Vitamin D.
Fall brings shorter days and less time in the sunshine. Vitamin D is essential to our normal physiology and is derived from sun exposure. Spending at least 20-30 minutes, 3 times a week in the sunshine is essential for maintaining normal Vitamin D levels. Take a lunch break or picnic and bask in the sun a bit this fall.
3. Eat some spaghetti squash.
Spaghetti squash has become quite popular in recent years as a lower carbohydrate alternative to spaghetti. Once cooked, the flesh of the squash separates into spaghetti like “strands” that have a starchy consistency similar to pasta. The flavor of the squash is mild so that toppings can be easily added to recreate a lower carb version of any favorite pasta dish.
It is also popular because it is quite low in calories when compared to pasta. A cup of spaghetti squash only has about 42 calories, whereas a cup of pasta has around 250 calories. It is also high in fiber as well as vitamins A, C, B1, B2, and B3. It is high in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that have been linked to a reduced risk of age-related vision loss.
A spaghetti squash can be baked or microwaved. Once the flesh has softened and the squash has cooled a bit, remove the seeds and use a fork to shred the squash into the spaghetti like strands. It can be topped with your favorite spaghetti sauce from marinara to alfredo.
If you’re struggling with motivation, or you simply want to squeeze more out of every workout, then one of the smartest moves you can make is to get a workout buddy. In fact, having the right workout buddy can often be the difference between failure and success. Even if you find that you work better on your own, the right workout partner can provide you with the support that keeps you going and make you accountable.