Fall is my favorite season, the air is crisp and cool, the leaves are turning gorgeous colors, the sun is bright and there is that unmistakable autumn scent. And although the temperature is dropping, many of us diehard outdoor exercisers are not ready to head indoors. The good news is there are tons of great workouts that are perfect for a fall day such as cycling, hiking, running, or roller blading.
I had been contemplating a seasonal break-up with my beloved bicycle over the weekend, but after applying these top five tips, I now aim to ride until the snow falls (or maybe longer).
1. How to dress:
Wear thin layers that will be easy to add and remove as needed. Choose clothes with sweat-wicking qualities (wicking refers to pulling moisture away from your skin). Your outer layer should be wind and water resistant. Don’t forget to accessorize with a hat or ear band, windproof gloves, and a neck wrap. To complete your ensemble protect your eyes from the cold with ski goggles, and apply a layer of lip balm.
What you drink before, during and after exercise affects your performance. Proper hydration is essential not only for optimal physical performance, but also to regulate your body temperature. Drink warm water and lemon before and after you exercise. (Although the idea of coffee and Bailey’s may seem appealing post workout, the alcohol dilates your blood vessels increasing your heat loss and coffee is extremely dehydrating). During exercise consume one cup of lukewarm water every 15-20 minutes.
3. What to eat:
The ancient ayurvedic philosophy of nourishment is to eat opposite the weather. Warm foods when it is cold outside and cold foods when it is warm. Your body’s main source of energy during exercise is derived from carbohydrates, so load up on whole grains, soups and starches before and after exercise for sustained energy, and recovery.
4. Plan your route:
With the fall comes the wind, start your journey into the wind and this will help warm your body and allow you to use the wind as your friend on the way home when you are tired. Take your water stops in a sheltered area.
5. Cool down:
Begin your cool down five minutes from the end of your route. Although your body will feel quite warm at the end of your journey, it will cool down very quickly. Complete your cool down inside for at least another five minutes, it is important to keep moving (walk up and down your stairs a few times) this will help prevent muscle cramping and help the body cool down gradually. Then remove your damp clothing and stretch out in the comfort of a warm shower.
Author by Sarah Brown