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Exercise the Right to Fall Fitness

The kids are back to school, which means the countdown to yet another New Year's Eve resolution has unofficially begun. And the oncoming eating, I mean, holiday season is looming just around the next corner. (Halloween, anyone?)

Here are a few ways to start making the most of the season. And who knows? This year, you might be in good enough shape before that New Year's Eve party you won't have to make any more unresolved resolutions.

Take advantage of the weather. Fall can be a treat for the senses: the crisp air, apple picking, pumpkin-carving and gorgeous canopies of fall foliage all summon us outdoors. These months are a great time to exercise outdoors and enjoy cooler temperatures. Discover park trails (have you been to Weston's Devil's Den lately? Or Huntington Park in Redding? If not, fall is the perhaps the most perfect time) and take in some new scenery.

And remember, it doesn't have to seem like exercise to be a worthwhile workout. Raking leaves or jumping into some fall yard work allows you to simultaneously burn calories and take care of nagging chores.

Integrate exercise into your daily life. You already know the obvious suggestions: park farther away from your destination and take stairs instead of elevators. And instead of sitting at your desk, why not take a walk during your lunch break?

Remember, the days are getting shorter. Even though fall is well-suited to exercising outdoors be aware that it gets darker earlier. It also stays dark later in the morning, so be smart and safe. If possible, use trails or a local school track to avoid vehicle traffic.

Dress in layers. When exercising outside, layer your clothing. Before your body warms up, you might feel chilled but once your blood gets pumping, you'll feel overdressed.

Find your motivation. Determine your goals, whether they're losing weight, strengthening and toning, or preparing for a race or event.

Regardless of your outdoor activity, enjoy the relatively warm weather while you can. Before you know it, you'll be thinking about cross-country skiing.

What kind of exercise do you outdoors? Let me know here.

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