With crisp air,multicolored leavesand so many classic activities to add to your calendar, fall marks one of the most wonderful times of the year. It also provides the perfect climate to get moving outside.
Want to maintain your weight or even slim down? These activities — paired with a healthy diet — can help tip the calorie balance in your favor. Here’s how many calories you can burn while enjoying some of fall’s most popular activities.*
*Calorie burn estimates are for a person with a body weight of 160lbs/73kg.
What better way to take in the changing fall leaves than a hike on atechnicolor trail？“As you step through the uneven terrain on a hike, you’re training your stability and strengthening your lower body,” says James Thomas, a certified personal trainer and studio manager withLes Mills. A walk in the woods can up your heart rate, helpboost your moodanddial down stressand anxiety — a big plus pre-holiday season. Try adog-friendly hike,explore a national park with the kidsor mix things up with anurban hike.
Boring chore orengaging workout？“当树叶落,把我们的草坪和sidewalks an autumnal orange, raking and bagging leaves can provide an excellent whole-body workout that will help preemptively burn off some potential winter weight,” says Jack McNamara, a certified personal trainer withTrain Fitness. To reap core-strengthening benefits and avoid injury, follow these tips:
- Try to keep your posture as upright as possible.
- Regularly switch between raking from your left and right.
- Lift bags of leaves with your knees and legs rather than stooping or bending your back.
Ahh, the joy of the human-horse bond. Galloping through the fields on the back of a horse is another fall activity that might surprise you with its calorie-burning benefits. “Horseback riding is a good workout for the core muscles and thighs,” saysJody Braverman, a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist. For a greater calorie burn, build up to a more challenging gait like a long trot and canter or work on skills like reining and cutting, per a2015 studyby researchers at Texas A&M University.
If you find yourself with a lot of wood to chop, you’ll reap the benefits of an excellent full-body cardiovascular workout with an impressive calorie burn to boot. “When you chop wood, your body coordinates multiple muscle groups through various planes of motion, requiring you to stabilize and engage your legs, abs, glutes, core, lower and upper back, chest, shoulders and arms,” says McNamara. No wood? No problem. For a similar workout, try using acable crossover machineat your local gym or practicing your swing with amedicine ball.
There’s nothing better than heading to a farm with family and friends to pick pumpkins and fill bushels full of apples forhomemade desserts. When you’re walking, reaching, twisting, squatting and carrying weight, you’re not just taking in the scenery and having fun — you’re also getting in a strength workout, says Thomas. These multiplanar movements get your body moving forward, side to side, and up and down which can help youimprove your range of motionandavoid injuriesin the future.
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Getting lost in a corn maze might not be the top calorie-scorcher on this list, but it’s a highly accessible way to boost your step count andimprove your overall health. “To increase the challenge, just pick up the pace and pump your arms,” says Braverman. Depending on how long youpower walk, you could burn quite a few calories — and even more if it’s haunted and you end up running from monsters or a stranger with a chainsaw.
Another great way to burn calories andhave a healthier Halloweenis to stroll through your neighborhood to take in decorations or go trick-or-treating with your children. “Toward the end of the month, trick-or-treating can provide a large amount of steps,” says Thomas. “I remember covering almost two miles of front lawns to hit as many houses as I could.” A higher step count could also contribute tobetter sleep at nightonce you’ve returned home with your haul.
THE BOTTOM LINE
There are plenty of ways to enjoy your favorite fall activities while also burning calories. Along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, more movement can help improve your fitness, mood and calorie balance.
Ready to take the next step?Unlock MyFitnessPal Premiumto access custom goal settings, quick-log recipes, and guided plans from a registered dietitian. Premium users are 65% more likely to reach their weight loss goals!