5 Ways to Enjoy Outdoor Fall Activities
There’s nothing quite like autumn in Wisconsin. The leaves are changing, the weather turns crisp but still warm, and everyone takes advantage of the last days of outdoor fall activities before the winter cold weather sets in.
Outdoor fall activities are good for your physical and mental health. Getting outside and moving is an excellent opportunity to boost your fitness before holiday parties and excesses. Here in the Midwest, we all know that winter can get long and icy, so engaging in autumnal fun is even more important.
At the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin, your health and wellbeing are always our highest priority. We encourage you to engage in any outdoor fall activities with safety in mind. Should you find discomfort in your movement or sustain an injury, contact us right away. Don’t suffer in silence. We will work with you on a care plan that will get you back on your feet in no time.
In the meantime, here are five ways to safely enjoy outdoor fall activities and take advantage of all that autumn has to offer.
1. Prepare for Mixed Weather
No matter the fitness activity, the right equipment is crucial for your safety and performance. If you’re playing in a fall sports league or starting a new fall-friendly fitness endeavor like biking or running, take time to research and invest in the right gear. In the fall, you may need to prepare for many different conditions surrounding your sport.
Keep in mind that the fall weather is finicky. Temperatures can change quickly, and a storm can roll in fast. Be prepared by dressing in layers and carrying rain gear with you, just in case. Similarly, don’t dismiss the possibility of a fall heatwave. Prioritize hydration and take water with you, no matter the outdoor fall activity.
2. Take in the Beauty of Nature
One of the best ways to move more in the fall is to take advantage of Wisconsin’s natural beauty with a fall hike, trail bike ride, or nature walk. When the leaves are changing and the weather is cooling, a hike is a wonderful way to see wildlife and connect with the outdoors. Bring along the binoculars and your camera to capture views of the birds and interesting flora.
When you venture out in nature, remember to always carry water and emergency gear. Keep your cell phone charged, but tell a friend where you plan to go just in case you lose service. Wear hiking shoes with good traction to help you keep your footing, especially on slippery fallen leaves. Plan your route around safe trails that are marked and easy to navigate.
3. Enjoy Fall-Themed Activities
Another way to get in more outdoor fall activities is to make the most of the unique seasonal offerings. Take advantage of opportunities to go apple picking or to explore your local pumpkin patch. While these activities are leisurely and relaxing, they still offer you a chance to get outside and move. You’ll fit in some extra walking, fun, and fresh air to boot!
As we move into late fall, investigate haunted corn mazes, ghost tours, and pumpkin walks. Kick off the holiday season with a “Turkey Trot” run on Thanksgiving. Many of these events are low-pressure “fun runs” with distances of 5K or less. Some races also offer virtual options so you can participate on your own schedule. Training for a run is a great way to keep up your workout motivation and burn off calories before the big meal.
4. Get Out on the Water
Think the end of summer means saying goodbye to the lake? Think again! You can still do many water activities like fishing, kayaking, rowing, and canoeing in the fall. The rowing associated with small craft boating is excellent for building upper body and core strength. Even if the water is too chilly for a swim, you aren’t landbound yet!
Whenever you go out on the lake or river, be sure to follow all safety guidelines. Check the posted signs to ensure it’s safe and there are no restrictions. Bring a life jacket, sunscreen, and plenty of drinking water. Don’t forget to let a friend or family member know exactly where you plan to go and what time you will return.
5. Put Safety First
No matter what outdoor fall activities you plan to undertake, remember to put safety first! If you’re playing team sports or taking a class, listen to your coach, instructor, or team leader. Don’t push your body to do something new if you aren’t comfortable. Fitness should be fun, not dangerous or painful.
Always stay hydrated. Warm up and cool down before you exercise and use the right form. These precautions sound simple, but an ounce of injury prevention can be worth a pound of cure. Many injuries associated with fall activities happen because of inattentiveness and inexperience. Newbie athletes often push themselves to the point of damage. Remember to check with your doctor before you start any type of exercise program—indoor OR outdoor—to ensure you’re well enough to engage in the activity.
Make safety a priority so you can enjoy all the great outdoor fall activities. Autumn is one of the best seasons to get outside and enjoy yourself, so play it safe and contact our team at the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin today if you sustain any injuries. We will help make sure you don’t miss out on a beautiful fall in Wisconsin!