A while back I got a great opportunity to write an article on fitness for Media Markets Magazine. It was pretty exciting. I contributed to a lifestyles section of a business focused magazine. While anyone can use my fall fitness ideas, they are most geared toward men.
The pictures of the article are hard to read, so I will post the text below.
Fall Into Shape
Fitness Blogger Melissa Davison suggests creative ways for city dwellers to go outside and get (or stay in) shape after a long, hot summer
Ah, fall. The oppressive heat and humidity is behind us. The air feels fresher and crisper than it does any other time of year. It’s the perfect time of year to get outdoors and get a little exercise if not for the sheer love of nature, then for the chance to get into a healthy fitness routine just as refreshing salads, summer produce and light grilled meals start being replaced by pumpkin lattes, halloween candy, and holiday feasts.
Fall is a great time to take your quest for fitness outdoors and leave the gym behind before winter leaves you stuck on the treadmill. If you don’t follow a fitness regimen, getting outside may help you find a workout you love; in fact, you might not even consider it a workout, you might just consider it fun. There are a multitude of ways to get outside and active; here are a few ideas to get you motivated to move. Try one, or all of them until you find something you like.
Hit the Gridiron: How many hours do you expect to watch football this season? Why not get off the couch and find your inner athlete? Many cities have social flag football leagues that play games every weekend. Zogsports (zogsports.com) and NYC Social Sports ( nycsocialsportsclub.com ) are just a couple examples of recreational sports leagues. Look into joining a team or get some friends together to start your own. If sign-ups have already occurred, offer to fill-in for a friend who plans to miss a game someone is always traveling or otherwise committed on a particular weekend, so substitutes are often needed. Not only will you have fun, but you’ll torch at least 600 calories per hour.
If football isn’t your thing, you can find a recreational league for pretty much anything: soccer, ultimate frisbee, rugby, even broomball (yes, broomball). These leagues are a great opportunity (or excuse, depending on how you look at it) to get together with friends or meet new ones. For added motivation, plan a trip to the bar after the game the beer will taste better because you earned it.
Round Third: With the baseball season drawing to a close, there will be a lot of empty diamonds this fall. Throw on a pair of cleats and take a trip down the base paths bring a stopwatch with you and try to beat your best time down the line. Take it up a notch and round the bases at full speed as if you’re going for an inside-the-park home run. Take a minute or two for your heart rate to return to normal and then go again interval sprints are a great way to get in shape. Frequent starting and stopping challenges the body more than running at a steady pace, so you’ll burn more calories in less time. If you really want to push yourself, throw in a set of push-ups or sit-ups between each sprint. This is a great option for a day when you are short on time.
Lose The MetroCard: Autumn is the best time of year to save some money by walking. It’s cool enough to stroll to work without sweating through your suit, but not so cold that you need to pile on layers. As a bonus, traveling above ground will give you a chance to scope out new restaurants in the neighborhood and take a relaxing break from the crowded, stuffy morning commute. It will help you commit to walking if you forego the monthly MetroCard and instead pay for single rides. Let the $2.25 you save with each trip on foot be an incentive to skip the train. Make sure to refresh your playlist before you head out the door!
Foliage on the Run: Trail running is becoming more popular. It gives us the chance to break free from the boundaries of the streets and confines of the track, and test the limits of our endurance. While New York City may not seem like the best place to run trails, there are more local options than you think. Nearby trails are found in Van Cortlandt Park and Prospect Park, making it easy to hit the trail on the run (or walk), and enjoy nature without leaving the city. You’ll be amazed at how undisturbed Van Cortland is, with some trees seemingly as tall as skyscrapers; if you want a little competition, NYRR holds races in Van Cortlandt. Prospect Park allows you to head off the beaten path for mile after mile of scenic views; watch your step as you discover waterfalls, ponds, and scenic overlooks. If you are ready to try trail running on a mountain, check out the North Face Endurance Challenge, which holds events at nearby Bear Mountain and offers a variety of distances for people of all skill levels.
Take A Hike or Hop in a Raft: The fall foliage makes autumn the best time of year to seek out the trail blazes. There are few things more rewarding than conquering a mountain. The nearby Hudson Highlands make it possible to get out and get rugged–no car necessary! Just take Metro North to Breakneck Ridge and conquer the scramble of the mountain face. You will be rewarded for your efforts with gorgeous views of the Hudson River and West Point. When you finish the hike, you’ll be just a short walk from the quaint town of Cold Spring, so grab a beer at a local bar before heading back.
As hiking isn’t just a walk in the park, you want to prepare. Make sure to bring a good map, lots of water, plenty of sandwiches and a few friends! A great book for urban hikers is 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: New York City. If you prefer to have the grunt work of researching and planning done for you, check out Urban Escapes or Outdoor Bound, which organize and plan hikes and also offer rafting, camping, rock climbing, kayaking, and skydiving. If you are looking for romance, check out the singles trips!
Tour de NY: If you don’t own a bike, rent one near Columbus Circle and take a few loops of Central Park. Or head downtown where you can cruise along the Battery Park City Esplanade. If you are feeling adventurous, hop a ferry to Governor’s Island where you can rent a bike and check out NYC’s newest real estate project. Biking is a great way to burn calories and easier on the joints compared with running.
Tune up and give ‘em 10. Bootcamps are a fun, competitive and challenging way to get yourself into fighting form, and fast. Check out Crossfit for a marine-style workout that changes daily. For early birds, Pure Power Boot Camp will whip you into shape as early as 5:30AM. If you would like to sweat in the great outdoors with no commitment, check out Essential Athlete or 360 Fit which offer grueling Central Park workouts at per-class rates. There are several benefits to bootcamp-style workouts, including variety, camaraderie, and the satisfaction of knowing you survived despite being forced out of your comfort zone.
Run for a cause. If you think you could never run a marathon, I would like to assure you, you can. You may not win the marathon, but almost anyone can complete one. Where can you find the motivation to train long enough to run 26.2 miles? Try signing up with a charity organization, such as Team in Training (teamintraining.org) or Team for Kids (runwithtfk.org). Because your fitness goal will be aligned with a great cause, the motivation will be built in! Making new running friends and hearing teammates’ stories will give you more than enough inspiration to go the extra mile. In return for fundraising, you will get a great team of coaches, mentors, training workshops, and social activities to guide you every step of the way right across the finish line.