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5 Fun Alternative Fall “Workouts”

As we head into winter, you may have noticed your household to-do list getting longer with all of the chores you intend to finish by the time the holidays roll around. You may be wondering how you are going to get all of the boxes checked and still hit the gym on a regular basis. But you might be surprised at some of your typical fall activities can still challenge your strength, burn calories and help you maintain your fitness level - even if you know you aren’t going to make it to the gym.

Alternative Fall "Workouts"

Gathering donations for charity

While spring-cleaning has always been popular, a lot of people clean and purge their homes of belongings they no longer need and donate them to charity. Depending on how much stuff you decide to get rid of, or if you are in the process of moving, you may have a sizable load or two to bring to your favorite charitable organization. Think about all of the work you are doing to pack, carry, load and then unload those boxes. You could burn up to 265 calories* in a half an hour and you are also doing something good for your community.

Raking leaves

If you live anywhere with a change of season, raking leaves is a fact of life. You probably remember how sore you feel the day after cleaning up your entire yard. Raking is no joke: it challenges your strength, flexibility, as well as endurance. Raking the yard for an hour, including hauling those bags of leaves to the curb, will burn up to 300 calories.

Mall walking

Now may also be the time you are getting a jump on that holiday shopping, including those many trips to the mall. By the time you have trekked from your impossibly far away parking spot, walked the length of the mall a few times in search of the perfect gift, and gone back to your car, you have probably spent at least an hour and burned about 229 calories, assuming you were walking at a leisurely pace and avoided the Cinnabons and Auntie Anne’s pretzels.

Turkey trotting

While this is not an “accidental” fall activity (who accidentally rolls out of bed at the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving morning to run in the cold?), this is a great way to burn some extra calories before the Super Bowl of eating commences. Most towns offer a race like this, and most races are 5k. If you are a novice runner, like I am, you might shoot for an 11 or 12-minute pace.

Carrying groceries home from your local farmer’s market

Fall is a wonderful time to shop local and get in on the amazing root vegetables, cabbage and squash before the weather turns colder. By the time you walk to the farmers market, shop and haul those heavy groceries home, you could burn up to 100 calories, depending on how far away you live from the market.

Results based on a 165 lb. person

by Abby Campbell

Abby is the principal and founder of Clever Fox Consulting, and frequent contributor to the Cybex International blog. A lover of all things fitness, she enjoys long runs along the Charles, doing the workout of the day at her local CrossFit box, and doing interval training on her Arc Trainer.

Cybex is a provider and manufacturer of premium commercial fitness equipment. Content featured in the Cybex Fitness Blog is meant to inspire healthy living and wellness and should not be taken as medical advice. As always, be sure to consult a physician if you are unsure of your individual exercise readiness or have a preexisting medical condition. While these programs offer great benefits, there are many considerations that should be weighed before attempting any type of physical activity.