Staying physically active is important at all ages and stages of life, especially during menopause. If you’re looking to change up your exercise routine, fall is the perfect time of year to take your physical activity outdoors. From the cooler weather to the changing scenery, the fall season makes for a more enjoyable outdoor exercise experience.
Take a look at the benefits of staying active for menopausal and post-menopausal women and the outdoor fall activities that can keep you active this autumn.
Benefits of Staying Active
Regular aerobic exercise is an essential aspect of staying healthy and offers important benefits for women experiencing menopause.
- Helps Manage Weight: Physical activity and exercise help prevent weight gain, which is common in menopause. Managing your weight also helps reduce the risk of developing certain diseases and cancers.
- Promotes Cardiovascular Health: While menopause does not cause heart disease, heart disease symptoms can become more evident after menopause. Regular exercise promotes cardiovascular health and helps prevent heart disease.
- Strengthens Bones: The decrease in estrogen associated with menopause can result in bone loss and the onset of osteoporosis. Maintaining a healthy body weight and exercising can help strengthen bones and prevent bone loss.
- Improves Sleep: Exercise has been found to help you fall asleep and improve the quality of sleep. Exercise raises body temperature, and the subsequent drop can trigger drowsiness and help you fall asleep.
- Provides Energy: Physical activity boosts energy and endurance by delivering oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and promoting cardiovascular system efficiency.
- Boosts Mood: Exercise releases endorphins and stimulates brain chemicals that help improve your mood in addition to providing more energy.
10 Outdoor Fall Activities That Keep You Moving
Exercise can sometimes feel like a chore, but staying active doesn’t have to be hard work. Try these outdoor fall activities to keep you moving and having fun throughout the season.
1. Pick Apples
With the fall harvest, there’s no better time to head out to an apple orchard for the day and enjoy walking among trees. Plus, you’ll head home with a delicious, healthy snack.
2. Go for a Hike
With the leaves changing colors and the weather cooling down, fall is the ideal time to venture out on a hike. Not only will you get your heart rate pumping and work up a sweat, but you’ll get the best views of the changing scenery.
3. Collect Leaves
Looking for an activity to enjoy with children or grandchildren? Take a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood to collect leaves and take in the changing colors up close.
4. Play Football
Even in these uncertain times, fall is still the season for America’s favorite pastime: football. Get the family together for a friendly game of touch football or just to toss the ball around. Just be sure to stay socially-distanced and wash your hands after playing.
5. Get Lost in a Corn Maze
Corn mazes are a great activity to get the whole family moving, and finding the best route will provide some mental exercise as well.
6. Jump in a Leaf Pile
Feel like a kid again and enjoy one of the most classic outdoor fall activities out there. An added bonus is that it will add some much-needed fun to your yard work.
7. Host a Scavenger Hunt
Whether planning for the whole family or a group of friends, people of all ages can enjoy a scavenger hunt. Include clues around your neighborhood or block to get you and your opponents out and moving in the cool fall air.
8. Run a Fall 5K
With cooling temperatures, fall is the ideal time to run or walk a 5K. Many towns and cities host races around the Thanksgiving holiday, so keep an eye out for news of races happening in your town.
9. Take a Canoe Ride
Head to your favorite lake or creek and take out a canoe or rowboat. The rowing will get your heart rate up and your muscles moving while you enjoy the scenery.
10. Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Finally, no list of outdoor fall activities is complete without a trip to the pumpkin patch. Spend some time walking amongst the rows of pumpkins – and testing your strength with the heavier ones – to pick a favorite for a jack-o-lantern or a centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table.
Whether you choose to enjoy with friends, family, or on your own, these outdoor fall activities will get you moving and help you make the most of fall.
Talk to a Menopause Practitioner
Dr. Karen Clark of Chapel Hill Gynecology is a certified menopause practitioner, experienced in helping patients as they transition to menopause. She can give you guidance on practices that promote healthy aging. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Clark, call (919) 960-2720. Chapel Hill Gynecology is open for office visits (using recommended protocols for preventing COVID-19 exposure) as well as telemedicine visits.