3 Ways To Stay Fit This Fall (without going to the gym!)

During the summertime, we have lots of opportunities to be physically active -- whether it’s swimming, playing beach volleyball, hiking or playing with our kids at the park.

But as vacation ends, the kids go back to school, the days get shorter and we spend lots of time sitting at a desk or behind a steering wheel, it becomes a little more difficult to stay in shape.

Of course, going to the gym or taking fitness classes are great options, but we wanted to suggest a few other creative options for staying in shape this fall!

1) 30 Day Plank Challenge

           No, this is not the dangerous hold-a-plank-pose-in-a-crazy-location that was all the rage on social media a few years ago.  This month-long challenge starts with staying in the plank position for 15 seconds, and works your endurance up to the point where you can hold the position for 2-3 minutes (depending on which schedule you choose.)

           We like the Plank Challenge because it’s fast (who doesn’t have at least a few spare seconds every day?), it’s free, you can do it anywhere, and it doesn’t require any special equipment.  

           There are several downloadable Plank Challenge schedules online, or you can download an app onto your phone. To have even more fun with the challenge, recruit a group of friends to do it with you...and take before-and-after pictures of yourself to remember how hard you’ve worked to be so healthy and strong!

        2) The 7-Minute Workout

          This workout, popularized by the New York Times’ Well blog, is another easy, free way to stay in shape!  It’s basically a circuit-training plan that works out every major muscle group in a short amount of time, and the only “equipment” required is a chair.

          If you repeat the workout three times a day, you’ll get excellent strength-building and cardio benefits, and you’ll easily fulfill your daily recommended exercise requirement to keep your body in tip-top shape.

          You can find the workout plan here...or just download the app!

        3) Get Your Steps In!

            Getting 10,000 steps per day has become a popular way of staying in shape in the U.S. in the past few years, but the idea actually originated in Japan in the 1960’s.  10,000 steps is a little under 5 miles, and burns 400-500 calories (depending on your gender and weight.)  Since the American diet tends to be higher in calories than it was in the 1960’s, some exercise experts recommend getting closer to 15,000 steps -- but everyone agrees that the more you move, the better you’ll feel, and the healthier your body will be!

           It’s easy to incorporate your exercise goal into your everyday activities --  by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going for a walk on your lunch break, taking your dog for a walk, running around the park with your kids, or walking instead of sitting during your airport layover.   Most smartphones have a built-in step-counting feature, or your can use an app or a fitness tracking device to keep you on track!

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