Fall is great time of year to stay fit

Fall is great time of year to stay fit

Madison Deadman, A&E Editor

FitnessBy A&E Editor: Madison Deadman

Every January, many people’s New Year’s resolutions are to diet, workout more, and cut some weight. Most of the time, these people seldom follow through with their vows. It’s easy to fall into the habit of bundling up and staying indoors during the holidays. So why not start sooner? Fall is the ideal time to start a fitness routine and create good workout habits before the holiday season. Instead of starting with a new year, start with the change of tree colors. When summer ends and cooler temps set in, it is a perfect time to restart and rethink.

Temperature change

Summer may seem like the prime time for outdoor activities but sometimes the oppressing heat may have you longing for the air conditioning. Now that temperatures have dropped and autumn is in full swing, this is the time to take advantage of being outside.

“Fall is refreshing. Summer lacks the ability to make me feel rejuvenated. The heat exhausts me and leaves me feeling drowsy throughout the entire day. I really enjoy the feeling of the crisp air on my face and the smell of freshly fallen leaves. There’s really nothing else like it,” says junior Ashleigh Harrah, a company dancer at Performing Arts Dance Academy.

Temperature changes also affect people physically and mentally. Have you ever heard someone predict the weather based on a joint pain? I’m sure you have never thought anything of it other than it being an old wives’ tale. According to an article from WebMD, the human body can feel a thunderstorm even before it comes. This is because of Barometric Pressure, the weight of the atmosphere, which is becoming heavier. People who have sensitive joints can feel the Earth’s weight change. Also, as it gets colder, the joints become tenser, and it is important to stay active and stretch to keep them loose and feeling good.

Seasonal depression, often called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is very common. This disorder afflicts many living in Michigan where we go from bright blue skies to dull gray ones. People are getting much less sunlight than they are used to. Believe it or not, being active can benefit you more than you know. Exercising is, in fact, a mood-enhancer.

“The link between mood and exercise is pretty strong. Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood enhancement effect,” says Michael Otto, PhD, a psychology professor at Boston University, in an American Psychological Association article.

However, physical activity extends for much longer than five minutes and can alleviate a person of long-term depression.

“Exercising regularly not only makes me physically feel good, but mentally as well. I have more energy, focus, and confidence,” says senior varsity basketball player, Maggie Jenison.

Outdoor activities

Soon enough, temperatures will begin to drop drastically and people will be obligated to take part in the gym and other indoor activities. But for the time being, everyone should be living it up in these beautiful weather conditions.

Hiking- There are hundreds of trails throughout Michigan, ones that are specifically carved for Autumn color hikes, to view the most vibrant foliage. This is a great way to capture some of Michigan’s finest beauty. You can wander for miles and miles at your own pace, taking in the great atmosphere and getting good exercise. So put on your boots and pick a trail!

Rowing- This is a great activity for people of all different ages. However, it isn’t recommended for people under the age of 14. It is a sport that can be competitive or just for enjoyment. It is one of the few non-weight bearing sports that improves both cardiovascular and muscular strength.

Biking- Biking can be used for transportation, recreation, or sport. According to the British Medical Association, approximately 20 life-years are gained from the health benefits of road bicycling for every life-year lost through injury. It is also helpful to arthritic conditions found in the lower limbs.

Hydration

As the seasons change, so does the body.

Water is essential for a healthy metabolism, detoxification, and for warding off dehydration. When exercising, the body produces lactic acid which is what allows muscles to build. Even though this sounds like a good thing, it’s what causes soreness. Adding sliced cucumbers, lemons, and limes to your water helps with indigestion, heartburn, headaches, and preventing water weight gain. You may have seen junior cross country and track runner, Macallister Laituri, wandering the halls with a jug of water.

“Staying hydrated is so important for anyone who is keeping active, not just runners, any kind of athlete. Your body needs a lot more water than your mind thinks it does, and with the increase of activity, it needs to have an equal increase in water. Hydration is so important to athletes and it’s something that needs to be taken seriously,” says Laituri.

Diet

Autumn is full of delicious foods that should be incorporated into everyone’s diet.

Pumpkins- Seeds are full of the mineral zinc, antioxidants, and vitamin E. If they are homemade, they should be roasted for no more than 15-20 minutes. When roasted too long, the nutrients are not as prevalent.

After carving a pumpkin, you are left with all of the nasty, slimy insides. No need to waste them! Throw them in a smoothie or make some pumpkin soup! These recipes will provide you with more potassium than a banana.

Apples- “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, is an old saying that most are familiar with. But what does it mean? Apples are known as miracle food full of antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber. Medical News Today claims that they may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. With the abundance of apples this year, it should be easy to include them in your daily diet.

So don’t let autumn’s lack of sun and cooler temps keep you from exercising and eating right.

“I believe it’s important to keep active throughout the year because it keeps you healthy, you feel better, and it feels great to see yourself improve,” says senior wrestler, Nathan Pajur. “If you stay fit it makes you proud of yourself to do something productive rather than sitting around all of the time.”