Simple Ways To Stay Active In Autumn
Simple ways you can stay active this autumn
As the chill begins to come into the air and the dusk arrives a little earlier, the idea of long walks in the countryside could feel less appealing. As such, it could be more difficult to stay active during the autumn months. We want to let you know about the activities you can enjoy to keep your body moving and your muscles stretching even in the colder months.
We’ll explain why it’s so important to maintain movement as you get older, how to get started and give you some ideas on how you can stay active in autumn.
Why is staying active important?
Doing regular physical activity is helpful to both your physical and mental health. It has been shown to help lower the risk of or help to manage certain health conditions like Type 2 diabetes, obesity, arthritis, heart disease and strokes. It can also help to prevent and/or manage depression and dementia.
Our independent Occupational Therapist, Julie Jennings Dip COT HCPC explains:
“Just like a diesel engine, our joints should be thought of as a machine with moving parts that need to be regularly maintained in order to keep them working well. If we don’t move our joints regularly through the whole range of movement that they are designed for, then these functions will decline. Essentially if you don’t regularly use your muscles or joints then they will shrink and weaken, leaving you more susceptible to stress fractures and other more serious injuries.”
How to get started
Don’t go from no exercise to attempting 50 star jumps and a handful of push-ups! Begin slowly and find a maintainable way of gradually increasing your activity levels. The key is to find something you can keep doing, so perhaps try:
- Setting realistic goals
- Finding activities you enjoy
- Focusing on the benefits, not the work
- Listening to music or podcasts whilst you move
- Trying to do the activities with a friend – you’ll keep each other motivated
- Keep it going! It can take around a month to create a habit and then it’ll be easier each time.
Simple activities during autumn
Ideally, you should move every day, for about 30 minutes at least. What you want to do will depend on the fitness levels you already have, here are some ideas for a range of body abilities:
Get up and out of your chair as often as you can – carry out some light housework, walk around your garden a few times or even just get up during each television advert break and walk around your living room or make a cup of tea.
Once you’re a bit more comfortable moving and balancing, you could try a bit more in your daily exercises – wrap up in a scarf and go for a brisk walk to the shop and back, if you still have a bicycle, perhaps take it for a spin at a local cycle path. If it’s raining, you could consider investing in a treadmill or exercise bike – many of them fold up and store away so that they’re not cluttering up your room. Do you have a swimming pool near you? Time in a pool is a fantastic way to get a full body workout, at your own pace and levels – plus it’s inside, so you don’t need to worry about the weather!
If you get to the levels where you really feel confident, it could be time to join some local classes. There might be ballroom dancing, yoga & Pilates, squash or even a little Zumba to enjoy. Get your body moving and heart pumping in ways that work for you – who knows, you might make a few new friends too!
What about our minds?
Of course, it’s not just important to keep our body active, it’s also just as crucial to give our minds a ‘work out’ too. Whether you’re finding some tricky puzzles, doing a little adult colouring, or completing our weekly quiz, it’s helpful to keep the brain muscles whirring.
If you need to remain seated most of the time, we’ve got a list of activities you can enjoy from your chair.
If you are feeling a little more adventurous and want to risk the elements, you can read our article about amazing autumn walks to enjoy.