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Burn Calories as the Seasons Turn

When school starts and the temperature drops, fitness routines often suffer. However, autumn is ripe with opportunities to spend time with your family and sneak in a little exercise, too. “Staying active in fall may help you prevent injury in the winter months,” says Steven E. Mayer, MD, Northwestern Medicine Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist.

Don’t let healthy summer habits fall by the wayside. Stay active with these seasonal staples.

Power Walk Through a Pumpkin Patch

Wandering through pumpkin patches and navigating corn mazes are quintessential autumnal activities, and they can also be a way to sneak in some exercise. In fact, spending 55 minutes getting lost in a corn maze or strolling around a pumpkin patch can burn up to 200 calories. Or, round up the kids for an afternoon of apple picking. You’ll get plenty of exercise exploring the open fields on a farm, or even browsing fall produce during the last few weekends of your local farmers market.

Team Workouts

Fall offers a particularly strong lineup of sports. A one-hour game of flag football can burn more than 500 calories, while a 30-minute game of soccer can burn up to 300 calories, depending on your weight. Can’t field a team? Try just playing catch with your little ones; that can burn up to 170 calories per hour.

Let Nature Do the Work

Soak in fall colors while hiking around a forest preserve, and you can burn anywhere from 300 to 600 calories per hour. A leisurely one-hour bike ride on a bike path will burn more than 250 calories.

Leverage the Lawn

Raking and bagging leaves might seem like a chore, but it can burn 350 to 450 calories per hour. Mowing the lawn for the last time of the season can burn 250 to 300 calories per hour.

Beat Your Feet While You Trick-or-Treat

So long as you don’t eat candy at every stop, trick-or-treating with your kids can be a good workout. If your candy collection lasts at least two hours, you’ll likely burn about 480 calories.

So while fall might force a change in your exercise routine, it offers fun and unique ways to stay active as the weather turns. “Don’t let the colder weather slow your fitness routine,” concludes Dr. Mayer.

Fitness and Your Health

Steven E. Mayer, MD
Steven E. Mayer, MD
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  • Primary Specialty Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Secondary Specialty Sports Medicine
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