My 7 Top Fall Fitness Tips

Fall is here!  So many of us are thinking about getting back into our fitness routines after taking some time off in the summer.  The gyms are busy again and many are transitioning to indoor activities and strength training.   It’s easy to feel overwhelmed especially if you’ve taken an extended break from indoor workouts.  Here are my top tips for falling back into fitness…

1. Take advantage of the weather and beautiful sights (think: hike in the Gatineau park, bike ride along the river, more comfortable running/walking weather).  Bring the camera to capture the beautiful sights!

2. Make your chores active: Rake, weed, prepare your garden for winter and sneak in a few extra squats.

3. Know what motivates you.  Is it a race, signing up for a class, working out with a buddy or tracking your workouts online?  Find out what works best for you and set goals.  Write them down and reward yourself along the way.

4. Workout during commercials.  With the average hour long program, you’ll be able to sneak in up to 13 minutes of exercise.  Here are some things you can do off the couch on the commercials: 15 Squats, 15 push ups (wall, knees or toes) and a 30 second plank (knees or toes).  Repeat during three sets of commercial breaks and voila!  Mini workout done.

5. Be choosy with your treats.  Many will gain weight between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Set a limit ahead of time, indulge in moderation and buy Halloween candy that you don’t like.  If you like chocolate, purchase plain chips and raisins – you’ll be less likely to indulge.  Keep the box sealed and hidden away until Halloween day!  Better yet, buy your treats the day before.

6. Work out 1st thing in the morning.  Prepare your workout gear the night before and set 15-30 minutes aside when you wake up (before you’re brain tells you no).  It can be as simple as a brisk walk around the neighbourhood.  Fifteen minutes of moderate intensity exercise (such as brisk walking) can decrease mortality by up to 14% which = 3 year longer life.

7. Try a new activity, sign up for a class, hire a qualified trainer if you need help.  Experiment with new classes and try something different.

Here is a picture I took from the studio today (while on the treadmill) – sometimes the view can be pretty from the inside….

View from the treadmill
View from the treadmill

Sarah Zahab

Sarah is a Certified Kinesiologist, Exercise Physiologist, Group Fitness Instructor and Mother of 2. She is the creator of the Prenatal and Postnatal Strength Workout DVD (available at as well as co-created the Elemental Workout®. Sarah owns Continuum Fitness and Movement Performance with her husband, John (, a personal training studio in Westboro, Ottawa offering one on one coaching as well as group classes. Sarah is a former international fitness competitor and has been a nationally ranked race walker.

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  1. That’s a great shot from your treadmill! I’m definitely motivated by races and buddy systems, and also by the beautiful outdoors.

  2. To go for walks with seeing such beautiful colors it is so uplifting I live near a mountain side and so many trees and so many beautiful colors of leaves

  3. As I venture out the beach trail is on my left hand side and the colourful escarpment is on my right. I enjoy my walks on either trail

  4. I need some WINTER tips Fitness tips as I find it is the season where I’m least motivated! Like # 6, I’m good at the entire year except winter when I find it so hard to get out of a warm bed out into the cold 😛

  5. Buying the Hallowe’en treats you don’t like is a great idea! (I usually get what I do like…bad plan!) Raisins are also great, as kids gets so much candy and it’s a relief as a parent to see a box of raisins, package of goldfish, stickers, or small toy!

  6. These are some great suggestions. Fall will be here before we know and I am searching for ways to be more active. Thank you so much for sharing

  7. Three years after you wrote this article, we are having beautiful fall weather. It’s perfect weather to be outdoors and active, jogging, running or just walking.

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