With September just around the corner, the back to school sales are in full force, the smell of pumpkin spice lattes is in the air, and shopping wish lists start to fill up with long sleeves for the season of sweater weather.
Sadly, all the summertime lounging and vacationing is over, but think of it this way: Fall is the perfect time to turn your focus back to your exercise regimen before the hectic holiday season sets in. And while the idea of harvests and new boots is romantic and all, the stereotypical description of fall orange, red, and yellow leaves falling from the trees, a cool breeze that slowly prepares you for hardcore jacket mode isn’t usually so picture perfect all over the country.
Case in point: On the West Coast, everything after Labor Day is just extended summer (as is the rest of the year), while Midwesterners are already bundling up before full-blown blizzards. So when it comes to keeping fit, running sprints outside may be a great option for a Cali girl, but could mean dodging flash floods for someone living under the Southeast’s rainy season. Your fall workout routine isn’t going to come in “one size fits all.”
The temperate climate on the West Coast often means the transition into fall is almost unnoticeable — fall becomes an extended summer, without the flocks of tourists and huge crowds. Instead of hitting the beach to work on your tan, keep up your visits to work on your physique. “The beach is a great way to train for increased balance,” says Sweets. “The instability of the sand provides an opportunity to perform lots of standing balance work.”
• Standing rear leg extension: Lift your right leg up and back, and balance. Then, either tap your right foot down and lift back up for stability, or float your leg forward and back for a super-challenging, glute and thigh-burning experience. Repeat on the other side.
• Standing side leg extension: Balance on your left leg while you lift your right knee up until your thigh creates a 90 degree angle. Next, slowly straighten your leg until it forms a straight line, and engage opposing abdominal area for increased balance. Hold, bend at the knee, then return to start and repeat on both sides.
• Warrior three: Take a large step forward with your right foot, then lower your torso and lift your left leg until your body is parallel with the ground. Use a fixed gaze, pull your lower core in, and hold while focusing on your breath.
Bonus: Finish with an invigorating barefoot run on the beach and jump in the water for your cool-down!