Top 5 Fall Fitness & Health Habits
By Melanie Heisinger
Staying in shape can get tough as the colder weather sets in. We've compiled 5 fitness habits you can develop this fall that will keep you motivated and healthy.
1. Stay layered. What starts out as a brisk morning could turn into a sweltering afternoon, turning that hike up Mount Mansfield into a sweaty surprise for the unprepared, and into a potentially dangerous situation when the temps drop again in the afternoon. Lightweight layers, a packable down vest and hand warmers can help protect you against unpredictable conditions in Central Vermont.
2. Stay hydrated. When the weather turns cold, your blood vessels constrict, and you become less thirsty — by as much as 40 percent. So your body thinks it’s hydrated when it’s actually becoming more dehydrated. Keep consuming plenty of fluids, perhaps swapping out one or two of your daily glasses of water with herbal tea or warm broth.
3. Stay safe. Drivers take their eyes off the road for 5 seconds to send a text message, which means they won’t see runners or bikers on the back roads of Central Vermont, especially fitness enthusiasts who aren’t well lit. Wear a headlamp and reflective gear, and consider wearing nothing in your ear (i.e. music) when recreating near the roads.
4. Stay fueled on local products. Vermont-made O.W.L. energy bars and Garuka bars made with Vermont honey are just two of the products that can help propel you up the peak of Mount Hunger, or push you to a personal record in the Leaf Peepers race series. Even a simple shot of maple syrup from Morse Farm is a healthy alternative to many of the so-called health products in sports stores today.
5. Stay and play in your own back yard. Smuggler’s Notch, Stowe, Mad River Glen and Sugarbush are all spider-webbed with ideal fall trail running, hiking and mountain biking trails; many offer lift rides to the summit for an easier amble to the base area. Meanwhile, rivers and creeks run through Montpelier and Morrisville, while Barre’s home to some of the best walking and riding trails in old quarries.