While the cooler temperatures and beautiful scenery of fall do make for some of the best outdoor workout weather, sudden storms, ice, snow, and freezing rain can put the kibosh on your training schedule fast.
If you’re the type of person who simply passes on their workout if they can’t do it outdoors, you’re doing yourself a real disservice. Sure it can be difficult to find an alternative exercise to do when you are so used to your typical routine, but luckily, here’s a quick list to inspire you:
Instead of outdoor bicycling, try stationary cycling.
If your mountain biking is sidelined while inclement weather pounds your favorite trails, stationary cycling might be a good alternative to keep your primary muscles engaged and your training regimen on track. You might miss the varied environment and surprises outdoor cycling can offer but you can spice up your stationary session by listening to music or a podcast (or try a class like SoulCycle). You’ll still burn lots of calories, build up your strength, and exercise your heart.
Instead of trail running, try dancing.
Hitting the trails in cool weather feels excellent, but when high winds add an extra chill and increase your risk of getting injured by debris like flying tree limbs, you’re better off staying inside. Want to keep your cardio up though and maintain that leg muscle and coordination you have honed? Try dancing! Whether you stream a Zumba routine in the convenience of your living room or go out to a club with a friend, dancing is a sure-fire way to burn calories and work your legs as you might on your regular run.
Instead of a daily outdoor walk, try stair stepping.
If your go-to workout starts with a daily outdoor walk, a sudden storm can literally (and figuratively) dampen things. Utilizing stair stepper machines in your home and office could be an effective alternative that keeps you moving no matter what you’re doing (working, watching TV, etc). Not only that but you can also do progressive workouts with a stepper machine like an elliptical or vertical climber by increasing the resistance and therefore the challenge to your body.
Instead of swimming, try indoor rock climbing.
Sure you may be able to get your kicks swimming in an indoor pool, but if you really just enjoyed a swim as a way to cool off on a hot summer day, then you might be up for trying a pool-free activity that gives you a similar full-body workout with emphasis on the back and arms. Indoor rock climbing is available in most cities and can provide an impressive strength-training workout that also incorporates surprising amounts of flexibility and agility exercise too.
Instead of kayaking, try an indoor rowing machine.
Not only can cold temperatures make kayaking on your local waterway difficult, but so can storms and flooding. If you love the rhythm and movement of kayaking, why not try an indoor rowing machine at your gym? Considered low-impact cardio, working out on stationary rowing machines has been shown to improve endurance, engage key muscle groups in the upper and lower body, and grow lung capacity.
Instead of hiking, try calisthenics.
If a leisurely hike brought you all the exercise and mood-boosting health benefits you were looking for, then you might also be satisfied with doing basic bodyweight exercise, or calisthenics, at home. Planks, lunges, squats, and wall-sits are just a few examples of exercises you can do that make your body work against gravity and improve your muscle tone, strength, and balance.