6 Ideas To Stay Active This Fall

Couple hiking in the fall

Hank Shell

running in the snowTurkey Day has passed, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll spend the holidays in a cycle of binge eating and collapsing into a food coma, exercise be damned. Here in beautiful Telluride, Colo., this time of year is what’s known as the “off-season.” It’s halfway between summer and winter, and thus bears the benefits of neither and the less-than-spectacular aspects of both. It’s too cold to go out and lounge in the sun, but it’s not quite cold enough for any magnitude of snow to fall.

We’re stuck here waiting for winter, dreaming of summer, and all the while scraping copious amounts of muck off our shoes every time we leave the house. Blah. I’m over it. There’s gotta be something to do this time of year, right? Other than skiing and sunbathing? Of course there is, you turkey! Here are a few ideas to get you off your keister.


Yep. Just go for a hike. Or a walk. Anything, really. Just get up and perambulate somewhere scenic. Maybe find some mountains? Here in the San Juans, there’s actually a bit of snow up high. If your neck of the woods is looking wintry as well, it might be a good idea to grab some snowshoes or some kind of traction device before you venture out into the white room. On second thought, how about snowshoeing? People talk about snowshoeing like it’s some distinct activity, a divorced and distant cousin of walking. Get real. It’s walking. With big, floppy clown shoes. Still, it’s actually pretty cool. The whole walking-on-snow-without-postholing thing. So maybe find some snow and go snowshoeing? Snow walking?


Ok, now we’re upping the ante. For this one, you’re probably going to want to avoid snow. Things can get a little dicey when you lengthen your gait on slippery surfaces. Some companies do make specialty traction devices for running. They’re like itty-bitty crampons that you slip over your trainers to get a better purchase on slick stuff. You could try something like that. I have, and they work pretty well, though they don’t last very long. Running is pretty rough on just about anything attached to the bottom of your shoe. Otherwise, find a nice trail or walking path without snow. You could go to an indoor track, but fall is a pretty sweet time to be outside.


In most places, fall is an especially good time to go rock climbing. The drier air and cooler temps mean the friction is prime. It’s not too hot, not too cold. Just right. I recommend bouldering because it isn’t super expensive to get into, doesn’t require a bunch of technical knowledge, and you can do it just about anywhere. All you need are a crash pad, some shoes and a bit of chalk. Check out mountainproject.com to find climbing opportunities in your area. If there are none, hit a climbing gym. You’ll be glad you did.

Related Article: Rock Climbing Helps Controls Emotions


Just kidding. Do some yoga instead. If you can find a sunny spot outdoors on a fall afternoon, roll out your yoga mat and work through some poses. If you’re not really familiar with it, find a yoga studio and try it out. It’s a nice activity because, aside from feeling good and all that mushy stuff, once you get the hang of it, you can do it alone! After a Thanksgiving week fraught with familial conflict and dinner table shouting matches, solitude may sound a bit more appealing.


We don’t have an indoor pool here in Telluride. At least not that I know of. But if we did, you can bet your turkey bastin’ butt I’d be there every week. If you’re part of the one percent that have access to those sublime aquatic refuges, then take advantage of it, bro. Do a lap for me. Otherwise, maybe go jump in a very cold lake? People do that here. Invigorating, they say. Nonsense, I say.


So, maybe you really over did it this time. You’re busting at the seams with mashed potatoes and gravy. There are turkey giblets coming out of your ears. Ew. Or maybe you’ve already been hitting it pretty hard. Maybe doing some pre-season ski training? Either way, it’s not a bad idea to just relax, if only for a moment. Take some time for yourself. Meditate. Be mindful. Be present. Breathe. Binge watch something on Netflix. Whatever eases that troubled mind or dyspeptic gut of yours. Yes, extricate yourself from this muddy and forlorn world of worry. And remember, winter is coming. 

Related Article: Mindfulness – What Does That Even Mean?

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