There a few who can quarrel against the beauty of fall. The air is crisp and cool and the trees are lovely in all their vibrant colors. It is perfect weather for outside exercise. There is something for everyone, too. Bike and foot races, boating, mountain hikes, boot camps and even yoga and Tai Chi under the trees. With the days of heat, humidity and mosquitoes behind us it seems the time for excuses has also passed. Autumn is one of the best times of the year to begin, return to or continue with outside exercise. Here are some tips to enjoy the best weather of the outdoor fitness season.

Sign up for a race

Whether you are looking for a 5k or a marathon, there is no shortage of fall races. Cooler temperatures mean you will arrive at the finish line looking more like you have been running than swimming. Another bonus of fall races is better performance. Summer heat and humidity slow down even the fastest runners.  In fact, for every 10 degree increase above 55 degrees outdoor athletes add a few seconds to their finishing time. Fall is a great time to set a new personal best record.

Take a hike

Hit the trails to enjoy the changing color of the trees and get in a bit of exercise to boot. Prepare before you go by packing a map, water, jacket, cell phone, snacks and sun screen – yes you need it even in the fall. Be sure to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. If you don’t care to strike out on your own consider a guided hike or even a hike that includes a destination, such as a wine tour.

Grab the gang for a game of football

Get a group together to make fitness even more fun. Not a fan of football? Bring a Frisbee to toss around or organize relay races. There are lots of fun ways to exercise outside. Just choose one and get moving. Make the day even more fun when you turn it into a potluck. Ask everyone to bring a beverage or food item to share so you can enjoy a picnic after the game.

Find fun in your own backyard

Rake leaves and jump into the pile. Chase your dog or your kids, toss a ball or have a hula hoop contest. Fall is a fun time to be active. Enjoy!