Fall is the best time of the year, at least; we think so here at Innova Primary Care. Here in the Huntsville and Madison area, we benefit from a temperate climate with tons of fall foliage, making the fall months an incredible time to get active despite the early sunsets. As our calendars become fuller over the next few months with holiday celebrations and gatherings, it is essential to prioritize physical activity even more so. Read on for ways to incorporate more exercise into the coming months to keep you refreshed and ready for the busy days ahead.  

Why should you prioritize physical activity now?

Brain Health

The benefits of exercise are numerous and extend way beyond physical appearance. For one thing, getting up and getting moving benefits your brain health and emotional well-being. Did you know that movement gets your brain active too? Physical activity is great for problem-solving, memory, depression, and anxiety. Who doesn’t need a little extra boost in the brain department this time of year? And the benefits are almost immediate!

Weight management

Staying active helps your body burn calories and assists with not only weight management but also weight loss. It is important to note that depending on where you are in your journey, you may need more or less movement throughout the day. However, no matter where you are on the sliding scale, movement is magic and necessary for a healthy life.

Cardiovascular health

Regular cardiovascular exercise, including both moderate to high intensity, helps strengthen your heart, allowing for the heart to pump blood throughout the body improving the heart and lungs.

In addition to these benefits, regular exercise lowers your risk for coronary heart disease, reduces blood pressure, increases good cholesterol levels, and can help your body regulate insulin and blood sugars more effectively.

Chronic disease management

Whatever your health situation, including physical movement, is an essential aspect of your treatment plan. For example, those with type 2 diabetes can use exercise to help with blood sugar regulation coupled with a physician-approved dietary approach. No matter who you are, movement will benefit you. The key is to find something that works with your body and your needs and be consistent.

Bone health

As we age, our bone health naturally declines. However, this does not have to be the end. Physical exercise is a great way to improve bone density and give your skeletal system a much-needed boost. Additionally, physical activity improves balance and coordination, which is invaluable as we age, helping us prevent falls.

Physical activity recommendations

When considering physical activity, please remember that every movement session does not have to be a total sweat session. You don’t have to go hard every workout. You don’t have to engage in movement that you do not like either! You have so many options available to you.

According to the CDC, 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week is excellent. When including moderate intensity, think of brisk walking or gentle hiking. You want to pick something that you enjoy doing and will elevate your heart rate slightly to reap the benefits. For those who prefer movement catered towards high intensity, the recommendations include about 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity a week. This can include jogging, cycling, swimming, whatever floats your boat. Another way to get in movement is to mix and match. Some days can be gentle and easy while others are more on the high-intensity side, and don’t forget to strength train to combat muscle loss and increase bone density.

Outdoor Fall activities to get excited about

The scorching heat of summer is gone, for the most part, and now we have the benefit of cooler temps, which makes getting outdoors a little more fun. Although the days are now shorter, there is no shortage of Fall activities to excite you.


Here in the Madison County area, we are blessed with numerous hiking trails ranging from moderate to extremely challenging. You have your pick of mountains to roam and trails to traverse in this glorious weather we all get to experience.

The Land Trust of North Alabama is a great place to start. With over 80 miles of public trails, you can find something to suit your fancy. Here is a link to their website, which contains trail maps and helpful suggestions.

Fall Activities


Those gorgeous spring blooms start with planting in the fall. Gardening is a great way to get outdoors and active at your own pace. If flowers aren’t your thing, raking leaves (and then jumping into the pile for fun) is another way to get movement in that packs a punch. Not only do you get to enjoy the great outdoors, but you get some yard maintenance, too.

Lake life

We are fortunate to be close to the Tennessee River and Lake Guntersville, making water activities, even in colder weather, an option. Canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding are all fantastic ways to enjoy the wonderful weather and scenery while getting in a great workout.

Walking and running

You don’t have to travel further than your front door to enjoy this crisp fall weather. A brisk walk or run in your neighborhood is a great way to get in some movement without much fuss.

One of the great things about these activities is that you don’t need special equipment to get started. If you’ve got able feet, you can get started today. Check the weather to see if you need gloves or a head covering, and get moving. It’s incredibly simple, and almost anyone can do it.

Indoor activities to get you moving

We know not everyone cherishes the great outdoors, and that’s okay! Now is a fantastic time to consider joining a gym facility to use free weights workout equipment or even enjoy group fitness classes.

Fall Activities

Join a gym

Gyms come in all shapes and varieties and offer many different amenities. We know that some people are reluctant to join a gym because they don’t know what they are doing. The great news is that most facilities offer personal training and introductory courses to get you confident and ready to tackle your fitness journey.

We suggest that you take advantage of free passes and classes to get a feel for what you want to do. Try out several gyms and find the one that most fits your vibe and your needs. There is something for everyone out there, we promise.

Why not beat the New Year rush and join a club now? This way, your health goals are already in motion long before the beginning of 2024.

Please keep it simple!

With so many options for movement out there and so many voices telling you what you should and shouldn’t do, it is easy to get overwhelmed. The most important thing for you is just to get started. Try on several different exercise types and see what resonates with you.

This time of year can be incredibly overwhelming, but physical activity can help you keep your mind and body sharp. If you need help, please do not hesitate to contact Innova Primary Care. We are here to help you feel your best mind, body, and soul.