Fall Fitness: Outdoor Exercises for Seniors

by Laura Purcell

As the vibrant colors of autumn surround us and the weather isn’t too cold yet, there’s no better time for seniors to embrace the great outdoors and engage in physical activity. Fall’s refreshing change in weather provides the perfect opportunity to try your hand at some new ways to embrace the joy of movement.  Read on to explore the advantages of outdoor workouts for seniors and discuss various exercises that can be enjoyed during this beautiful season.

But first, what are the benefits of being outside?

1. Vitamin D: Spending time outdoors exposes you to natural sunlight, which is a great source of vitamin D. This essential vitamin helps in maintaining healthy bones, supporting the immune system, and aids in the absorption of calcium.*

2. Fresh Air and Improved Mental Well-being: Breathing in fresh air can have a positive impact on mental health.1 Outdoor exercises allow you to escape the confines of indoor spaces, reducing stress levels and promoting a sense of well-being.

3. Connection with Nature: Being surrounded by nature has a calming effect on the mind and body. It provides an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the changing seasons, which can be a source of inspiration and motivation during workouts.

Now, let’s explore some outdoor exercises that are suitable for seniors during the fall season:


Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be easily adapted to suit individual fitness levels. Best of all, it’s free and doesn’t require any equipment (aside from a good pair of shoes)! It helps support cardiovascular health, strong muscles, and may help maintain a healthy weight.2 You can enjoy brisk walks in parks, nature trails, or even around their neighborhood, taking in the crisp autumn air and enjoying the colorful foliage.

Agility Exercises:

Agility exercises focus on improving balance, flexibility, and coordination. They can be performed outdoors using simple props like cones or agility ladders. Seniors can engage in activities such as side steps, grapevine walks, or heel-to-toe walks, which help maintain agility and enhance balance and stability.

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Resistance Training:

Resistance training is crucial for maintaining muscle strength and bone density. You can incorporate resistance exercises into your outdoor routine using resistance bands or bodyweight exercises. Examples include squats, lunges, push-ups against a park bench, or using playground equipment for modified pull-ups.


Engaging in playful activities with grandchildren or other young family members not only strengthens family bonds but also provides an opportunity to stay active. Playing catch, kicking a soccer ball, or even joining in on a game of tag can be enjoyable ways to exercise and spend quality time with loved ones.

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Fall is a wonderful season to embrace outdoor fitness activities. The benefits of being outside, including increased vitamin D levels, improved mental well-being, and a connection with nature, make it an ideal time to engage in exercises that promote overall wellness. By incorporating walking, agility exercises, resistance training, and playful activities with children, seniors can maintain their fitness levels, enhance their physical and mental health, and enjoy the beauty of the season. So, grab your walking shoes, breathe in the crisp air, and let the fall season inspire your fitness journey!

As always, consult with your healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine, including if you have any pre-existing health conditions or concerns. Stay safe and have fun!

  1. Coventry PA, Brown JE, Pervin J, et al. Nature-based outdoor activities for mental and physical health: Systematic review and meta-analysis. SSM Popul Health. 2021;16:100934. Published 2021 Oct 1. doi:10.1016/j.ssmph.2021.100934

2. Bai X, Soh KG, Omar Dev RD, Talib O, Xiao W, Cai H. Effect of brisk walking on health-related physical fitness balance and life satisfaction among the elderly: A systematic review. Frontiers. 27 December 2021. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpub