WASHINGTON – It’s not time to cover up, just because the weather is cooler. Fall is the season to break out the tights, leggings and boots.
Get your legs in top shape for the season with these workouts — and food — tips.
I recommend doing two-to-three sets of 12 repetitions for each of these exercises a few times a week. Watch the video below for demonstrations on proper technique.
Sumo squat jumps: Power up your workout by integrating plyometrics. Sumo squat jumps work the inner thigh — as well as glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves — to sculpt your legs. Squat jumps also raise your heart rate so you can burn plenty of calories.
Regular squats: Squats are the number one exercise for burning fat, increasing lean muscle and improving your mobility, balance and strength. Because they require no equipment, they are a great exercise for when you don’t have access to a gym.
Walking lunges: Walking lunges, like squats, are excellent for your glutes, hamstrings and quads — and they help stimulate your abs. They are amazing for shaping, defining and conditioning your leg muscles. Proper form is crucial, so make sure you watch the video.
Single-leg Romanian dead lifts: The single leg RDL works out your feet, calves, hamstrings, lower back, hip adductors and abs. Plus, it helps to improve your flexibility and prevent injury. This exercise focuses on squeezing your glutes and balancing, but it also helps build a strong core, which you need to stabilize your hips and lower back.
When it comes to nutrition, fall foods are perfect for eating seasonally and healthily.
Pumpkins, spice and everything nice: Pumpkins give your porch steps a fall makeover, and they can give your plate a boost, as well. Pumpkin is packed with vitamin A , which is crucial for good vision and a healthy immune system.
Pumpkin seeds are nutritious, too — they contain several essential vitamins and minerals. But when it comes to snacking on them, be sure to keep your portion sizes in check.
One-half of a cup contains more than 300 calories. Try using pumpkin seeds as a garnish for salads to add a crunchy, nutty element.
Apples: We all know it’s healthy to eat apples, but it’s also healthy to get apples. Apple picking is a great way to get exercise while having fun with friends and family — especially if the orchard is big and the apples hang high. Feel free to get more than you can carry with one hand. Challenge yourself to lug the bags of produce from the orchard to your car and back.
And once you pick them, make sure to take a big bite. Apples are filled with fiber and only contain around 75 calories each. Plus, they have no fat and no sodium.
Brussels sprouts: Unlike most other vegetables, Brussels sprouts contain a bit of protein, plus plenty of vitamin B, vitamin K, vitamin C and other essential vitamins and minerals. Try roasting them for a bit of crunch.
Watch Lisa’s video for demonstrations on exercises and form.