Fall offers the perfect excuse to skip the gym and head outdoors. Along with its blazing colorsand cooler weather, this season enables you to fit in fitness without even trying.

Pair Up Everyday Activities with Fitness
Credit: Van Chaplin

1. Act Like a Kid Again
Spending time playing tag football, catch, or another outdoor activity makes for a great workout, no matter your age. Give it a shot--not only can these games help you stay in shape, they also give you the added bonus of quality time with the kids.

2. Walk With Worth
Many charity-sponsored walks occur during this time of year. From fighting cancer to helping disabled children, you can benefit a worthy cause while you exercise. Plus, you don't have to be a speed racer to get involved. You'll find organized walks for all levels--from 1-mile fun walks to marathons. Learn more by visiting www.komen.org or www.thewalkingsite.com.

3. Do It Yourself
The convenience of hiring a neighborhood teenager to do your yard work may be tempting, but the health benefits of doing it yourself make it worth your time. Think of mowing the lawn or raking the leaves as exercises rather than chores. Plus, spending time outside is a proven mood booster.

4. Double Up
Squeeze in exercise while accomplishing everyday tasks. For example, forgo the automatic car wash, and suds up the car yourself. Grab your tennis shoes, not your car keys, when the kids want to visit a nearby park.

5. Start Something New
Work on a potential resolution now, and you'll be more likely to keep with it in the future. The weather is just right for those tennis or golf lessons you've considered in the past. Or keep it simple: This is a beautiful season to begin a regular walking routine.

6. Freshness of Fall
After enjoying an active day outdoors, replenish your body with seasonal fruits and veggies. Apples, pears, and citrus fruits are loaded with nutrients. Southern Living Associate Foods Editor Holley Johnson, M.S, R.D., suggests roasting pumpkin, sweet potatoes, or winter squash for a filling, fiber-rich dish. Sautéed greens such as kale also make vitamin-packed sides.

"Five Tips to Fitness" is from the October 2006 issue of Southern Living.