Fall Fitness Korea
Fall. The season of leggings, large sweaters and delicious coffees. Or, in my case, the season when I quit drinking so much sparkling water and weld a tea cup to my hand until March.
Who am I kidding? Tea consumption has been at an all time high now that fall has hit, but I still manage to drink a ridiculous amount of sparking water. All the tea and changing weather has got me thinking about the season, and while this could easily have been another “Basic Girl’s Love Letter to Fall,” I will spare you that and get down to what really matters: Fall Fitness in Korea.
The temperatures are dropping and the temptation growing to stay in bed just that little longer- Take it easy. Maybe eventually head to out to a cafe to meet up with friends to share in some delicious gooey treat.
That’s because Fall is the time our bodies are thinking it’s time to get ready for winter and start insulating. For many of us that means flirting with a seasonal slump in personal fitness, so here are some tips for things to keep you being your tip-top self while still enjoying some of the best parts about this anything but basic season.
"Duh Fiona, obviously." But there is no better time in Korea to get out and see some colors, get those serotonin levels up, and enjoy the great outdoors. Korea has a strong hiking culture, so put on your best ajuma hat and get out there. Climb those mountains!
"But Fiona, it’s so crowded." Yes, you and just about everyone else it seems want to capture the magic of the mountain in this gloriously picturesque time, but don’t worry. You have a few options if you want to find some (relative) solitude:
Hit up the smaller mountains. They don’t have quite the appeal so they will not be packed and you can probably convince your friends who are not as into hiking to come along.
Go on the weekdays if you can. If you work nights or otherwise have the option, there is no reason not to wake up a bit early to go for a small morning hike.
The earlier the better. If you can hit the trails before 10am then you will have a leg up on most of the other hikers. Getting out earlier will give you plenty of time to explore, take your photos and get off the mountain before everyone and their damn oppa are breaking out their gimbap at the top.
Hit the Beach, Or a park
Fall is one of the best seasons to go for a run. Fiona, Running is the worst, why do people do it? If you need a list of reasons look here
Fall is perfect for running: it’s not too hot so you never feel terribly overheated, it’s really picturesque, and there is nothing more satisfying than running though a bunch of crunchy leaves. Along the beach you get a nice sea breeze, and off Season means that there are fewer people to dodge in between and plenty of places to stop and take in the beautiful ocean (or catch your breath).
For beginners looking to get more serious there are great apps like Couch25k to help help keep you going, but if you want something a bit more Halloween inspired for October I suggest ZombieRun!
Explore a new Neighbourhood
The weather getting cooler means that we need to bundle up more but it’s still a great time to get out and explore a new part of your city or town or check out somewhere you haven't been before. With all the holidays and events happening (as well as a high amount of birthdays) there is always something going on in Korea. Meeting up with friends from a different town can help you get to know a new place, see more of Korean life and of course just have a good time.
There are a few apps that will let you download Walking Tours of Korea, and while most of the content is in Seoul there is nothing stopping you from creating one for your city so others can enjoy it as well.
Ride Baby, Ride.
Bikes, how original . Yes I know it's not exactly the most creative way to get some exercise, but Korea is one of the lucky places that has great and easy access to bikes. Many cities have free or cheap rentals so it’s affordable. It’s a great opportunity to hang out with friends, go on a date, or even cycle on your own. Most places have decent enough bike trails but check along the rivers, oceans, and parks for the best access to car-free cruising.
A bonus of biking here is that Korea is super hilly, and those hills are great for interval training. If you want to mix up your workout biking in Korea is always a great option.
Just take a class
There are few better things in this world than a good workout class you are actually excited to go to, and in Korea finding just that can be a difficult prospect. Many classes are expensive, or the information isn’t clear if you are not up on your Hangul. Plus, walking into a room being the only English speaker can be a little intimidating. But look around a bit and you’ll find that the great thing there’s a diverse amount of classes at your disposal here. Acro Yoga is huge in Korea, as well as hot yoga and pilates. There is a large community for Zumba, and while Korean workouts typically may not be as intense as what you’re used to, Crossfit is catching on too. Many studios experience a drop off in membership and attendance around this time and there are many studios that are giving offers right now for people to try their classes. Just ask around!
There you have it! Hope this gives you some ideas to keep you moving as we head into fall and winter.