Change your Fitness Routine Heading into Fall

Home » Taking Shape Blog » Change your Fitness Routine Heading into Fall
Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev at

Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev at

We woke up this morning to a cool house. It was such a welcome relief from the hot, humid weather we’ve been having in San Diego. This comfortable change made us think of one of our favorite activities that we’ll soon be able to enjoy: Fall hiking and camping. It’s time for a reset. Different views, foods and experiences.

At Taking Shape in Encinitas, CA we share with our customers that one of the biggest factors in sustainable weight loss and successful body slimming is having fun while you exercise. We’re really big on helping you find activities you like and enjoying them on a regular basis. The key to any activity, whether it’s working out at the gym or hiking to see some beautiful Fall foliage, is movement. The slimmer and more fit you are, the better you will be able to move. The better you are able to move, the more you will enjoy all of your activities.

Changing things up a bit breaks the fitness routine, and helps you avoid ruts or stalling out your weight loss goals. Beautiful scenery combined with a fun activity helps keep you motivated and motivation is a key for staying active and physically fit. Enjoying a change in temperature, a higher altitude, a bit rougher terrain, the foliage and camp fire cooking are not just good for the body, but are so good for the soul, too.

Fall camping or just a day trip to the mountains or desert is a great way to change up your fitness routine. Time outdoors gives you a chance to take a nice hike, do some rock climbing, bouldering or fishing. Nothing gets the blood rushing and the endorphins pumping like a mountain bike ride on some single track. With cooler weather all these actives become more attractive and are a nice change of pace from the beach activities we enjoyed during the summer.

Here are some of our favorite trips and day hikes from around the southwest that you might want to try. We will also include hikes and camping spots from around the country because we know that many people travel for business or are looking for a new place to enjoy a family vacation.

Choose one of these beautiful locations and make a plan to enjoy some outdoor fun.

When we have some free time (very rare these days), we jump in the car and head north towards San Francisco. The San Francisco Bay Area holds a very special place in our hearts because that’s where Nancy grew up and where we were married in the rotunda at City Hall. We also have family in the area. It’s also where we went on one of our first dates…which of course was a day long hike at Mount Tamalpais State Park and another at Muir Woods. One of the better perks to Muir Woods and Mount Tam, as the locals call it, involves driving across the Golden Gate Bridge. This will get your heart soaring all by itself. If you have the time we highly recommend walking across this bridge. Guarantee: you will never forget it.

What better way to compliment a day at The Golden Gate or hikes at Mount Tam or Muir Woods but with a hearty bowl of Cioppino. This is a wonderful fish stew that’s a San Francisco original. It’s filled with all kinds of healthy sea food and is a warm and wonderful way to end a classic San Francisco day.

Another wonderful place to visit near San Francisco is the Monterey Peninsula which should absolutely include a stop in Carmel. There is wonderful hiking, walking and views to be had at the Point Lobos State Reserve, the Scenic Road Walkway in Carmel, and the Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail to name a few. Go to the nearby Carmel Valley for more hiking at Garland Ranch Park. There is also plenty of good food and wine tasting close by to treat yourself, too. If your trip allows a drive down the coast we highly recommend stops in Big Sur, Cambria and Hearst Castle is an absolute must. I know, maybe it sounds corny, but if you appreciate art, design and a manifestation of shear will, Hearst Castle is hard to beat.

For something different head to the desert. For something awesome head to Utah. Zion National Park and a hike up Angels Landing Trail should be given strong bucket list consideration. The camping, fall colors, hiking, and views at Zion, Bryce Canyon National Park and other nearby parks are simply stunning and positively uplifting. Some of the best mountain biking and most exhilarating fun on the planet can be found in Moab. If you have not been to Utah just go. If you have been there, treat yourself and go back.

If you need a quick day trip right here in San Diego head out to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Nancy and I use the trails as a head clearing tonic on a regular basis. The views up and down the coast, the sounds of the sea and the wind through the pines are refreshing and relaxing. We usually take the coast road north on the way home and Ki’s Restaurant is a treat you can feel good about. Their menu is chocked full of healthy, satisfying choices.

Now . . . if you want something completely different to end your day or maybe start your night, consider (perhaps carefully) The Kraken. This, without question, is a classic San Diego DIVE Bar. An eclectic crowd with lots of visible tat, but the music rocks and the dancing does not stop. Talk about a reset. The Kraken can and will deliver.

If you can head back east, a fall foliage tour is a great trip for any family to take. If you find yourself in New York City, take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Day or night it’s something everyone should do once in their life. The view of the New York City skyline will lift your heart. A solid contender for best Little Italy anywhere can be found on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. You could start or end a fall foliage tour in Central Park. Near 72nd street, the colors near the Loeb Boathouse as the willow trees change will give you that warm fuzzy feeling. Check out more foliage north of the city in The Hudson Valley. Obviously New England is a place known for fall foliage but there are some other stand outs. Here are just a few recommendations.

About three hours west of New York City is Ricketts Glen State Park in Benton, PA. It’s a gem. Not only do you get amazing colors on the drive out and when you get to the park, but Ricketts has close to two dozen gorgeous waterfalls and some nice hikes to help round out the experience of getting there. You can combine this drive with a visit to the nation’s capital and then double down on the fall foliage extravaganza with one of our favorite experiences. Around the second or third week of October there are few places more beautiful than the Shenandoah Valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A drive along Skyline Drive in Virginia is for lack of a better expression, ethereal. It’s a wonderful 105 mile drive north to south. It tracks along the crest of the Blue Ridge in Shenandoah National Park. Here is the really cool thing. You have no choice but to take this drive slowly because the speed limit is a meandering 35 MPH. There are 75 overlooks. Trust us when we say this. The views will knock your socks off. There are camping and hiking opportunities galore. Or you can stay in one of many Bed & Breakfast’s that dot the area.

Someone once said that a life well lived is one that invests in experiences that create unforgettable memories. Take the time to reset yourself this fall. Create some new memories. Have some fun. Reward yourself for all the hard work you do. You and your family will feel and look better for it.


Frank and Nancy Pisacane are the owners of Taking Shape LLC in Encinitas, California. Taking Shape is the go-to place for non-invasive body slimming. We target stubborn fat to help you look and feel your best. To schedule a free consultation, give us a call at 760-431-5403. Learn more at


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