Cooler weather means it’s a great time to get outdoors, get healthy

This article is the first in a series of Positively Healthy stories, brought to you with support from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Now that cooler weather is coming, it’s a good time to get outdoors and enjoy some healthy activities. There are lots of options in Middle Georgia.

While tennis can be played year round in Macon, the game can be a bit more fun once the temperatures drop.

Instructor Lubos Sobotka gave lesson to a group of players recently at the John Drew Tennis Center, which is adjacent to North Macon Park at Riverside Drive and Wimbish Road.

The center, part of the Macon-Bibb County Parks and Recreation, offers walk-up play, private and group lessons, beginner’s classes and even racquet repair, according to the center’s Facebook page.

For more information about tennis in Macon, check out the Macon Tennis Association online.

Some local fans of running and biking share some tips about how to enjoy getting healthy at this time of the year.

On the run

Terry Lee Patterson, Macon

How long have you been running?

Fifteen years.

What is the best place to run in Middle Georgia at this time of the year?

I like the river walk at the Ocmulgee trails and Amerson Water Park or any place on the streets that are not traffic heavy and places that have sidewalks. I like to mix it up. I go to different places and to different parts of town.

What’s the best part of running at this time of the year?

Fall is the best time because it’s not too hot. The weather gets almost perfect, and you can run longer and have more energy. The weather is just good for it. You run longer and at a faster pace when it gets cooler because the sun and heat are not draining you.

If someone wanted to start a running routine now, what tips would you offer?

Go to a high school track and run and walk until you can run longer. Do this three to four times a week. Run a lap and walk a lap for a week or two and then run two laps and walk to two laps and do this for several weeks. Then, start running on the streets.

Neila Scott, Macon

How long have you been running?

About 10 or 11 years.

What is your favorite place to run in Middle Georgia?

There are very few options to run safely in Macon. We usually either run at The Triangle, which is in Macon, on the Monroe County border on Rivoli, or we run on Forsyth on the sidewalks because they are probably the best sidewalks in Macon that have enough lighting.

What’s the best part of running at this time of the year?

Normally, when we get fall weather, that’s the best thing about running this time of year. The heat definitely makes you dehydrated quicker than normal and makes you sweat more and lose more of the electrolytes you need.

If someone wanted to start a running routine now, what tips would you offer?

I would tell them to start out very gradually with a run/walk routine. Maybe run one minute and walk two minutes. Run for one minute. Walk for two minutes. Do this for about 20 to 30 minutes for maybe two or three days a week. Then after a week or so, start increasing the amount of time. I would also recommend getting a good pair of running shoes. Run with a buddy or in a group. Don’t run alone. It’s a lot more enjoyable.

On two wheels

Fred Simonelli, Lizella

How long have you been biking?

I’ve been biking off and on since age 7, but more intensely in the last 10 years.

What’s the best part of biking at this time of the year?

You’re right out there in the woods in the middle of the leaves falling, the crisp air in the morning - especially if you go different places around here or up in the mountains. It just has the fall feel going on.

What is the best place to bike in Middle Georgia at this time of the year?

Every trail changes with the season, but some people love the trails at Dauset Trails Nature Park. There’s some trails up there you can ride. The three trails we have in town all offer something different (Arrowhead, Pig Head and L.H. Thomson). L.H. Thomson mountain bike trail is behind the building.

If someone wanted to start a biking routine now, what tips would you offer?

If he/she is doing mountain biking, first, start off with equipment. First, get a decent bike and helmet. Then, start off with several trails that are marked that have an easier loop, just to get used to going over the obstacles, and then work up to the harder more mileage loops. Build up stamina. Start off slow, and don’t be shy about doing the easy trails. Try to connect with other beginners or experienced riders. The experienced riders would wait for me to catch up with them and warn me of upcoming obstacles I needed to know about.

The Telegraph staff contributed to this report.

A few upcoming running events

8 a.m. Oct. 19: Pink Out 5K, The Shoppes at River Crossing in Macon

8 a.m. Oct. 26: Trek or Treat, Bass Pro Shops in Bibb County

8 a.m. Nov. 2: Gator Gallop 5K, Mossy Creek Middle School in Warner Robins