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COLUMN: Running on pumpkin spice in autumn

Once again, this seasonal love affair comes around and I am swept off my feet every single time, quite literally always falling in love with fall.

Some of the best moments are the wind whispering through your ears, your breath a little white cloud you can see in front of you, the smell of the crisp, chilled morning dew, and the subtle rays from the sun soaking into your pores. Autumn, in addition to being sweater weather, is the season of pumpkin spice.

What better time to enjoy this weather than now. In high school I used to run cross-country, which started in the blistering heat of August. However, the best part of the season was October. My coaches would start to make the workouts longer and bring us to so many trails that made running 7 to 9 miles almost bearable with the picturesque scenery.

I loved running in the fall. Running, jogging or walking are all great ways to immerse yourself in every second this beautiful season has to offer. Here are just a couple helpful tips to take along with you on your next outing, whenever that may be.

 Stay hydrated. This may seem like a no-brainer, but people tend to drink a lot more in the summer than in cooler months. However, your body needs constant hydration, and when you don’t feel thirsty you’ll often go longer without drinking water than you think. Make sure to always keep a water bottle on you and to focus on sipping throughout the day in order to avoid dehydration when you train.

Layer up. I say “layer up” purposefully, because it is important to dress for the weather and specific forms of exercise. So if you plan on going for a walk, make sure you dress for it — long sleeves, sweaters, ear muffs, gloves, leggings and sweatpants. If you plan on running, make sure you dress to stay warm and cool because as your body starts to become more active you will get hot and keeping extra layers on can result in dizziness and overheating, so bring a light jacket that you can wrap around your waist, if needed.

Make sure to warm up. For a walk or run, it’s always a good idea to stretch before moving your muscles in an excessive form of motion that can result in strains and pulls if not properly stretched out first. Don’t be shy. Take that five minutes before your workout, because that counts toward it as well. For a run, make sure you are stretching and warming up those muscles. Get silly, jump around, do some duck squats, jumping jacks, high knees, whatever you need to feel that sweat coming on before you take off.

Overall, just make sure to be safe and conscious about how you’re feeling, but don’t forget to have fun and revel in the beauty fall and West Virginia have to offer.

Christelle Temple is an WVU honors sophomore. She contributes a weekly column on health, fitness and motivation. Follow her on Instagram @ellesbells2. Contact her at