Autumn in the Yukon is a fantastic time of year. It is bright, energetic, crisp and clean. It’s also a transitional time of year. When kids go back to school, schedules at work become more consistent and life has a tendency to settle down a bit.

So before the snow flies and the darkness settles in for the winter, here are a few tips to staying active and happy through the next couple of months.

Take the time to enjoy the area we live in. A few days ago my husband and I took a drive, pulled off a dirt road, parked and hiked into an area we’ve never been before.

To our surprise we came around a bend and were taken aback by a panoramic view of a yellow and orange valley.

We sat there for hours, just enjoying our back yard.

Get the kids out and play in the leaves. Rake, pile, jump. Repeat!

Get out on your bike for one last ride. As the weather gets cooler it can deter some people from heading outside. But we are Yukoners! Dress in layers, throw on some gloves and even a little touque and get out there.

Start a consistent regime now. Don’t wait until the snow flies to get your winter activities started. Join a class with some friends. Book some training sessions early – trainers book up fast in the fall – even one or two to help you get organized.

Getting a jumpstart on your fall fitness regime will set you off on the right foot.

Drink water! Even though it’s chilly out your body still needs to stay hydrated. You are still sweating under those layers (I hope) so don’t forget to drink your water throughout the day.

If you need a little warm-up when you get home, don’t reach for the hot chocolate. Reach for the tea. A nice warm glass of herbal tea will warm you up from the inside out and give you a few nutrients along the way while hydrating you.

Hot chocolate, on the other hand, will give you sugar and caffeine and slow you down.

It’s coming … it’s spooky! Run away from the “Holiday” isle at the grocery store. We are already seeing signs of Hallowe’en. Huge boxes of treats.

Stay away from buying large boxes of candy until October 31. You are not “saving money”, or “going to just have one a day”. Be honest with yourself and know that it will only cause damage and slow down your progress.

Fact is, when we have smaller portions of a product we actually end up eating more. Our brain tricks us into thinking that four small ones equals one large one, but then we end up eating five.

For my last fall tip, it’s time to remind you that if you have not tried something new in 2011, you are running out of time. Step outside your box. Take up a new hobby. Try a new class. 2012 will be here before you know it.

This column is provided by Mrs. Lee Randell, independent fitness consultant, who is an ACE certified advanced health and fitness specialist and personal trainer. You can reach her at www.mrsleerandell.com.