Calgary’s Ali Ghani on staying fit through Fall


With summer now firmly behind us and days getting shorter, it’s beginning to get more and more difficult to find time and daylight hours to run, bike or hike. But just because summer’s sun is giving way to autumn’s chill doesn’t mean you can’t stay fit and active during the next few to several months.

Ali Ghani, an investor and entrepreneur from Calgary whose portfolio includes real estate and startup companies, holds a diploma in electrical engineering and a bachelor’s degree in Applied Systems Technology from SAIT Polytechnic.

With a number of business projects in motion at any given time, Ali Ghani is himself a man on the move. Professional life aside, he attributes at least some of his success to his commitment to staying healthy and fit. And when winter arrives in the Great White North? “I try to get away to California,” he admits with a laugh.

He’s quick to add, though, that traveling far from home, while offering a nice, temporary change of scenery, isn’t necessary. There are, in fact, plenty of things you can do to stay active throughout the fall. They include the following:

Go for a run.

Ali Ghani is an avid runner who enjoys logging miles in all types of weather. “The fall is a particularly nice time for going out and hitting the trail or the track,” he says. “If it’s cool, just add a layer or two. You really can’t beat the experience of getting fresh air while elevating your heart rate and clearing your head.” Bring your phone with you and listen to some great music or podcasts as you run. Remember to stretch before and after, and if you’re running in a city area where there’s traffic be careful of your surroundings.

Take a hike.

If you haven’t been on a hike since your childhood summer camp days, you might find that you enjoy this activity even more now. All you need are the nearest woods—and comfortable shoes and socks. “Hiking is fun when there’s some terrain involved because it demands more from you than simply walking,” Ali Ghani says. “You’re going uphill and down, often on rocky ground.” This, by the way, is the reason you need to seriously consider your footwear. A good pair of hiking boots with strong ankle support is essential. Also, wear socks that are thick enough to cushion your feet. You want a snug fit.

Change your daily routine.

Let’s face it, it’s easy to be sedentary, even lazy, when it’s cool outside. Also, we live busy lives. So, if you don’t have the time to exercise, make the things you already do more of a physical challenge. Do you drive to work? Park farther away from your destination. This alone will get you walking at least a little more and increase your daily step count. “Or maybe you want to stop driving for a while and walk or bike to work,” says Ali Ghani. “A lot of people are doing it now, and the health and fitness benefits are evident and undeniable. And while you’re at it, skip the elevator and take the stairs.”

Work out at home.

For many people, nighttime is television watching time. The good thing is, you can still catch your favorite shows as you work out. “There are myriad options for getting an excellent workout at home,” says Ghani. “One set of dumbbells is all you need to get in an entire circuit—presses, rows, curls, lateral raises, and other exercises—as you binge-watch the newest season of Ozark.” If space permits, he adds, consider buying a treadmill or an elliptical. Or simply do body weight work like pushups, pullups and the like. Whatever your interests, there are fitness programs you can do right at home.

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