Once fall arrives, it can be difficult to maintain a set fitness plan. Between school, work and the abundance of children’s extracurricular activities, regular exercise can fall by the wayside. This is a shame because fall is one of the best seasons for getting outside.
The days are warm but the breeze has a cool, autumnal edge – which makes for more comfortable hiking, biking and running. The golden lighting and colorful leaf changes provide a gorgeous backdrop for outdoor activities. Plus, the availability of delicious, seasonal foods make it easy to keep the kitchen full of healthy meals and snacks.
5 Tips for Keeping Fit This Fall
Some of these tips may not be the typical “get out early and run…” style of fitness recommendations, but they’ll help you to stay fit regardless.
If the kids’ extracurricular activities have taken over your normal gym or yoga time, it’s time to get the parents together for a carpool powwow. Consider all the time spent driving to and fro, and now cut that by 50% or more, and you’re carpool just gained you hours of extra time. Parents are going to love your brilliant strategizing. Perhaps some days you do both the drop-off and return home, or maybe you do the pick-up and another parent does the post-practice return. Checkout Carpool-Kids.com or carpooltoschool.com, both of which make it easy to manage, track and remind carpooling parents of who’s doing what and when.
Take to the field
Yes, it’s nice to stand around and get some adult conversation in once in awhile during sports practice, but this could be prime talk-and-walk or talk-and-jog time. Since most fields are surrounded by a track or have walkable/joggable perimeters, see if some of the other parents are interested in walking or jogging with you. You can still have a conversation, but all of you will feel better about the added hour or so of exercise you’re able to get in on a regular basis. If you’re lucky enough to have a kid who practices at a park with a fitness course, even better.
Visit your farmer’s market or join a CSA
Fall is synonymous with harvest time and that means your community is overflowing with seasonal fruits and vegetables – many of which will keep through the winter if you have a cool place to store them. DO build connections with the local farmers or sustainable food purveyors in your area. This gives you regular access to healthy fruits and vegetables year-round.
Here are some of the healthiest foods to keep in your recipe swirl this season:
- Greens – kale, swiss chard, bok choy and cabbages
- Both summer and winter squashes
- Pomegranates (Click Here for an easy tutorial on how to access pomegranate seeds)
- Yams and sweet potatoes
- Brussels sprouts (don’t think you like them? Try them shredded and roasted with parmesan)
- Beets (try them roasted with your carrots and potatoes or shredded raw into salads)
You and your family will have an easier time staying fit this fall – not to mention healthy and energized – by focusing on a fresh, seasonable diet.
Activate that Crock Pot (aka Slow Cooker)
Today’s slow cooker recipes are a far cry from the ones your mom and grandma used to make. With a packed fall schedule, you may find your family is eating more fast and/or processed foods than you’re comfortable with.
Bonding with your slow cooker is a great way to provide hot and nutritious dinners that are ready for you when you get home. Plus, if you double or triple recipes, you can wind up with extras that can be frozen and reheated in a week or two.
Try some of these 25 Fall Slow-Cooker Recipes and you’ll be amazed at how delicious the results are. Vegetarians may prefer sampling these Fall Vegetarian Recipes for slow cookers and Eating Well has some more delicious Healthy Fall Crockpot & Slow Cooker Recipes. Assemble it all the night before and you’ll be ready to go in the morning.
Do you have any outside-of-the-norm for staying healthy this fall? Share them with the WHA community in the comment box below.