With the fall season, comes a variety of different holidays which all, mainly, if not the majority of them, are focused on cooking, baking and finally, the consumption of festive treats, sweets, and amazing meals.
Though this is a great excuse for those families who cherish some of their best memories made in the kitchen while preparing the meals, this time of the year can be deadly to those looking to keep on a healthy or fit-focused track. Most of these festivities and family gatherings are centered around one of the greatest excuses known to a multitude of generations for a reason to get together: good food.
Unfortunately, good food usually means fattening food. It means sugary food, pastries and pies, pasta and potatoes, and a plethora of potential poor choices for your diet.
Though it is, of course, okay to let loose for the holidays and enjoy your time with family and friends, while also enjoying some of your favorite meals, you can always wind up over exaggerating what it means to gain a few holiday pounds.
The great thing about the holidays is that you have the most amazing support system around you almost all of the time, which means that not only can you hold each other accountable for maintaining your fitness regimen, you can also create a fun environment by including them into your workouts or plans. Not only does working out mean fitness, you can even get a healthy workout by a family outing to the park, or taking a walk around the neighborhood.
With the brisk weather outside, before the snow hits the ground, going outside to get a workout done during the fall season should really be an inviting environment, rather than a reason to stay inside and avoid the cold. The weather during the fall is a great reason to get moving outside.
With football season also in full force, you might feel inspired to get a game of touch football with the whole family started, or sign up for an outdoor football league. Whatever the case may be, it is important for you to get moving, and doing it as a family can only make the time and workout more enjoyable.
Ideas for fitness for the whole family:
1.Have a goal in mind.
Though not completely necessary, having a target for your fitness or workouts is always more helpful and motivating, rather than just aimlessly flailing about trying to burn a few calories. The fall season is an event-packed time of the year where it is hard to find an excuse to NOT run in a fun run, like the Turkey Trot or Halloween costume mile, 5K, or 10K runs.
Having an option where they have various distances can be beneficial to get the whole family involved because you can, therefore, set realistic goals for each member of the family.
The important point here is to actually sign up for the event. This gives you (and your family) the sense of commitment to the run and can help you all get moving beforehand to prepare for the big race day.
2.Turn fitness and exercise into an autumn event.
Those fall, festive activities you love doing with your family can actually be done with the means of fitness, as well. Whether it’s making your way through a corn maze, reaching for the highest Red Delicious while apple picking, climbing over hay bales at a local farm, or hiking the nearby trails on the mountain to enjoy the leaves changing, all of the family outings you normally plan every year can be used to incorporate fitness and get your family moving.
If you want to take it to the next level, you can make some of these events into a competition. These can take place if you are apple picking, or if you are at the pumpkin patch. You can challenge your family members to who can gather the most apples, or who can lift the biggest pumpkin. If you are going through a corn maze, make it into a race, or set teams and see how competitive your family truly can be.
3.Sign up for a class.
Just like in school, fall is usually when things begin to pick up again. Instead of stressing about school supply lists or making sure everyone has their favorite lunchbox this year, (though of course, these are definitely important), check with the nearest community center or gym about signing up for the most interesting and agreed upon class with your family. This can give you and your family something new to take part in together, or you can choose classes that are offered at the same time, at the same place. This can help with camaraderie, and you might be surprised from the interests that one another might have.
4.Rake your yard.
Every kid and inner child knows that jumping into a freshly raked pile of leaves is an incomparable type of fun that leads to amazing family memories. Not only can you get the entire family into the raking process (this might be the hard part), but you can get your yard pristine and clean as well.
Get creative with your raking. You can push those leaves into different mazes and trails for your kids to follow, or draw creations with lines of leaves before pushing them all into giant piles. Once finished, of course, it is extremely important to allow the kids and/or adults to take the giant plunge into the perfectly mounded pile of fall leaves.
From 6-speed mountain bikes to toddlers in training wheels, going on a family bike ride is a great way to see some new sights from a whole new perspective, enjoy the weather, and possibly help one of your family members find something that they’re passionate about, without even meaning to.
During the fall months, these bike trails are loaded with people enjoying the crisp wind, beaming sunshine, and different colored leaves. The great thing about bike trails is that they usually come with options of longer and shorter loops or trails, giving families the opportunity to cut their bike rides shorter, or loop them around longer for those who want to see how far their adolescent, growth-spurt legs can take them.
Not only can you use the fall season to get out and get moving with some fun, family-themed fitness, you can also choose healthy options for your family’s nutrition. If you are already apple picking for your outdoor activity, you can bring those freshly picked apples straight into your kitchen. You can visit Farmers’ Markets with the whole gang, or research where the nearest Fall Festivals are, which showcase nearby farmers’ fresh products, enriching to the entire family. Special to the fall season, look out for veggies and fruits fresh during this time of the year, such as squash, pumpkin, apples, figs and sweet potatoes.
Once you have loaded up on your fill of healthy foods from those local markets or festivals, you can have your family choose and gather up their favorites into your picnic basket, trunk, etc., for a picnic in the park. Fall is a perfect time for this outing as well, and as long as you are keeping the food healthy, you can choose a great, local forest preserve, park, or beach that can not only give a great on-site location for the picnic, but may also lead to an amazing afternoon filled with memories of hiking, frisbee, or family fun activities at the campgrounds.