Fall is now well and truly upon us. With the weather getting colder and the nights beginning to draw in, it can be tempting to stay indoors and snuggle up under a blanket. But it’s important not to let your health goals slide as we head towards winter.
Here are a few of our favorite fall activities to help you get outdoors, keep moving, and stay healthy while having fun this season.
Go on a foliage walk
In many parts of the US and the northern hemisphere, fall is perhaps the most spectacular time of year. Everywhere you look, brilliant colors are on display as the leaves change.
Whether you simply wander around your neighborhood or drive out further afield to go leaf-peeping, taking a foliage walk is a fun and healthy activity that the whole family can enjoy together. Why not make a game of it and see how many different colors you can spot?
Hit the hiking trails
There’s no better time of year than fall to go hiking. The heat of the summer has passed but winter’s chill has not yet set in, the days are still relatively long, and you’ll enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery nature has to offer.
Hiking has so many physical health benefits including boosting your cardiovascular fitness, toning and strengthening your muscles (which helps to avoid injury as you age), and lowering your risk of various health conditions from diabetes to osteoporosis. It’s also great for your mental health, reducing stress and clearing your mind.
If your family or friends don’t want to go hiking with you, joining a club is an ideal way to meet new people and make friends.
Go pumpkin or apple picking
Fall is the harvest season, meaning it’s the ideal time to enjoy many fruits and vegetables. And does anything say “October” quite like pumpkins and apples? Visiting pick-your-own farms is the best way to get the freshest and tastiest produce, and you’ll be supporting small local businesses at the same time. Walking around the farm will also add some extra steps into your day.
Many pick-your-own farms offer other seasonal activities that you can enjoy while you’re there. So why not bring the family along and make a fun day out of it?
Discover a new recipe
Now you’ve picked those lovely pumpkins or apples, what are you going to do with them? Fall is the time of warming, comforting dishes, and home cooking is much better for your health (and wallet) than restaurant or convenience foods. So why not get into the kitchen and learn how to make something new this season?
You can involve your family, too. Kids love helping out in the kitchen, and cooking together is a great way to bond and encourage them to develop a love of good food.
In need of some inspiration? Insanely Good Recipes offers a collection of 24 wonderful fall-themed dishes for you to try. We particularly like the sound of the butternut squash pizza and the apple spice cake!
Sign up for a race
If you’re a keen runner, fall is an ideal time to challenge yourself and take part in a race as you won’t have to deal with the intense heat that characterizes summer races. Training for a race will give you the incentive you need to keep up with your running routine.
For beginners or shorter distance runners, Parkrun is an international 5k event that takes place on Saturday mornings in parks across the world. Find your nearest Parkrun here. You can also search for 5k, 10k, and half marathon events in your area online.
Looking further ahead, many of the USA’s biggest and most iconic marathons (including the New York Marathon, Chicago Marathon, and Portland Marathon) take place in the fall. While it’s likely too late to sign up for this year, why not register for an event in 2023 and commit to training for the race over the next year?
Try out a fall sport
Numerous sports have their main seasons in the fall. These include football, soccer, golf, field hockey, cross country, tennis, and many more. So if you’re interested in trying something new, now is the ideal time to join a local club and discover your new sporting passion.
Don’t worry if you’ve never played before. Many sports clubs offer taster sessions for complete beginners to have a go. Trying a new sport is a great way to improve your fitness, make friends, and have fun while you’re doing it.