Autumn is officially here! If you’re like me, I’ve been loving the fall season so far. Summer has always been my favorite season, but in recent years I have come to love fall, as well.
Aside from pumpkin-spice-flavored-everything, there are a couple other wonderful reasons to love fall: The weather is cooler and the leaves are colorful and bright, making this season perfect for outdoor activities.
If want to make the most of the beautiful, crisp days in your hometown before cold weather approaches, here are some fun ways to stay active with your kids this fall:
Go on nature walks and hiking.
One of the easiest and most accessible ways to get moving for both adults and kids is walking. There are so many places to go for a walk (gyms, malls, etc.) but if you can get outside in the fresh air, the better! Hiking is a fun way to stay active for kids, but if you can’t make it out to hike, taking a walk at local parks is just as good.
If you want to make walking more fun for kids, you can add a few fun extras to your walk. Take a camera along and encourage your kids to take photos of their favorite things, collect nature objects for crafts, create a scavenger hunt for younger kids, or go geocaching with older children.
Break out your bicycles.
Although it takes a bit more planning and equipment than walking, cycling is a great way to see the seasons change in your area. If you want to make the most of the nice days before winter comes, fall is a wonderful time to bike to your favorite places.
You can plan short bike trips to a child’s favorite places, like the library, or you can take bike rides around the neighborhood. One of our favorite things to do is to take our bikes with us when we travel out of town so we can explore new areas!
Take advantage of 5Ks, fun runs, and walks.
Fall is a fantastic time for fun runs–the weather is cooler and you can run later in the day without worrying about the heat. Many towns host fall-themed fun races like turkey trots, pumpkin runs, mud runs, or Halloween costume races.
Don’t let the word race scare you: your family can walk or run at your own pace so you don’t really have to “race” unless you want to.
If your kids are too young to run a whole 5K, they can walk the 5K with you or pedal a bike alongside you (as long as that is pre-approved by the race director). My kids participate in some 5Ks with us as a family and they usually do a mixture of walking and running. Many fun races will feature a kids 1K as well so smaller children can participate, too.
Go apple and pumpkin picking!
One of my favorite memories when I was a teenager was exploring the area in our county and finding an apple orchard to go apple picking with my family in Washington state. Even though my sisters and I were teenagers at the time, we still really enjoyed the time spent as a family doing something new and fun.
Although apple and pumpkin picking might not seem like formal exercise, it is a great way to get your kids outside and moving around. Apple and pumpkin picking can be considered moderate exercise if you are walking around, reaching for apples, squatting to pick up pumpkins, and carrying pumpkins or buckets of apples. It’s fun activity that creates memories!
About the Author: Sarah Jane Parker is an ACSM certified personal trainer, ACE certified Health Coach, blogger, and yoga instructor working and living in Wyoming. Her blog, The Fit Cookie, shares simple healthy living tips, allergy-friendly recipes, and workouts.