Fall is a great time of year to get outside and play. The summer heat is finally subsiding and hopefully we can revel in crisp autumn air for a few weeks. One advantage of outdoor fall activities is that they can be so fun and exhilarating you’ll barely notice that you’re getting exercise. And they’re a great way to model an active lifestyle to your kids or grandkids while spending some quality time together. An article from the University California at Berkeley Wellness Center suggested some great ideas to get us started.
1. Rake some leaves
Why it’s good: Bending your legs, moving your arms, and scooping up leaves is a great way to get your heart pumping. It also builds strength in your legs, core, shoulders, and arms.
Keep it safe: Practice proper raking posture to prevent injury, especially to the low back: Keep one foot slightly forward and bend at the knees, keeping your back flat. This way your leg muscles will take the brunt of the weight, not your back.
Make it kid friendly: Create a little competition. See who can make the biggest pile of leaves; the winner gets a prize. After you’ve got a few piles set up, let the kids jump in!
2. Play in the park
Why it’s good: The park is full of swings, jungle gyms, walking paths, and open fields so you’re sure to get a good workout no matter what you want to do.
Keep it safe: Pack a healthy lunch, and plenty of water. Even though the weather is cooler, you still need to keep well hydrated.
Make it kid-friendly: Play follow the leader: Take turns being the “coach” and order each other through activities like marches, forward lunges, side steps, and jumping jacks.
3. Find a 5K
Why it’s good: Participating in a charity race shows your children or grandchildren the value of keeping fit and giving back to society.
Keep it safe: Dress in layers. The first should be made of moisture-wicking fabric to wick sweat away from your skin. If the day is gray and wet, add a windbreaker or lightweight rain shell on top to protect you from the elements.
Make it kid-friendly: If your family isn’t active already, start building endurance a few weeks before. Begin leisurely walking a few blocks, adding a little more distance each time you hit the road.
4. Buy a bike
Why it’s good: Biking as a family is a great way to connect with nature and each other.
Keep it safe. Make sure everyone wears a helmet, whatever their age.
Make it kid-friendly. Make fun the goal. That might mean frequent stops for a snack, water break, sight seeing, or even just some time to rest your bottom.
And finally, here a is a great idea for Wise County residents,
5. Go Fishing, Hiking or Camping at Wise County Park
Why it’s good. Spending time in natural settings can benefit both your mental state and your physical health, research shows. I recently visited Wise County Park and found a place I would like to visit again. Enjoy year-round access to swimming, fishing, picnic tables, playground, public restrooms and showers, boat ramps with piers, tent camping, No fee for day use. Wise County Park is located at the north end of Lake Bridgeport, just west of FM 2952
Keep it safe: Slather sunscreen on exposed skin. Even on a cloudy autumn day, the sun can still do damage. Protect your eyes from hooks and the sun’s harmful rays with some kind of glasses. Wear a hat. Children should have a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device.
Make it kid-friendly: Start simple, consider a cane pole. Depending upon their age, allow time for skipping stones, catching frogs, floating sticks and leaves, playing ball, collecting rocks and finding insects. Make it a fun adventure so they will want to go fishing again.