Fall is a favorite season for many. Its cool, mild weather allows for jeans, light jackets, and campfires, along with the beautiful change in leaves from green to gold. Make this your healthiest fall yet!
There are many ways you can make healthy choices this fall, while enjoying the season to its fullest potential! One way to continue your healthy streak this season is to stay active.
As the sun sets earlier and earlier, it can be difficult to feel energized and motivated to exercise or do extra-curricular activities after a long work day. With the days getting shorter, however, its important to make time for activities that will help you stay active and healthy.
This doesn’t necessarily mean going on a run every day, but things like getting out of the house and going on an evening walk will help you burn some calories, feel more energized, and sleep better – all while enjoying the beautiful fall weather! In addition to taking walks, you can enjoy some of your favorite fall activities while checking off your daily exercise!
According to an article from EverydayHealth, some activities that can burn calories and exercise your muscles could include:
- Raking leaves
- Corn Mazes
- Apple Picking
- Go for a hike
- Play some recreational football with friends or family!
In addition to staying active, eating delicious fall foods (that are also good for you!) can help you stay healthy this season! Early fall is the perfect season for fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets and your local grocery stores. In particular, delicious pumpkins, apples, squash, sweet potatoes, figs, and pears, are very popular this season, according to an article from Cooking Light. Have fun creating colorful, healthy, and delicious recipes with these fruits and vegetables in your very own kitchen. Need some inspiration? Check out Bon Appétit’s fall harvest recipes here!
In addition, with Halloween and Thanksgiving right around the corner, the temptation to eat too many sweets and/or turkey and stuffing is something we all must face (kids and adults alike!).
Halloween is an exciting time for your kids to enjoy a special treat, so regulating the sweets, not eliminating, is your best bet to maintain a healthy diet during Halloween season. According to an article from Kids Health, drinking a glass of milk or water before eating candy is just one way you can help your child (or yourself!) fill up on liquids, limiting your candy eating.
Some other tips for children and parents from Kids Health include:
- “Consider being somewhat lenient about candy eating on Halloween, within reason, and talk about how the rest of the candy will be handled. Candy and snacks shouldn’t get in the way of kids eating healthy meals.”
- “If a child is overweight — or you’d just like to reduce the Halloween stash — consider buying back some or all of the remaining Halloween candy. This acknowledges that the candy belongs to the child and provides a treat in the form of a little spending money.”
- “Be a role model by eating Halloween candy in moderation yourself. To help avoid temptation, buy your candy at the last minute and get rid of any leftovers.”
- “Encourage your kids to be mindful of the amount of candy and snacks eaten, and to stop before they feel full or sick.”
If you’re looking for some fun, family-friendly Halloween events in your area, the West Shore and East Shore YMCAs are hosting their very own Halloweens this year at their branches! Click on the links to learn more:
Thanksgiving is another holiday consumed with delicious food. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie, sweet potato casserole, and even some apple crisp, compared to candy, can seem like a whole different story – but the idea is the same. Making sure you limit your consumption, while still enjoying the traditional meal, is important to ensuring a healthy, but satisfying, Thanksgiving feast.
According to an article from WebMD, making sure you eat a filling breakfast the morning of Thanksgiving can help you reduce cravings and “can give you more control over your appetite.” In addition, doing things such as eating slowly, minimizing portion sizes, and drinking lots of water with your meal can help you enjoy your dinner while watching your food intake!
2016 can become your healthiest fall yet! With these tips and a few more, you can enjoy this new season to its fullest, all the while staying active, energized, and healthy. And don’t forget – the Harrisburg Area YMCA is always here for the community and is a great place to get in your daily exercise! Whether you enjoy taking a group fitness class, working out in the wellness center, or swimming some laps in the pool, we have a variety of classes and programs that meet a variety of needs.
The West Shore, East Shore, and Northern Dauphin County YMCA branches are also kicking off a Pay The Day Membership Special throughout the month of October that allows new members to pay their first month’s membership in the amount of the day they sign up! On October 1st, new members can pay only $1 for their first month’s membership – which makes joining the Y this fall a great deal!
For more information on this special, please see the Welcome Center at your respective branch. And spread the word! It should be a great fall season.
–Emily Sanville, Digital Communications Coordinator