Fall is the perfect time for the family to get out of the house and spend some quality time together in the outdoors! Not to mention, exercise and fitness can be fun and benefit the entire family’s overall health and wellness. In honor of Family Health and Fitness day on September 29th, here are some ideas for fall fun:
1. Bike Riding: Enjoy the nice weather while it lasts. Take the bikes out and look at the fall foliage and animals preparing for winter. Lead by example and don’t forget helmets for the whole family.
2. Pumpkin Picking: Not only is it fun, but pumpkin picking also has a lot of physical bonuses including walking over the hills of the pumpkin fields and carrying it all the way back to the car. And there is always the reward of making a Jack-O-Lantern when you get home, just in time for Halloween!
3. Apple Picking: Late September and early October is the best time for apple picking. Spend the day walking through the apple orchards, reaching up into the trees and carrying bags of apples home. They make a great snack for school lunch!
4. Take a Walk: Walking is a great and affordable way to get outside. Whether through a park, the woods or even through the city streets, walking is great exercise. Make it more fun by creating a scavenger hunt or signing up for a charity walk as a family.
5. Family Olympics: In honor of the 2012 Summer Olympics, hold an Olympics Day in your back yard. Some events could include the long jump, 50 meter dash, soccer, 3-legged race and potato sack races. You can even make tin foil medals for the Olympians!
6. Rainy Days are Still Fun: Video games such as Wii Fit or Dance Dance Revolution are hard work! Don’t own video games? Just put on some music and have a dance party or play freeze-dance with your kids. You may be surprised how fast you work up a sweat!
7. Go for a Hike: Fall is the perfect time to take a hike through the woods. You can choose a steep challenging trail or a more leisurely trail. Either way, enjoy the fall foliage, collect leaves and enjoy the crisp fall air.
It’s important to consult with a physician before starting an exercise regimen.
Kristin Flynn is a doctor of physical therapy at the CA Technologies Pediatric Rehabilitation Center at Hospital for Special Surgery.