Come One, Come All; It’s Time For Fall!

Well, it’s that time of year again. Candy lines the shelves and displays of your local grocery stores,Target, and Wal-Mart. Does the sound of your favorite candy calling your name send eerie chills up your spine? Well it shouldn’t! Let your fierce jack-o-lantern be the only thing that scares you this fall!

Fall is a wonderful time of year and it is possible to treat yourself, have fun, and enjoy the season without giving in to one of the seven deadly sins. Like everything in life, this fall will be what you make of it. So make it a fun and healthy one!

A must of the fall season is taking a group of family or friends to an apple orchard. It’s great to get your kids outside in the brisk fall air and let them run up and down the rows of apple trees. Not only will they think it is so fun to be able to pick their very own apples, but you will also be secretly instilling a healthy fall tradition in them that they can carry out their whole lives! If you don’t have kids and go apple picking with a group of friends or other family members, it is fun to know that you are giving your body different vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber all in your very own handpicked sweet treat! You can also cut up an apple and throw it in the oven with some cinnamon sprinkled over the top. A healthy taste of fall!

No one actually enjoys raking leaves, right? But you can’t honestly tell me that jumping into a huge pile of leaves doesn’t sound like fun, no matter how old you are. Turn the burdensome chore of raking your leaves into a fun cardio workout. Yes, it’s true…you do burn calories raking leaves! Who cares what your neighbors think. When you’re done, give into your inner child and jump into your pile of leaves; you know you want to!

Explore local famer’s markets! As we all know, in a few months our frigid winters make it more difficult to find high quality produce that is not outrageously expensive because of the off-season. Take advantage of the fruits and veggies local farmer’s markets are growing and selling. Enjoy your last corn on the cob of the season; buy a squash and make a delightful fall sweet potato/squash medley; buy a pumpkin and make your own homemade pumpkin seeds. Lightly spritz your seeds with vegetable or grape seed oil, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and ta-da! You have a crunchy fall snack rich in zinc, antioxidants, and healthy fats!

Many people enjoy the warmth and comfort their favorite fall latte or cup of apple cider provides them—I will admit I am guilty of this as well. However, try to substitute your go-to calorically dense drink with a cup of warm tea instead. You can still find a tea bag that fills your fall fix, for no calories! This allows your truly favorite fall drink to be a treat to yourself every once in awhile. Not only will you enjoy it so much more because it will be a rarity for you this fall, but you will eliminate some extra calories as well!

Did someone say jack-o-lanterns? Going to a pumpkin farm has always been one of my favorite fall traditions. Not only can this be something you and your family look forward to every year, but it also doubles as a healthy outing! Although the hayride can be fun, skip that this year and walk to the pumpkin patch instead. You will have fun walking with your family and friends and not even realize you are exercising. Try getting lost in the haunted maze as well. Not only will the creepy unexpected guests get your heart rate raised, but getting moving will too!

If these are things you already do, great! If not, let this fall be the first time you fall into some healthy habits and autumn traditions!

Written by Natalie Radloff

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