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The added hours we get to spend outdoors during Daylight Savings Time and mild weather that goes with it make it easy to be more active in the summer, even if it does just feel like you’re having fun. Who doesn’t jump at the chance to go for a swim or paddle a kayak on the lake?
Contrary to what some kids may think, the sound of school buses rumbling through the neighborhood doesn’t mean the fun is over. There are still plenty of ways for the entire family to enjoy outdoor activities together now that fall has arrived.
Energy Balance Knows No Season
Maintaining a healthy weight is all about energy balance. The calories we consume from foods and beverages must be matched by the number of calories we use up each day. The problem with most advice on how to do this is it often focuses on getting enough “exercise” to use up those calories. But what if you don’t belong to a gym and don’t have the recommended number of hours per week to spend in one?
The solution is to have more lifestyle activities. They can be things you build into your everyday routines, like walking the dog, or chores you do yourself instead of paying someone else to do, like mowing the lawn. It can also be doing things you enjoy, like dancing. As long as you get your body moving you are helping to stay in energy balance.
Here are 30 Family Fitness Tips for Fall to help get you started.
Parks & Playgrounds
- Gather pine cones, rocks or interesting leaves
- Climb the monkey bars
- Climb a tree
- Ride on a swing
- Have a scavenger hunt
- Hit a tennis ball against a wall
- Shoot a basketball and rebound it yourself
- Hit golf balls into a field and retrieve them
- Play catch with a baseball or softball
- Fly a kite
Driveways & Sidewalks & Backyard
- Play hopscotch
- Draw a mural with chalk
- Blow bubbles and chase them
- Have a beach paddle ball contest
- Throw a football
- Hula hoop
- Jump rope
- Play monkey in the middle
- Play bean bag toss
- Kick the can
House & Yard Chores
- Wash the car and bicycles
- Rake leaves
- Bag the leaves or pile at the curb
- Sweep the garage, porch, patio, deck
- Turnover and mulch garden beds
- Wash the windows
- Shake or beat throw rugs
- Paint a fence
- Plant fall bulbs in flower garden
- Wash patio furniture
And if you want a steaming cup of hot cocoa after your outdoor activities, you can save some calories without giving up the sweet taste by preparing it with SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. Keep a batch of this Mix Ahead Hot Cocoa Mix in your pantry so it’s ready when you are.
For more information:
- “Get a Foot Up on a Healthier Lifestyle” offers excellent suggestions about adding 2,000 steps to your daily routine.
- “There Are Many Ways to Get 2,000 Extra Steps” shows the minutes needed for 2,000 steps by participating in some of the activities listed above.
Robyn Flipse, MS, MA, RDN, “The Everyday RD,” is an author and nutrition consultant who has headed the nutrition services department in a large teaching hospital and maintained a private practice where she provided diet therapy to individuals and families. With more than 30 years of experience, Robyn is motivated by the opportunity to help people make the best eating decisions for their everyday diet. She believes that choosing what to eat should not be a daily battle and aims to separate the facts from the fiction so you can enjoy eating well.