The summer to fall season is one of my favorite transitions. I begin to look forward to those crisp fall days, watching the leaves work their magic, cozying up in a big soft blanket with a warm beverage in hand, cranking up the oven to bake and thinking about the approaching holiday season. Anybody else feel the same way?
Although, as the weather cools and makes for a perfect time to get outside we oftentimes put physical activity and health on the back burner. The temperature drops and so does our motivation. But here are six quick tips to keep the momentum going and how to stay active this fall.
1.Take a walk in the woods
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy Wild Wonderful West Virginia and get outside. Take advantage of what fall has to offer as the leaves change colors and the cool air makes for a perfect time to walk in the woods. Active SWV has several opportunities to take in the views and see the beauty fall brings.
2. Try a new sport or class
This will help shake things up. According to several studies learning a new sport is also good for your brain and improves cognition. Do something new you’ve always wanted to try. Active SWV has several FREE physical activity programs in September such as, rock climbing, mountain biking, running, pickleball, aerobics (Refit and High Fitness), Qigong, yoga, stand up paddle boarding and more!
3. Dress the part
Sometimes those cold fall days make it easier for us to stay in bed a bit longer or underneath those cozy blankets. Make sure to put on a jacket and gloves if necessary, and wear the appropriate shoes. The first step is always the hardest, but dressing the part will make it a bit easier to get going.
4. Walk and talk
When on the cell phone get up and move, pace back and forth or walk around. Even standing while talking helps improve circulation and boost your metabolism. Take a walking meeting at work to get up from behind your desk and increase physical activity. According to Stanford University, walking meetings have been found to increase creative output by an average of 60% when people are walking.
5. Stay hydrated
This will help maintain body temperature during those chilly activities. Hydration also helps transport nutrients and oxygen to cells, carries waste away from cells and lubricates joints.
6. Include fall produce in your grocery haul
Boost your health by incorporating seasonal produce such as, squash, apples, beets, pumpkin and Brussels sprouts. Pumpkin is full of fiber and beta-carotene, which is beneficial for your skin and eye health. Sweet potatoes are also a great option and have more fiber and vitamin A compared to its relative, the white potato. They also are an excellent source of potassium and vitamin C. Fall produce is a perfect addition to soups and stews you can throw in a crockpot before work and enjoy with your family afterwards.
Staying active will help you fight the affects of Seasonal Affective Disorder, known as the fall blues. According to the American Heart Association, “Staying active is the best medicine”. Fall is a wonderful time of the year, so come join Active SWV and enjoy one of our many FREE programs.
Laura Baker, Active SWV Workplace Wellness Director, MS, RDN, LDShare