Written by Sarah Achleithner, B.S., Nutrition Communications Coordinator for Triad to Wellness
Change is inevitable. As summer sweetly melts into fall, the bright green trees trade their colors for a cloak of vivid reds, oranges, and yellows, and lightweight summer clothes are exchanged for tightly knit sweaters and cozy boots. While this change is certainly welcomed with open arms, many find that it can wreak havoc on their lifestyle and eating habits. According to a study found on Medical Daily, many Americans say goodbye to those summer diets, bikini bodies, and expensive gym memberships once the weather begins to cool down (1). This may be because the pervasive flavors of the season (i.e. pumpkin flavored everything) make us indulge in comfort foods, or that exercise motivation decreases as the temperatures plummet. But whatever the reason, health appears to be on a decline as fall approaches, so it’s important to take notice, recognize the shortcomings, and remedy the issue.
According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, exercise plays a crucial role in the prevention of chronic diseases (i.e. cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, and depression), premature death, and bone diseases (2). The study showed that those who participated in daily physical activity lead to a linear improvement in their overall health and fitness levels. Even 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day will drastically increase one’s overall health! Wondering how to do this? Read these three helpful tips for how to stay active this fall!
1. Bundle up and go outside. With the crisp autumn air, crunchy leaves, and vibrant trees making a striking appearance this season, it’s a shame to stay inside! Grab a friend and take a hike up some mountain trails to admire the gorgeous scenery. You can also wander around your own neighborhood after dinner to stretch your legs and help wind down the day. If you prefer running, take to a great trail laden with autumnal views to get the same refreshing results.
2. Visit a corn maze. Corn mazes are an ingenious way to get you moving! Invite your friends and family to a local corn maze and spend a few hours getting lost. All of that walking is guaranteed to increase your heart rate, which will skyrocket even more if you go to a haunted corn maze!
3. Rake leaves. Raking leaves is a great way to keep your lawn looking fresh all season long. Not only is it helpful for your grass, but it provides a solid upper body workout, as you use your biceps, upper back muscles, and shoulders to weld a rake. For extra exercise, volunteer to rake up leaves around your community—you will build up a sweat and help others out along the way. It’s a win-win situation!
Don’t neglect your health this fall! What are some ways that you like to stay active as the weather changes?
(1) Borreli, L. “Tis the Season of Weight Gain: Fall Season Expands Waistlines with Dieters Gaining up to 5 Pounds. Medical Daily. Published September 24, 2014. http://www.medicaldaily.com/tis-season-weight-gain-fall-season-expands-waistlines-dieters-gaining-5-pounds-304896
(2) Warburton, D., Nicol, C., Bredin, S. Health Benefits of Physical Activity: The Evidence. CMAJ. March 2006. vol. 174, no. 6 801-809. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.051351CMAJ