Raking and jumping into a pile of leaves totally counts as exercise.
As summertime comes to an end, we’re looking forward to crisp outdoor runs, feeling cozy in fleece and flannel, and roasting s’mores over the fire. But while it can be easy to get caught up in the gooey chocolate-marshmallow goodness of one of our favorite cool weather treats, there’s a lot more autumn-themed fun you can have that actually boosts your health too.
From apple picking to pumpkin carving, we made a list of 19 healthy fall activities for you to add to your bucket list this season. Use these ideas to get closer to Mother Nature, try out delicious seasonal recipes, and find new ways to have a blast with friends and family.
Expand your palate with a new fall recipe
As the trees turn to yellow and orange hues, the shelves of the supermarket follow suit. Incorporate fall staples like squash and sweet potato into your cooking to break out of your go-to routine and make the most of what’s in season.
Go apple picking with family and friends
The only thing better than biting into a crisp, juicy apple is doing so right after you’ve picked it off the tree. Apples are a low-calorie, high-fiber snack, and their natural sweetness is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Run (or walk) a fall road race
Whether you’re in it for the competition or the camaraderie, running a road race is a great way to get involved in your local athletics community (and give your legs and lungs a solid workout too). If you’re not up for the race but still want to be a part of the action, volunteer to hand out water or help clean up.
Carve pumpkins and roast the seeds
There’s something satisfying about getting elbow-deep in the slimy orange guts of a pumpkin. This year, go one step further and separate the seeds from the slime and roast them to make a healthy snack to tuck into your purse or pocket.
Go for a nature walk and enjoy fall colors
Our senses go crazy for fall. From the sound of leaves crunching underfoot to the sight of brightly colored foliage, there’s nothing quite like it. Make an effort to get outside and take in all the beauty. Plus, research shows that being in nature helps us de-stress.
Turn pumpkin into a kitchen staple
Pumpkins grace us with their presence for only a few months each year, and there’s much more you can do with this fiber-filled fruit than make pumpkin pie. Take full advantage of the flavors of the season by adding naturally nutrient-rich, low-calorie pumpkin to dishes
like hummus, ravioli, soup, muffins and more.
Make spiced apple cider
Summer calls for lemonade, winter screams hot chocolate, and during fall we get to warm up to crisp spiced apple cider. In just 30 minutes, you can make this low-fat, low-sodium drink that’ll leave your taste buds feeling festive.
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