Guest Post – Jennifer Stinson, 5 Fun Activities For The Family To Stay Active This Fall

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Just Because It Is Fall Does Not Mean Your Children Should Be Sedentary
It’s that time of year again! The kids are back in school and the leaves are starting to fall from the trees. This doesn’t have to mean hibernating inside on the couch! It’s easy to fall into the trap of being more sedentary during the colder months. Perhaps this is why almost 20 percent of children age six to 11 are considered obese, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children and adolescents should be getting in 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Don’t worry, even though this may sound like a lot. Making the activities fun by getting the whole family involved will make this time something to look forward to! Here are five activities families can do together to stay active and healthy this fall:

1. Fall Hikes

Let your child plan the hike and even invite a friend!

You may think that kids and hiking do not go hand in hand. However, by keeping the hikes close to home and the distances fairly short, this can be a great activity for the whole family. Make it fun by asking your child to find and collect all the different colors of leaves or leaves of different shapes and sizes. Let your child plan the hike and even invite a friend! Commit to traveling at your child’s pace and leave extra time for exploring. Pack plenty of water and a healthy snack for the family to enjoy.

2. Pumpkin Bowling

pumpkinSet up ten plastic empty bottles or child bowling pins. Select several small pumpkins about four to six inches in diameter. You may need a few extra in case some split. Measure off several feet and give each child two tries to knock down the pins.

3. Leave Raking

What could be more fun than jumping into a pile of crackly leaves on a cool autumn day? Children love this activity and parents get a workout by raking up the leaves. Child sized rakes can help make the raking a team effort.

4. Treasure Hunt in Your Neighborhood

Gather other parents and kids in your neighborhood that would like to participate. Divide the kids into teams (smaller children with adults) and hand out a list of fun things to find in the neighborhood. Look for things that exist in nature, such as an acorn, different colored flowers, a bird’s nest, or red berries.

5. Apple Picking

Running through the apple trees, jumping high to see who can grab the apple just out of reach, carrying the basket full of fresh, yummy apples back to the car.

What is not to love about a day spent at your local orchard? Running through the apple trees, jumping high to see who can grab the apple just out of reach, carrying the basket full of fresh, yummy apples back to the car. These are all great ways to stay active and have fun at the same time. Many local farms also have hay rides and corn mazes to run through, making it a full day of family activity. When the day is done, ask your child to help with a healthy recipe using the fresh apples that have just been picked.

Take advantage of these activities and get out there and create some fun with your family while you stay active!

– Guest Blogger Jennifer Stinson is a registered dietitian and wellness coach for the online publisher EverydayHealth.com and its calorie counting tool.