Healthy Harvest: 6 Ways to Stay Active This Fall

1. Prepare meals using local, fresh produce: as the fall approaches and the cold weather creeps in it is tempting to gravitate towards warm comfort foods. Instead of the calorically dense fast food options, support your local farms and opt for “harvest” fruits and vegetables, such as pumpkin, squash, beets, and apples. You can make some very comforting snacks using just a few simple ingredients. If you are pressed for time and want something ready when you are home from work, try adding a couple spices and throwing the fresh produce in a crock pot for a few hours.

Slow cooker squash, apple and cranberry dish: Combine the squash, apples, cranberries, onion, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or until the squash is tender and cooked through. Stir occasionally while cooking.

2. Adjust workout wardrobe to suit temperature decrease: as the cold weather approaches staying asleep under the covers sounds much more appealing than running outside in the brisk fall air. Your health is important so splurge on those new running shoes you have been eyeing up or invest in a new workout jacket and gloves and get out and get active. You will feel much more energetic and the endorphins released post-workout will help prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

3. Reboot your immune system: with the cooler temperatures comes the dreaded cold and flu season. The best way to protect yourself from this is to be sure you are getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night. Consuming a diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals combined with decreasing stress and maximizing sleep will help shield your body from this year’s round of cold viruses.

4. Relish in the beauty of the fall: just because the weather is cooler it doesn’t mean you need to stay curled up inside under a blanket until the end of the winter. Running outside in the fall can be quite refreshing, even more comfortable than running in the heat of the summer. Biking, hiking a local trail, jumping in the leaves with the kids or walking the dog are all excellent activities to do with friends or family this fall. Take a moment out of your day to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the deep, rich fall colours.

5. Go to a pumpkin patch or apple picking: Take advantage of the fall “harvest” and climb ladders to pick apples or hike through the pumpkin patch to pick the perfect one. These are excellent ways to get the whole family some fresh air and exercise.

6. Minimize stress: get into a stress-reducing routine of your choice. Whatever works best for you; whether it’s practicing yoga or Pilates, getting a massage or treating yourself to a pumpkin spice latte. Absolute Rehab is offering a fall promotion for Pilates. Try out a class today and start toning and strengthening your core while decreasing stress levels.