In some places, the arrival of fall brings cold — and fewer opportunities to head outdoors. Not so in the South, though! There are plenty of fall activities to get you and the family out and active.
This post is brought to you by our partners at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.
Here in Tennessee, we’re used to seeing hot temperatures all the way through September and sometimes even in October. Hot temperatures and humidity make us all think of diving into a pool, not necessarily fall fun!
But now that we’ve finally escaped the summer heat for this year and are enjoying more temperate days, there are ample opportunities for you and your kids to get up and be active in the great outdoors.
We have five ideas for fun fall activities:
Fall activities: Apple picking
This one’s an idea for fall fun — and fall yumminess! That’s a win, right?
Apple picking allows your family to enjoy the splendor of the outdoors while being active. In some places, you can climb the tree to grab those apples, while in others you’ll be walking around the orchard. Regardless, though, you’re way more active than you would be sitting at home!
The second half of the fun? Choosing a variety of healthy (but delicious) apple-filled recipes to use up those apples.
Fall activities: Hiking
Take your evening walk up a notch and head out for a family hike! Fall’s changing of the leaves will offer you a unique glimpse at nature’s beauty.
Pick a path that challenges you a bit, whether that’s with a longer distance or a bit of altitude. Hiking with your kids keeps the entire family active, but also offers you a chance to share information about different parts of our landscape, including plants and animals.
Fall activities: Participating in a fundraising run
Have you ever taken part in a 5K or even a fun run? These races, which are often affiliated with nonprofits, offer a chance to be physically active and give back, all at the same time.
Starting a few weeks before the race, start getting your family ready by going on regular walks, jogs or even runs, depending on the age of your kids. Gradually build up in time and distance.
Make sure to also stretch before and after — and teach your kids why it’s so important to do.
Fall activities: Raking leaves
You may not associate raking leaves with fun, but it can truly be a blast if you’re doing it with kids. (Hint: Just don’t go into it expecting to be super-efficient and productive!)
Turn the chore into family fun by raking leaves into piles…and then jumping in them. Over and over and over again, preferably. You’ll already be getting a cardio workout in by raking, but the jumping adds a little extra.
Fall activities: Playing sports
Your little ones may already be playing a fall sport, and you might even play the occasional game of pickup ball yourself. But fall’s beautiful weather and cooler temps provide a great opportunity to play family ball outside!
Choose a family favorite and have at it! Or try the full spectrum of sports to see what your family most enjoys playing together, whether it’s football, basketball, soccer, tennis or softball.
Why staying active is important
So why all the hoopla about fall activities? Too many Americans these days are inactive, leading to a variety of health issues. Not getting enough physical activity contributes to excess weight, which then puts a person at a higher risk of developing issues like heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Everyone needs physical activity — kids included. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
Being active as a family this fall is one key way to help ensure you and your kids are getting the exercise you all need. And it provides you with an extra opportunity to bond, something we can all benefit from!