Don’t Be An Autumn Couch Potato

Contributed by Katie Johnstonbaugh, OWB Blogger of the Month

Fall is my favorite time for being active.  Since our summers keep me cowering in the house from the blazing hot Oklahoma temperatures throughout July and August, when the cool fall air hits, I am outside!!

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I drink coffee on the patio every morning and evening finds me in the same favorite spot after dinner (or often we eat dinner outside).  I love to wear jeans, hoodies and my rustic riding boots as soon as autumn kicks out the ninety degree weather here.

Fall is also a great time to get active.  Here are some tips to help you get active for the fall:

*Set a walking/running/cycling goal and incorporate technology.  If you have trouble holding yourself to goals, there are fantastic cell phone/tablet apps to help you. My BFF and workout partner of three years (our workout anniversary is this week!) Joy and I ran our first 5K three years ago when we used the Couch-to-5K app faithfully.  In essence, this app does just what it says.  You can go from being a couch potato to training for a 5K marathon by using it for three days a week for nine weeks.  Had we not used this app, we never would have known how far we could be pushed and we were so proud of ourselves when crossing that first 5K finish line!

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*Rake leaves.  This might sound unlikely, but raking leaves as a family, especially involving young kids can become a yearly family event you and your kids will look forward to.  I remember growing up in Michigan, we had huge trees in our neighborhood.  One day, when our parents weren’t paying much attention to us, a bunch of us neighborhood kids went around and lugged home everyone’s bagged leaves the night before trash night and made the largest leaf pile you have ever witnessed in your life.  We had so much fun jumping in that fluffy enormous leaf pile, until my parents, whose yard it was in, discovered what we’d done, and then, well…not so MUCH fun bagging them back up.  Have everyone help and then when the pile is tall and wide, jump in!  According to the My Fitness Pal app (see how I’m still incorporating technology here?), a one hundred fifty pound person raking leaves for thirty minutes burns 136 calories.  The bonus is your kids will get active as well! Incidentally, without kids, this could be a great spark to your love life when you start jumping in leaves with your honey and rolling around.

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*On a break at work or your lunch hour, do something different.  I work at a desk job in a three-story building.  One of the things I try to do is drink a ton of water during the day.  Guess what happens next? I have to get up more often to go visit the little girls’ room, so instead of hitting the one on my floor, I take the stairs to the third-floor restroom.  I think I average around 8 bathroom visits a day this way, and when you multiply that times three flights of stairs, plus the advantage of keeping really hydrated, the benefits are pretty wonderful.  In fall, why not head out the door, and walk around your building to get to a further away restroom?  The boost of sunshine and crisp cool fall air will wake up and give you a small shot of Vitamin D as well!

*Take field trips like a school kid.  Instead of just lounging around on the couch and watching movies in the cool weather of fall and hiding under a quilt, plan some adventures.  Plan a date with your spouse to visit a local Oklahoma vineyard or park.  Take the kids somewhere really neat like a pumpkin patch, down by the Boathouse District in Oklahoma City (where there is a bevy of fun things to do!) or visit a park and let them run.  It pays to build healthy habits in your kids and in the age of video games and fantastic movies, you’ll be surprised how much they truly love just going somewhere and spending time with you!

I’d love to hear other ideas from folks about what they do to keep fit in the fall!  If you have other ideas, please leave them in the comments below!

And for goodness sakes!

Enjoy the beauty of autumn!!

Katie JohnstonbergBlogger of the month Katie Johnstonbaugh writes about food at her blog, Dishin & Dishes. Katie works full time in the Putnam City School District and is a wife, mother, grandmother and author. 

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One comment

  1. Amy says:

    We love the fall at my house too. I’m married to a Colorado native and he longs for the cool CO weather. We head to the many state parks here in OK with a backpack of food and go exploring!

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