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Fun and Fitness Make a Good Fall

By Aarti Patel Email By Aarti Patel
September 2014
Fun and Fitness Make a Good Fall

Participating in fall activities can be enjoyable and calorie-burning at the same time.

Fall’s arrival brings many opportunities to stay fit and burn extra calories. Not only can you improve your fitness, but you can also involve the whole family, therefore making it more enjoyable. So take advantage of the cooler weather, head outdoors, indulge in some fall produce, partake in some fall festivals, burn extra calories and stay fit. Here’s what you can do:

Take part in an organized race: Fall provides the opportunity to take part in 5k and 10k walk/races. September through November is when many organizations and corporations conduct races and this is a great way to burn calories, either walking or running. With this activity you can burn anywhere from 250 to 700 calories per hour. Just remember to wear good quality shoes and stay hydrated.

Rake the yard: Raking the yard not only cleans up the mess but burns calories as well. The push/pull motion and the pacing back and forth make for a great full body workout. Get the entire family to participate by making it competitive. Divide the yard into sections and assign each member a section. Set the timer and see who rakes up all the leaves first. This activity can burn anywhere from 200-500 calories per hour.

Pumpkin picking: While carving a pumpkin is fun, picking a pumpkin can be a calorie burning activity. Instead of going to the grocery store, buy your pumpkin from a pumpkin patch or farm which allows a lot more walking. Pick and lift several pumpkins off the ground and look at pumpkins of all different sizes before making your selection. When lifting pumpkins, use a good squatting technique and maintain proper back posture to lift and lower the pumpkin. For an additional calorie burn, walk with the pumpkin all the way to your car. An hour or two of walking and pumpkin picking can burn approximately 200-500 calories.

Hiking/biking/walking: Cool autumn temperatures and beautiful fall foliage make walking, hiking, or biking, a pleasant calorie burning activity in the fall. This is the time to really enjoy the outdoors, de-stress, and get a great workout. Terrain hiking and wearing a weighted backpack while hiking or walking provides a further challenge.

Consume more fall produce: Stock up on fall produce and consume more of these nutritious fruits and vegetables, thus keeping your overall calorie consumption low. Pomegranates, apples, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, squash, and pears are just some of fall’s bounty. These foods are not only rich in vitamins and minerals but also high in fiber. Include some of these daily in your diet.

Participate in fall festivals: Fall months bring about many festivals that involve lots of walking and the opportunity to burn calories. There are plenty of cultural festivals held on weekends and a day out walking at one of these festivals could easily burn from 300-500 calories. Just be sure to enjoy the food at the festivals in moderation. The Indian dance festival of Navratri is also very popular and celebrated by many South Asians. The fast-paced dances are performed in a circle and are made up of repetitive moves involving clapping and swaying of arms that are quite easy to learn. The dance can be performed with sticks as well. The festival of Navratri is held at several different locations, for nine nights and is enjoyed by both men and women. A night of dancing at Navratri can burn anywhere from 500-700 calories or more!

[Aarti Patel serves as the columnist for Fitness Lifestyle. She has a B.Sc. in Health Information Administration and is certified by the American Council on Exercise as a Personal and Group Fitness Instructor, and Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach. She can be reached at 404-376-5655; info@aartifitness.com. This column rotates monthly along with the Ask the Doctor column by Gulshan Harjee, M.D.]

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