Cooler autumn temperatures bring beautiful changes for many of us – vibrant leaves, refreshing air, and more opportunities to enjoy fitness outdoors!
Here are a few quick idea-starters for Fall Fitness Fun with your family:
- Read a book on the Fall season and leaves (see some great suggestions here), then go on a family hike searching for signs of Fall together. Keep a faster pace in between picking up leaves to elevate your heart rate. Each time you find a new leaf, celebrate by doing 5 jumping jacks, high jumps, or squats!
- Find a nature preserve or trail to explore, enjoying the colors, sounds, and sights of Fall. Many of us have local parks with walking and biking trails, or you may have a state park or nature preserve near you that you’ve never had the chance to visit. Take that opportunity now during this change of season! (Google your state initials and “state park” to find parks near you.)
- Set up a fitness- and Fall-focused scavenger hunt. This search could include seeking simple fall sights and sounds for preschool and elementary ages, with fitness exercises included in between each find. For middle school or high school ages, consider what history or cultural unit you could combine with a scavenger hunt. Perhaps your children are learning about what physical activities ancient cultures participated in or what types of daily physical and labor activities colonial colonies needed to accomplish to survive. Send your students on clue hunts leading them to different activities that they must then experience hands-on. Better yet, have older students research the facts and create the hunt for younger kids (and the rest of the family) to complete!
- The cool, crisp air and beautifully enjoyable days of Fall (before it gets too cold in your area!) provide great opportunities to try new physical activities, like disc golf, horseback riding, family bike riding, or geocaching. Ask your kids to vote and chart survey responses on what activities family members are interested in trying. If several people present new ideas, perhaps turn it into a research project. Have each child research a new family fitness activity (search this disc golfing site for information or find courses or this geocaching site for how-tos) and share with the rest of the family why that activity provides both fun family time as well as chances for fitness. Then, have fun playing and learning!
- Even as daylight fades quicker in the evenings, enjoy some outdoor fitness activities in the dark together! Play flashlight tag together in the yard (there are two main ways to play) or research the constellations and take a brisk walk around the neighborhood to star search together.
Physical Education centers on increasing activity, strengthening health, and learning about how our bodies work along with combining activity with learning core subjects. The Fall season blesses us with outdoor opportunities to explore fitness even more!
What physical activities does your family incorporate (or want to try!) in the Fall?
Caroline is wife, homeschooling momma to a toddler son, writer, certified personal trainer, and former physical education teacher. She blogs at Under God’s Mighty Hand.