Fall Fun with the Family: Get Moving Together!

December 3, 2013

Fall is a great time to create healthy routines and get active with your family! Healthy habits start in the home, and exercising as a family can be a fun way to spend time together and create special memories. Here are some simple ideas to get you started:

  • Start your morning with a brisk walk or run. Not only does this rev up your metabolism for the rest of the day, it also gives you time to clear your mind and focus on the day ahead.
  • It’s apple season! Take the family to a local orchard for a day of apple picking, or hit up your local farmers’ market as a family. This can also be a great way to learn about new fruits and vegetables. Click here to learn more about what’s in season.
  • Happy trails to you…  Go hiking or biking and enjoy the beauty of fall! Use Map My Hike or Map My Ride to find trails near you.  Look for trails that have hills if you want to increase the intensity of your workout.
  • Tidy up outdoors. Rake the leaves in your yard. According to Harvard Health, a 125-pound person can burn 120 calories raking the lawn for just 30 minutes.
  • Take a post-meal walk. Walk with the family after a get-together like a big Thanksgiving or holiday meal.  It gets you out of the house and helps you burn calories, too.
  • Going road tripping? Be sure to park at a few rest stops along the way to stretch and walk around. This is a great way for everyone to release some energy and fit in some exercise.
  • Go play outside! There are many games you can play outdoors in the fall, like flag football and ultimate Frisbee. You could also try a simple game of tag, going geocaching, or organizing a scavenger hunt.
  • Early snowfall? Go out and play in the snow, build a snowman, go sledding, or shovel the driveway.
  • Join a local event. Check your newspaper for run/walk events in your area.  Turkey trots, jingle bell walks, and other themed activities can be enjoyable for the whole family.

There are so many fun activities to do during fall—get outside, get moving, and enjoy the crisp autumn air!  If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for more fall fitness ideas.


The Dangers of Inactivity

January 14, 2011

The health dangers associated with prolonged periods of inactivity have long been known to the medical community and the general public. Parking yourself in front of the television and avoiding exercise, the common wisdom goes, can lead to weight gain and deteriorated health.

However, a new study from the University of Queensland, Australia, brings to light more details regarding the dangers of sitting. According to the study, prolonged periods of sitting — even among those who exercise regularly — lead to a bigger waistline and increased levels of blood fats.

This data comes on the heels of a University College London study  that found that the risk of heart disease doubled among those who spent more than four hours a day on the computer. Furthermore, the risk of a cardiovascular event increased 125 percent for people who spent at least two hours in front of a television or computer screen after work.

What’s shocking about these findings is that regular exercise alone isn’t enough to combat several hours’ worth of sitting — something millions of Americans do everyday at their desk jobs. Genevieve Healy, the lead author of the Queensland study, suggests that regular exercise mixed with frequent breaks during the workday to stand or walk around is the most effective way to offset the negative effects of sitting.

For many of us, spending over four hours a day in front of a computer is unavoidable. Based on these findings, what do you plan to do to offset the negative effects of sitting? Let us know in the comments!