Fall began today. For most of us that means no more vacations, back to school/work and tv shows are starting back up. All of which really means we will be spending less time outdoors and more time indoors. Less time in the sun and more time in a car, on the couch or in an office building. I want to challenge you though: fall back outside. Just because summer is over doesn’t mean we should be stuck indoors. We should still be outside moving frequently at a slow pace. I’ve listed 8 ways below to help you and your family still make time to get outside and avoid being a couch potato (pun intended) in the Fall. Now these ideas can hopefully be done everywhere you are but I live in Southern California so my ideas may be a little bias. To help kickstart some ideas for where you live, you can always Google things to do in (insert your city here).
So we live near a bunch of stuff here in Southern California but most importantly – Disneyland. My wife and I do have passes to here so it makes it extremely easy for us to pop in and out of the park whenever we want, even after a long week of work. We also have annual passes to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park which is pretty fun and if you bought a pass for the San Diego Zoo Safari Park you can use it at the San Diego Zoo also. If your budget affords you and your family to go to an amusement park, it’s a great way to get in a bunch of steps, hang out with your family and be outside.
When you get home from work and get dinner over with, try to avoid slamming into the couch. Get out and go to a bookstore near you. I know there isn’t that many around anymore, but if there is, they’re a great thing to do if you just want to spend time with your spouse or kids checking out books of all sorts: cookbooks, animal books, kids books, craft books, etc… Just promise me one thing, don’t buy your books there. They’re overpriced. Buy your books from Amazon. Just a little husband pro tip also, watch what books your spouse looks at and make a mental note of them for Christmas or birthday gifts. You’re welcome.
This time of year is a great time to go out and buy some pumpkins. They’re everywhere. Look up some place fun around you that you can take the family. Now, you can pick up pumpkins for carving or for roasting some pumpkin soup. It’s up to you, but the pumpkin patch is only possible one time of year and that’s now. So get outside and take advantage of it!
Look up when farmers markets are going on in your area and check them out. Sometimes they are going on through the week or on the weekend. They afford you some great opportunities to connect with farmers around you. Also, it may be a good place to pick up pastured eggs, pastured meat and organic fruits and veggies. This is definitely something the kids will love. Just do your best to avoid street fair type foods like kettle corn popcorn or something else that’s gonna give you a glucose spike. Look for someone smoking some meat or something if you’re hungry.
You don’t even have to go far from your home to get outside. Once everyone gets home from work or school and dinner is all wrapped up, head outside. Walk around the block, walk to the nearest park – just make the walk around 15-20 minutes at least. Walking after dinner has actually been shown to improve digestion and has led to lower post-meal blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Sitting around a fire is about as primal as you can get. The yellow light is good for your circadian rhythm and it’s just plain fun. Just skip the s’mores and maybe just eat some dark chocolate instead. Or experiment with some melted dark chocolate and some almond butter in a cast iron? I dunno. Ok if that sounds too weird just throw some steak on the coals instead…
If you just absolutely can’t break away from your home during the week, then spend the week nights planning some time in the sun over the weekend. Look up some trails for you and your family to check out over the weekend. If you have a dog, which you should, then find trails that allow dogs. My wife doesn’t necessarily enjoy hiking so this one may take a little more creativity for me to get her on a trail over the weekend!
Watch the Sunset
Ok I know, it’s sounds cheesy. But isn’t there something about watching a sunset? Maybe I’m just spoiled in Southern California with beautiful sunsets but my wife and I have driven down to the beach a few times after a long day and sat on the beach to watch the sunset with our daughter. And I’ll tell you what, I’ve actually remembered the few times I’ve done that far more vividly than the nights we get done with dinner and watch tv.
Whatever you do with your family, keep it outside and keep it fun. It’s very temping to crash on the couch after a long day, I get it, but I guarantee you that you’ll cherish the memories you create once you get out of the house with your family.