Fun Ways to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle This Fall
As the weather turns from hot summer days to cool autumn afternoons, it’s time to think about how you’ll be filling your days. The fall and winter months often shift our attention away from our health, but seniors need to focus on living an active, healthy lifestyle all year round to thrive and maintain independence. If you need ideas on how to stay busy and active this fall, look no further. Here are five fun ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle this upcoming season.
1. Take in the Scenery
Fall is beautiful. The rainfall brings out the bright colors of the changing leaves, making the outdoors seem more vivid. And the temperatures have lowered slightly, but not enough that it’s uncomfortably cold. So, grab a sweater, and go for a walk in the park to check out the fall foliage and get some vitamin D.
2. Try a Healthy Twist on a Classic Dish
Many people love fall because of all the fantastic warm dishes associated with this season. Think casseroles, chili, candied yams, pies and cookies.
You can still cook up a storm this fall, but try doing it with a health-first mindset. Try new healthy alternative recipes for your favorite classics. Not only could this lead to a new favorite dish, but it can spark inspiration elsewhere in the kitchen.
You can try:
- Making a vegetarian chili with beans instead of meat
- Adding cauliflower to your mashed potatoes
- Leaving the bacon out of your roasted Brussels sprouts and adding raisins instead
- Using milk instead of cream in your mashed potatoes
- Substituting low-fat sour cream in your green bean casserole
- Baking recipes with fresh fruit instead of canned
When you find the right recipe, it may taste even better than the original while also being a lot better for you!
3. Buy In-Season Fruit at the Farmer’s Market
With fall comes a whole new variety of fruits and vegetables in season. Purchasing in-season produce is typically cheaper, and it’s healthier for you. Make this fresh produce your new fall activity. Go to your local farmer’s market, and explore your options. Purchase a few items, and try to find new, healthy recipes with these ingredients.
4. Express Gratitude and Appreciation
Expressing gratitude has been shown to reduce stress. Checking in with yourself once a day and focusing on gratitude can impact your overall mental health.
You can practice gratitude by writing thank you notes, keeping a gratitude journal or showing appreciation for someone daily. To keep yourself consistent, include your gratitude check as one of the steps in your bedtime routine. If you haven’t had a moment to stop that day and appreciate all you have, you can take a moment before bed.
Not sure how to get started? Some prompts for your gratitude journal include writing about:
- A simple pleasure you’re grateful for today
- A happy memory
- An accomplishment you’re proud of
- A possession you own that makes your life easier
- One of your personality traits you’re grateful for
5. Volunteer or Attend Fall Events
In most communities, fall is a season full of events. There are marathons and races, festivals, parades and community events.
Most people in Independent Living have seen firsthand how important socializing is for a person’s mental health. Maintaining social connections and relationships helps seniors stay alert, happy and healthy.
Seniors should attend these community fall events as much as their schedule allows. You can organize a group from your Independent Living community to attend together, ask family members to go with you or volunteer at the events to meet new people.
Thinking of the Future
As you prepare for this new season, thinking about the future is natural. If you’ve been considering Independent Living, know that this change can bring about many benefits — socialization with peers, a social calendar and support when needed.
You don’t have to make a decision overnight. Let one of your fall activities be touring our campus at Aberdeen Village, so you can see for yourself if our community is right for you.