Last week I took my kids for a ride up the canyon to go on a little hike which ends at a small water fall. The leaves were beautiful as they cascaded down from the trees. Swirls of gold, brown, and red strewn about by the gentle wind.
I commented to my older girls that it reminded me of confetti. “Nature’s confetti!” My nine year old exclaimed. “Its autumn’s way of celebrating the season!” How cute is that?
It was nice to “get away” for a while, to enjoy life outside of electronics, cell phones and much to my 12 year olds’ dismay, her beloved Ipod.
As we walked along the dirt path, our shoes crunching the dry leaves I knew we had made a good choice to take time out for this hike.
I watched as each of my four kids explored the trail. My oldest running up ahead, not wanting me to slow her down. My nine year old stopping to notice a leaf here, the moss growing on rocks next to the river there.
My four year old with her short little legs chasing after my oldest wanting to be included in the fun. And my baby determined to toddle beside me looking around with eyes of wonder, pointing and exclaiming at nature’s colors as each tree came into view.
Because we know that physical exercise is beneficial to both body and mind, let’s talk about some ideas to incorporate that into your fall time experience as you celebrate with your own family.
1. Research and discuss as a family what is available around your area.
Are there any special places to hike to? Are there biking trails where you live? What about family friendly races such as a mile run or even a 5K? In my town every October there is a family “Witches’ Run” where Halloween costumes are encouraged to be worn while running the race. Or as we get closer to Christmas – find something that fits in with the season.
2. Consider the ages and ability levels of each individual.
Be flexible and realistic about what is do-able for your family. For example, if you have younger kids and are wanting to run a race together maybe you will need to try a one mile instead of a 5K. But don’t use this as an excuse to avoid or limit too much. It’s good to stretch yourself.
3. Prepare. What will you need to do in order to be successful?
Is there a specific date that you will need to pay registration fees? Will you need to bring water bottles or snacks? How much time will you need to plan for?
Make sure to take time to enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. Don’t get caught up in the details so much that you are too uptight or stressed. As you exercise together work on connecting with the members of your family.
Of course there are places where the season is relatively the same year round. Or maybe you live in an environment where it may be hard to “get away.” If you live in a place like this don’t count yourself out.
By adapting the tips above you can still find ways to make a plan to connect and enjoy exercising as a family.
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