This is the first post in a series on getting and staying healthy this fall and winter. Check back for ways to stay active, enticing seasonal recipes, and tips for managing stress as we approach the holidays.

Fall is a great time to recommit to your fitness goals by getting outside. The views at your local parks are great, you can get health benefits from a variety of fun activities that feel nothing like a workout, and it's cool enough that you won't find yourself dripping with sweat during activity. Here are a few ways you and your family can stay active even when the temperatures drop:

  • Find a local place where you can go apple picking. If you can walk through the orchard rather than taking the hayride or other transportation, do it! You'll burn calories, even if some of your haul goes into your mouth instead of your bag.
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  • Take a hike. A quick search on the website of the National Park Service or your state's department of natural resources will yield a long list of places to explore your area's natural beauty. If you have little ones, bring them along and help them collect leaves of different colors, have them describe the different trees they see, and try to spot deer, geese, or other wildlife.
  • Raking leaves might be a chore, but it’s just a matter of perspective. Each season has its own tasks that must be done, but a grateful attitude makes it easier. If you have kids who enjoy jumping in leaf piles, join in the fun, and get some great photos while you’re at it! Your lawn will look great when you're done, too.
  • Getting your garden bed cleaned up after the summer may also feel like a chore, but it's a great way to manage stress. Just like demolition work, ripping out plants and turning some soil can't help but make you feel like you’ve accomplished something. When you're done, you can even plant garlic for next year! The Old Farmer's Almanac has some helpful instructions.
  • Go on a cheap date. Take a hot drink to go and walk somewhere you can admire the trees and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of autumn. Reflect on the past year and make plans for the coming holiday season.
  • It might seem obvious, but this is a great time to play games like you did as a kid. Grab some friends or family members and get a game of tag, ghosts in the graveyard, or football going. You'll be so busy having fun that you won't even notice you're positively impacting your health and setting a great example for the kids in your life.
  • If you love fall but don’t really have that season where you live, now is a great time to take a road trip to cooler climes and try one of these ideas when you get there!

A couple safety tips: make sure to dress appropriately, stay hydrated, and pay attention to when you need to go inside to get warm.

No matter where you live or how many of these ideas you get to try, you'll always be glad you got outside. Make sure to take a moment each day, even if it’s only to take a deep breath of crisp, fall air. You might find it’s hard to go back inside once you do.

Later blog posts in this series include: tips on indoor fitness, recipes for winter squash, cruciferous vegetables, baked goods, soups & stews, and roasted foods, and leveraging light and sleep for mental health.

It can be a struggle to stay active. One thing that always helps is knowing someone else is watching, like our kids or a fitness buddy. In a similar fashion, Liberty HealthShare is a community of people who have committed to health as they share in one another's medical costs. This is a whole new way of approaching healthcare, and it’s positively impacting lives all over the country. Visit our homepage for more information or call 855-58-LIBERTY (855-585-4237) to speak with one of our representatives.