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Five fun ways to fall into fitness

By Staff | Sep 20, 2013

Variety is as important in physical activity as it is in nutrition. Your muscles need different activities in order to be strong, flexible, and energetic.

Enjoy more everyday activities.

Everyday activities offer fitness opportunities for the whole family. As the days get cooler in fall, getting outside feels better and better. Get out to walk the dog. Get out to rake (and jump in) piles of leaves. Get out to play Frisbee in the park. Plan to enjoy as many outdoor physical activities every day as you can.

Enjoy more aerobic activities.

Anything that involves continuous movement of your arms and legs which gets your heart pumping a little faster can be aerobic. Bike riding, jumping rope, and brisk walking can be fun and safe at any age. Aim for at least 10-20 minutes at a time, at least 30-60 minutes total per day, at least five days a week.

Enjoy more recreational activities.

Fall is a fun time for outdoor and indoor recreational sports, such as soccer, football, rugby, and volleyball. Check out the leagues for kids and adults in your community. Spending lots of time at children’s practices? Ditch the chair, wear comfortable shoes, and fit your fitness in with a walk around the field.

Enjoy more strength activities.

The American Heart Association’s guidelines stress the importance of sustaining muscle strength. No need to bulk up like a body builder; adults can get and stay strong with 5-10 pound weights or simple resistance bands. With these, it’s easy to meet the recommendations for 8-10 strengthening exercises twice per week.

Enjoy more flexibility activities.

While children are naturally flexible, adults need regular stretching to maintain flexibility. Pilates, yoga, and tai chi classes (or videos) are great. Simple, safe stretches can also be done at a desk (or in front of TV) with Stretching @ Your Desk and Yoga @ Your Desk from www.centre4activeliving.ca/workplace/

Slow cooker sloppy joes

2 pounds 95% lean ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon chili powder

cup sugar

cup vinegar

3 tablespoons prepared mustard

1 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

cup rolled oats, quickly cooking or regular

Instructions:

1) Brown ground beef in skillet; drain any fat.

2) Put ground beef, onions and green pepper into 2 quart slow cooker.

3) Add all other ingredients, except rolled oats. Stir well.

4) Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Stir in rolled oats. With quick oats, serve immediately. With regular rolled oats, stir in and continue cooking for 10 minutes.

Yield: 8 servings ( cup)

Cooking with

children:

Have older children chop vegetables and stir ground meat while it browns.

Allow younger children to measure dry and liquid items.

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