LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The summer heat is slowly disappearing, so many Arkansans are getting ready for those long-awaited cooler temperatures. You might be excited to get cozy by the fire as the leaves change, but don’t overlook outdoor fall activities in the Arkansas area. Here are some easy yet healthy tips for bringing your family closer together – and healthier – this fall season.

Take advantage of the weather for your physical activity. 

  • Adults should get at least 2½ hours of physical activity each week, while kids should get at least an hour of physical activity every day (6)
  • The cooler temperatures mean the weather is prime for getting active outside. You don’t have to worry as much about heat exhaustion because the weather is more temperate.
  • Make it a family goal to explore new parks in the area this fall season.
  • Parks are an easy, free way to spend time outdoors and keep physically active
  • Find new walking or hiking trails within your area or go for a family bike ride
  • Be mindful of the earlier sunsets and potential health risks of exercising in colder weather.
  • Arkansas weather is unpredictable, so check the forecast and wind chill before going outside. And always dress in layers – a moisture-wicking layer, a warmth layer, and a protective layer in that order.
  • Don’t run, walk or bike outside at night in high-traffic areas.

    Get out to your local orchard, pumpkin patch, or harvest festival for physical activity and cooking ingredients! 
  • Orchards and pumpkin patches not only offer fun outdoor activities for kids but healthy seasonal ingredients such as squash, sweet potato, corn, and pumpkin.
  • Next time you and your family carve pumpkins, save the insides!
  • Unsalted pumpkin seeds contain minerals and plant sterols that raise HDL cholesterol levels (the good kind!) and also help keep blood pressure numbers down (4)
  • One cup of pumpkin can give you 200% of your recommended daily vitamin A, which lowers risks of certain kinds of cancer, improves eyesight, and soothes skin (4)
  • Pumpkin is also packed with potassium, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron and folate (4)
  • And pumpkins aren’t just for pie – challenge yourself to make pumpkin hummus, pumpkin soup, pumpkin puree, etc.

  • Grow your summer garden throughout the fall
  • Gardening is a great way to make fresh produce exciting – especially for kids – and it’s an excellent way to get physical outside.
  • When introduced to routines at an early age, children are more likely to stick with routines as they grow older.
  • Brussel sprouts, carrots, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, peas, and many more healthy vegetables can all be gardened in fall.
  • Take the necessary steps for protection against harmful chemicals, pests, and equipment.
  • Wear safety goggles, sturdy shoes, and gloves to prevent skin irritation, cuts, and infections.

Visit qualchoice.com for more information.

RELATED: Get a better night's sleep naturally

RELATED: Exercises you can do when you’re sick