It is so easy for a funk to turn into an unhealthy routine, especially when the appeal of being outside in the warmer weather disappears. While the fall brings crisp mornings and caramel apples, it also brings its own set of fun health and fitness adventures. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the fall months.

Take Your Lunch To-Go

Now that you can go outside without being drenched in sweat from the blistering heat, eat your lunch outside followed by a fifteen-minute walk with a co-worker or friend. The sun helps boost your mood, while walking will help lower high blood pressure, cholesterol, and your risk of heart disease and diabetes. This time away from your desk, computer, or work station gives your brain a much-needed break and could even spark some innovative ideas. Once you start walking, the benefits will surprise you.

Indulge…a little

Let’s be honest for those of us who love cafes, seasonal fall drinks can be irresistible. However, the calories and fat are a killer and almost make it not worth the extra time at the gym. The good news is that you can enjoy your drink almost guilt-free. Your drink will be equally as delicious if you replace 2% milk with nonfat milk and forget the whipped cream. When you make these simple changes, 120 calories are eliminated, all of the fat completely disappears, and the cholesterol decreases by 94.5%. Now, there is nothing wrong with occasionally indulging in a sweet treat, just make sure you keep everything in moderation.

Reset Your Clock

Reset your internal clock and go to sleep earlier and rise with the rooster to get your morning sweat in. The easiest way to guarantee your work-out time that is not swallowed by your busy afternoon (a temptation to skip) is by making it the first thing you do each day. Not only will this ensure that your “I didn’t have time” excuse crumbles, but you will also reap various health benefits. You jump-start your metabolism, be more alert at work, and remain in an amazing mood thanks to your endorphins. If you have children who need your attention in the morning, seize your hour by taking advantage of their busy schedules. Instead of sitting in your car while waiting for your children at soccer practice or piano lessons, go for a run around the soccer field or walk through the neighborhood. Do some calisthenics while watching their practice or go on a vigorous walk around the neighborhood where possible.

Outdoor Family Fun

Unplug, unplug, unplug. There is no better feeling than being surrounded by your family while breathing in the autumn air. Leave the phones in the car and walk through a park or an apple orchard if possible, followed by a cup of warm apple cider. Want to do something a little more active? Go for a hike and escape all the stress of the city and breathe in the magnificent forest air. Your dog will thank you for bringing them along on this outing. However, nothing beats an outdoor activity like a game of soccer or touch football in your backyard with family bragging rights. To encourage healthy competition, make the loser cook dinner or do the dishes and cleaning.

Fresh Fall Foods

Probably THE best thing about fall is the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables that it brings — pumpkin, squash, apples, cranberries, eggplant, peppers, sweet potatoes, zucchini, and the list goes on. The farmer’s market is always the best place to buy fresh produce. If your farmer’s market is close enough to walk to and the weather is permits, get in some extra steps and walk! If you cannot walk there, try parking in the back of the parking lot instead of close to the entrance. Every step counts! Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is 80% diet and 20% exercise. If you are not feeding your body properly, how do you expect for it to function at its maximum potential? You can’t! Fuel your body with food that not only tastes good, but also is good for you.