Fall is in full swing and you may have a bucket list of activities you want to accomplish, outfits you want to wear and adventures to go on. You aren’t alone! Many people, especially in the NEK, are nostalgic for fall and all it has to offer.  All the fall fun aside, there is a healthy way to celebrate this season too! Let’s look at some of the most popular fall festivities and how to keep them healthy this year too!

If eating pumpkin and apple…well…everything is on your list, you aren’t alone. From the lattes to the donuts most people are reaching for the pumpkin spiced drinks and apple cider treats more often this time of year. While an occasional treat is always special, a daily pumpkin latte and apple cider donut could be raking in more than the leaves this year at 600-1000 calories a day! If you love these treats, get your one, enjoy it and move on. If you really crave these flavors all fall long, think about making your own healthful versions. For coffee lovers, get yourself some actual pumpkin spice and sprinkle it on your drinks and save yourself hundreds of calories and tons of sugar! Those drinks from the coffee shops are filled with sugar syrup that can cause you to gain more than a pound a week if you aren’t upping your activity and making cuts elsewhere. When it comes to donuts, you can make your own! While the cake mix isn’t perfectly healthy you can use one as a base for healthier donuts. Add in your own apple sauce and spices for an apple cider donut. If you love pumpkin spiced donuts add in a can of pumpkin and spices. No oil and no eggs needed. You can buy yourself a donut tray for baked donuts at less of a cost than a couple of lattes and voila! Your own fall flavored coffees and donuts in a healthier way!

Is fall all about the boots, braids and flannels? What can be unhealthy about that? Well…you may be doing just fine but if you are tying that hair into tight braids every day and you are experiencing headaches you might want to loosen it up. Try wearing a different style each day and see if it is keeping your head and neck happy. If those fall boots are causing your feet to ache, they may not be for long stretches or standing or running around work. Some shoes are made to look good but not feel so great. Investing in good footwear will not only sometimes look better but almost always help you feel better. And sure, flannel is the print of the season but if you are going to be outside for extended amounts of time remember to bring along some extra layers. Flannels can be great for layering but not always as a jacket.

Fall fires may seem like a staple but especially in Newport where there is a “burn ban” you may be putting your property and community at risk. Everything is super dry right now and that little fall fire could soon cause a lawn fire or worse. Check with your town before you cozy up. If you are using your fire to burn leaves and brush be extra careful too! Not only might that be banned but flying pieces can cause disaster super quick. Play it safe and keep fires to the fireplace and throw those leaves into your compost.

Fall hiking is just the best. And while the views are spectacular make sure you are overly prepared. Early morning hikers may forget how cold and slick it can be. Bring a flashlight, plenty of water and make sure to let someone know where you are going. The same goes for the evening when the temperatures drop quickly and the sunlight fades even faster amongst the trees. Plan to make sure that you will be back from your hike before dusk. Also, wear proper clothing for the hike to be prepared if inclement weather comes your way. Hiking is a great way to burn off that apple crisp you may be making this season too.

Some people use fall as a time to start to hunker down and stay in. If that means countless hours of binge-watching TV, we want to throw a little caution your way. Take breaks! Get up and move. Sitting or lying down for hours might be needed once in a while but our bodies are made to move. Also, recognize that if you are moving less you might want to tailor your calorie intake as well. Better yet, get up and get moving. Get your steps in, break a sweat, clean your house and do your errands, then celebrate that success with your new favorite series.

As our hours of sunlight start to lessen it’s the most important time of year to make sure we are doing our best to combat Season Affect Disorder by getting some sunlight, eating well, and staying active. Think of the best ways for you and your family to do that this season. Try some new healthy recipes. Plan some at home activities and embrace this time of social distancing to make some special memories and new traditions. All in all, moderation always wins! Regardless of how you are eating, dressing and spending your free time, aim for moderation this season. Have a happy fall y’all!


Mary Hoadley

Director of The Wellness Center