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8 Fun Ways to Celebrate Fall With Your Family

8 Fun Ways to Celebrate Fall With Your Family

The Autumn season has begun. Leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter and the sun goes down a lot faster. School has started and most children are caught up in the anticipation of the coming holidays.

There are so many wonderful ways for a family to spend time together in the fall. The weather is getting a little bit cooler, but it is still warm enough to spend time outside together in the backyard or on the patio.

Here are 8 fun ways to spend family time:

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1. Backyard barbecue

It’s still nice enough in most areas to spend time in the yard. Whether you are scraping the remaining weeds out of the garden, or just hanging out on the porch, there are still plenty of evenings where you can gather as a family in the backyard. Having a barbecue is one way to celebrate fall. Throwing some meat on the grill, and a few veggies too, sounds good. Corn on the cob tastes incredible when it is wrapped in tin foil and grilled. Many homes have a patio that is already set up for parties and barbecues for family and friends to gather around the firepit, for a bit of food and fun, which can include roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.

Scott Robinson on Flickr

    2. Movie night

    As the evenings get colder, it’s a great idea to create a movie night for your family. You can plan dinners around the night, such as making it a pizza night or grabbing a meal at a restaurant. Popcorn and special treats can be included, and you can ask the kids what kind of movie they want. Just spending time together enjoying a movie is one of my favorite memories of my own family. Watching a movie together as a family helps to promote a sense of security in children and shows them they can enjoy being at home and don’t always have to be on the go to have fun. They can relax and feel safe in a loving home environment.

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    3. Leaf gathering

    You could plan a leaf raking day, or you could go on a walk with your children in the neighborhood for a leaf gathering excursion. Small preschool children and those in grade school would enjoy this kind of activity. After you have gathered many different types of leaves, you can sit down and look at them together and then paste them into a homemade book, or put them into frames. Using thrift store frames is an inexpensive way for children to cherish the leaves they have gathered with you. Another idea is to use the leaves for leaf rubbing pictures. You simply place the leaves beneath the paper and rub sideways with a pencil or crayon, to create a beautiful picture. You could also press the leaves in a book or leaf-presser, to be viewed in a week or so.

    DSC09200-1

      4. Tidy up the yard

      One of the best ways to celebrate Fall is to work on cleaning up the yard as a family. If you decorated your yard for Halloween, now is a good time to take it down, and you can clean up the yard by raking leaves. With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday around the corner, you can also think of ways to dress up the yard for that. There are so many interesting ways to decorate your yard. You can use solar lights along the walkways to make your yard more visible in the evening or string lights in the trees for the Christmas holiday. The best time to put up lights is before the weather turns cold, so now is a good time to plan your decor. Children love to be a part of creating yard displays or yard art. Just shop around for ready to hang decor, or make your own. The important part is just doing it as a family and letting your children help make decisions and letting them put it together.

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      5. Family bike ride

      Everyone is familiar with bike riding, but it can be extra fun when the whole family participates. This can be a very relaxing thing to do, which helps build confidence in youngsters and to helps to create a bond between parents and kids when they go on rides together. This is one of the easiest things to do as a family and it usually doesn’t cost any money. You can bike ride around your neighborhood, or find some paved trails near a park in your city. Your children can enjoy the outdoors and also learn about things like how to wear helmets and how to ride safely. The whole family will be getting exercise too.

      Travis on Flickr

        6. Go on a hike

        Another idea is for the whole family to load up in the car and drive somewhere to hiking trails. This can be an exciting thing for the children because they are exploring new areas and building confidence, along with their muscles. Even very small children can go hiking. If necessary, you can carry your kids in a carrier on your back, if they are too small to keep up. Family bonding time is so very important, and it’s a good idea to do it as often as you can. There are many things to teach children out in nature, and it’s important to take time to let them enjoy it, and not push them too hard. If your children are very young, even a stroll at the park can be enough of an outing to make them happy. Being outdoors, especially in the fall, is a great way for all of you to enjoy the beauty of nature.

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        7. Bake cookies

        Baking cookies is a simple project to undertake, and it can get really interesting when you let your children do it with you. Walking them through the process and teaching them how to bake cookies, step by step, is something that nearly every child enjoys. Not only are they learning how to do something, but they can be having fun and then they get the reward of tasting them afterward. When the weather begins cooling down, baking cookies is a great thing to do with your kids. Or, if they like some other type of baked goods, you can do that too. Before you know it, they will be offering to do it themselves and you can supervise. They can make the treats, while you just watch.

        Brian Richardson on flickr

          8. Do a craft project

          The fall is a time best suited to craft projects for children, especially because they are back in school. You can use crafts to explore their interests and see what kind of projects they enjoy the most. Whether it is drawing, painting or putting pieces together with glue, crafting is one of the funnest things to do as a family. Children can learn to express themselves and enjoy creating something special, which can gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment. There are even garden art projects your kids can make.

          The coming of the holidays is a perfect opportunity to do craft projects with your kids. There are dozens of ideas available from many sources on the internet, or even at your local craft store that will inspire you to try doing new things with your children. They can make something special to hang on the walls, or on the door. Or, for Thanksgiving, they can work on table or window decorations, and for Christmas, they can start making ornaments for the tree.

          Family activities are something you should always make time for in today’s busy world. It may seem hard for families to come together in the fall, because of busy school and work schedules, but you should take the time to do them. When you make creative use of everyday activities, you are bonding with your children and building memories of family fun that your kids will remember for years to come.

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          Karen Bresnahan

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          Last Updated on August 15, 2018

          7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

          7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

          Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

          Video Summary

          Why is it important to train up our core strength?

          There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

          This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

          Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

          In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

          One Exercise, multiple benefits

          There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

          By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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          When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

          Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

          In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

          What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

          What will happen when you start doing planks every day

            1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

            Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

            • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
            • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
            • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
            • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

            2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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              Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

              Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

              3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                  Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                  A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                  A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                  On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                  5. You’ll improve overall balance

                    Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                    6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                      Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                      7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                        Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                        How to hold a plank position

                        1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                        2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                        3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                        4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                        5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                        6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                        7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                        Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                        Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                          How to improve your plank time gradually

                          1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                          2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                          3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                          Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                          Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                          You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                          • Prolapse
                          • After prolapse surgery
                          • Pelvic pain conditions
                          • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                          • Previous childbirth
                          • Overweight

                          Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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