Fall into some healthy habits this autumn! Vermont is the ideal place for it, whether you want to get moving, cook up some new healthy recipes (apples are back in season!), spend more quality time with family and friends, or even start in on financial savings for the holidays (yes, they will be here before you know it!).
Here are five low-cost to no-cost healthy habits in all five dimensions of wellbeing to try this fall.
#1: Physical Wellbeing: Take a hike!
We already know that walking is good for the body, but did you know that research shows that walking in nature is also good for the brain? It’s a total mind and body win! So, plan a hike with family and/or friends to enjoy all nature has to offer us.
- Find a Vermont hiking trail that’s right for you through the Vermont State Parks website.
- Start early, dress right, pack up healthy snacks (like these “21 Healthier Trail Mix Recipes to Make Yourself”) or a picnic lunch, enjoy, and stay safe (with these tips from the American Hiking Society).
- Take it to the next level! Sign your family up for the Venture Vermont Outdoor Challenge – you could win a free state park pass that’s good for one year.
Prefer to be indoors? Nourish your body with fall’s bounty of fruits and vegetables. Visit a local farmers’ market (Find a farmers’ market near you with the NOFA-VT Directory), pick up something you have never tried before, and try a whole new flavor profile.
#2: Social Wellbeing: Enjoy the Foliage – Up Close and Personal
Social wellbeing is all about strengthening relationships. This fall, experience the foliage season out in the woodlands by camping! Go with your partner or spouse, family, or friends. You won’t regret spending time with people you love!
- Find a campsite through the Vermont Camping Association website or Green Mountain National Forest Campgrounds website.
- Enjoy fall recreation like hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking, to name just a few. And, s’mores and stories over the campfire are always a perfect way to reconnect with family and friends.
- Keep kids safe from campfires with tips from pediatrician Rebecca Bell, MD.
Prefer to be home? Camp at home! Plan a camping adventure at home for your family or neighborhood friends. Here’s how to get started.
#3: Community Wellbeing: Join in to celebrate the season
Get engaged with the area where you live. Opt in to community events or groups to connect with people with common interests. Vermont is well-known for its array of fall harvest festivals. These are a great opportunity to get to know your local community, including its artisans, food purveyors, artists, and more.
- Find a festival near you – or venture further afield to a new part of our state – through the Vermont Vacation website!
- Or, join the more than 5,000 members of Vermont’s “251 Club” and discover Vermont towns and communities. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy the foliage, too.
Prefer to be nearer to home? Volunteer at one of your local non-profits, get involved with your local government, or even volunteer to teach a class through your local parks and recreation department.
#4: Financial Wellbeing: Plan ahead for the holidays
It may only be September, but the holidays are not far off. Save money (and decrease stress) by planning ahead!
- Plan for holiday travel. Buy plane tickets now when prices are still low. The second Tuesday in September is a great time to score a good deal.
- Buy holiday gifts early. Set a holiday budget and put together a list of gift recipients. Start tracking presents early to avoid the holiday rush.
Prefer to wait until the holidays hit? Open a holiday savings account now and start setting aside money to buy gifts later in the season.
#5: Career Wellbeing: Pick up a new skill
Take a cue from back-to-school season and amp up your skill set. Decide whether that means getting some training or enhancing yourself through education.
- Talk to your employer about options for professional development. Some will offer to pay for all or a portion of your training and education. It never hurts to ask.
- One useful (and fun) skill to add to your repertoire is photography. And, fall is the perfect time. It’s when Vermont shows her colors! Join Vermont’s “Leaf Squad” and submit your photos and reports on foliage in your city or town.