Fall into fitness with these healthy tips

Whether you’ve been active all summer or are getting motivated to live a healthier lifestyle, fall is an excellent time to start a fitness program so you can continue the good habits into the holiday season and the winter months.

Fall also brings a healthy harvest of flavors to grocery-store shelves and is a great time to try nutritious seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Here are some tips that will help make your fall season healthy and active for the whole family:

• Commit to a community event. Many localities or institutions conduct their annual fun runs, charity walks and competitive races like marathons in the cooler fall months.

Sign up with your family or friends. It will give you a goal to work toward and you’ll feel a real sense of accomplishment when you cross the finish line.

• Put one foot in front of the other.

Walking is one of the most enjoyable fall activities for good reason — you can do it anywhere and the weather will keep you cool. Discover local forest preserve paths and park trails and take in some new scenery, whether you’re walking, running or even biking.

• Taste fall’s healthy harvest. Many unique vegetables are harvested in the fall, making it the perfect time to introduce these new flavors to your meals.

Such leafy greens as spinach, Swiss chard and kale are best in the fall.

• Choose an indoor grill. Indoor grilling provides simple, fast and healthier cooking all year long. On colder days or days with inclement weather, contact grills make it possible to cook healthier, flavorful dinners in minutes. One new grill drains fat away from food and has a special floating hinge that locks to allow for broiling so you can put gourmet touches on grilled meats or vegetables. Try grilling pears and sprinkling with a bit of cinnamon for a tasty, guilt-free treat.

• Gain support. The Web has an overwhelming amount of fitness and nutrition information. Find a few favorite sites, such as the home pages for your favorite health and fitness magazines or interactive sites.