Fall Activities in Pittsburgh

Fall is such a beautiful time of the year in Pennsylvania. With the leaves changing and the weather cooling off, it is the perfect time to get outside and explore. If you are a Pittsburgh local or visiting, we have a list of activities for you to enjoy this fall.

Visit Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens for their Fall Flower Show

Saturday, October 10 is the beginning of a tranquil journey to experience fall’s vibrant colors at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The Poetry of Nature offers a refreshing respite of natural beauty before the busy holiday season begins.

This show will last for 3 weeks and reservations must be made online. Masks must be worn at all times

Located at 1 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 | Open daily from 9:30am-8pm
For more details visit https://www.phipps.conservatory.org

Go to Simmons Farm for Hayrides and Fall Activities

The Simmons Family offers the highest quality produce. Simmons Farm is a great place to visit at any time of the year but in the fall, they offer so many fun activities for the whole family!

  • Go on a scenic hayride or walk the harvest trail 
  • Find your way through a 4 acre corn maze
  • Pick some delicious apples
  • Pick your own fall flower bouquet in the fields
  • Visit the petting zoo

Located at 170 Simmons Road, McMurray, PA 15317 | Open Mon-Thurs 9am-6pm and Fri-Sun 9am-5:45pm
For more information and activities details, visit https://www.simmonsfarm.com/hayridesfallactivities.html

Visit Trax Farms for Harvest Days

Trax Farms is one of the oldest fruit and vegetable farms in Pittsburgh. During the fall season they offer fall festivals and harvest days. Unfortunately there will not be a fall festival this year for Trax Farms. Harvest Days is still available daily. For $10 you can access:

  • Hayrides
  • 3 Acre Corn Maze
  • Petting Zoo
  • Pumpkin Patch

Also, make sure to pick up some of the best apple cider in Pittsburgh

Located at 528 Trax Road, Finleyville, PA 15332 | Open daily from 10am-6pm
For more information, visit https://traxfarms.com

Hike the Trails at Frick Park

Frick Park is beautiful during this autumn season. It is Pittsburgh’s largest historical regional park with 644 acres. Also, known as Pittsburgh’s woodland park with steep valleys and wooded slopes making for a serene escape from the busy city.

For more information, visit https://www.pittsburghparks.org/frick-park 

Visit Kinzua Bridge State Park

The Kinzua Bridge was build in 1882. It was once the longest railroad structure, standing at 301 ft high and 2,053 ft long. Tourist are still allowed to walk on the restored portion of the bridge, which would be an amazing sight to see the fall foliage at this height!

For more information, visit https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/

Photo by pawilds.com

Meal delivery services provide a healthy and convenient alternative to home cooking

chopping vegetables for cooking

Home prepared meal delivery services have exploded in popularity in recent years. This isn’t just modernized pizza or Chinese food delivery (or even Door Dash or Uber Eats), these delivery services provide convenient and health options to match any lifestyle. And compared to traditional shop/prep/cook process, weekly meal prep can be accomplished by a few tap on your phone.

Is a meal delivery service right for you? With all of the options that are now available, trying a service or two may provide some extra free time or a boost to your health. Choosing between all the delivery companies and options can be tricky – and there are multiple rankings for the best services (15 Best for 2020 and Services for your Lifestyle) – here are some tips when selecting a service or two to try:

Consider dietary restrictions and meal variety

Some services focus on main courses and side dishes for dinner, others provide options for all meals including soups, salads, desserts and snacks. Plus, the meals can usually be tailored to meet dietary and allergy restrictions and follow common diet guidelines (low carb, low salt, gluten free, etc.)

How much to you want to cook?

Different services cater to those with different culinary levels: form the master home chef to the kitchen-challenged. If you want control over the entire cooking process, pick a service that provide recipes and ingredients while leaving the chopping and cooking up to you; if you are looking for the ultimate convenience, select a service with pre-cooked meals ready to pop in the microwave.

Pick to fit your lifestyle

Most companies offer subscription services that deliver a specified number of meals to your home. These services provide you the convenience of not having to order items a la carte and may be more cost effective.

If you travel or tend to eat out a lot or just want more control over your choices, subscribing to a meal service that only offers weekly subscriptions may not be a wise choice. If this is the case, pick a service that provided flexibility to order what you want when you want it.

Think local

If you want to keep a low carbon footprint, look for services that are based near you or provide local food prep. In these cases the food is sourced locally not only reducing transport costs but also supporting neighboring farms and businesses. Some services even provide convenient pick up locations as alternative to home delivery.

Still unsure is a meal delivery service is right for you? Your local grocery story may sell some healthy meal kits from a delivery service that you can try without signing up for a service or making any commitment. Even if that is too much, go ahead, order pizza or General Tsao’s from your regular restaurant. Just

#20for2020: An exercise trend that is easy to keep.

It is growing in popularity: a resolution to perform 20 reps of an exercise or multiple exercises each day for 2020. But should you join in on the fun?

The answer: a definitive YES. The beauty of this trend is that you decide what your are going to do and where you are going to do it–no fancy equipment is needed, you don’t have to go to the gym, and it doesn’t take up much time. Plus, it is perfect for beginners to add a daily activity and fitness experts as a modification to your current routine.

So how do you start? Simple, just pick one or two exercises that you feel comfortable with (see example list below), set aside some time every day to complete your routine, and go. Don’t forget to post your progress on social media to keep you and your followers motivated.

  • 20 push ups
  • 20 squats
  • 20 pull ups
  • 20 crunches
  • 20 arm rotations
  • 20 jumping jacks
  • 20 minute walk

Make Healthy Habits and Set Realistic Goals to Lose Weight in the New Year

Santa Claus was tired under stress with a headache

‘Slim down’; ‘Drop a few pounds’; ‘Make my scale happy; ‘Reverse my clothes shrinkage’; however it is worded, weight loss is one of the most common New Year’s Resolution. Not surprisingly, a lot of these resolutions fail: unrealistic goals and trendy weight programs lead to frustration and burn out with a return to the original behaviors (and the same resolution the next year). Instead, the focus when trying to lose weight should be creating permanent healthy habits through realistic weight loss goals fueled by minor tweaks to everyday routines. Not only is this strategy easier to stick to but it also add up over time and helps prevent setbacks from derailing your end goal.

What is a reasonable goal and how do you set one? 

Simplified, weight loss occurs when you burn more energy (calories) through activity and normal body functions than you consume through eating. A healthy weight loss goal is between 0.5 to 2 lbs per week – this amounts to a calorie deficit of 1750 to 7000 calories per week or 250 to 1000 calories per day. This deficit can be achieved by either eating less (reduction of calories in), becoming more active (increase in calories out), or a combination of the two. To set a goal, first determine what you want the end result to be (lose 10 pounds), how you want to get there (diet and/or exercise), and what your weekly goal is based on how likely you are to stick to a new plan (be honest, if cutting 1000 calories per day is impossible for you, start smaller and work your way up).

Make Healthy Habits

To enact your new weight loss plan, focus on small changes to your daily habits to reach your daily goals. (Try not to focus on your weight as it may fluctuate by 5 pounds per day based on what and when you eat and drink, if and when you exercised, and your stress levels and sleep quality. If you choose a daily weight check, do it at the same time every day such as first thing in the morning.) Adding an activity to your routine would help you quickly reach your daily deficit; to burn 250 calories: (note these are estimates):

  • workout or play a sport for 20 minutes
  • walk briskly or jog for 20-40 minutes
  • do some yardwork or chores for 40-60 minutes.

Or decrease your caloric intake by 250 calories by making some easy food choices:

  • keep your caffeine fix by swapping a large frappe with a small cappuccino
  • replace a large order of fries with a small order
  • substitute an apple or baby carrots for a protein bar.

Use apps to keep you motivated

So what tools can you use to help keep you on track with your weight loss plan? Health and fitness apps and other wearables can be very helpful as they can track activities and calculate energy burned; other apps log your food intake and calculate the calories you have eaten.  

HealthMetric is an all-in-one health and fitness app that personalizes your weight loss journey.  With HealthMetric’s weight loss program, you set your goal and select a strategy to meet your goal: diet, exercise, or a combination.  The app provide daily feedback on your progress, shows how others with similar goals are doing, and predict how you will do tomorrow to keep you motivated. In addition, you can use voice commands to search and record food, drinks, and exercised from our large, curated nutritional and activity databases. With HealthMetric, you control how to become: Healthier. Strong. Better. You.

A new you for 2020: Digitize your New Year’s Resolutions.

It happens every year: you make a New Year’s resolution to get healthy and this is finally the year you stick with it—you swear. But you wake up on Jan 1 and reality sets in: the resolutions can wait until next Monday to start (because Mondays are the optimal time to start new routines, right?); or you just pretend that you were caught up in the moment and dismiss your resolution outright. Even if you start, your willpower wanes over the coming weeks and you are back to your old ways before Groundhog’s Day.  So how can we hold ourselves to our promises and keep our resolutions?

The easiest way to create and track your 2020 resolutions is to download one of the countless number of fitness-focused apps available in your phone’s app store.  Sorting thru all other apps can be confusing (and possibly another reason to forgo your resolutions) so pick one that is easy to use, will help you keep your goals, and is local.

HealthMetric is an all-in-one health and fitness tracker that was created right here in Pittsburgh. Designed to tackle even the most ambitious New Year’s Resolutions, HealthMetric is free to download for both Apple and Android phones.

HealthMetric has you covered, whatever your New Year’s Resolutions happens to be:

  • Lose weight: create a personalized weight loss program by tweaking your diet, increasing your activity, or a combination of the two
  • Exercise more: pair HealthMetric with your fitness tracker or use our integrated voice commands to track your workouts; combine your increased activity with sleep analysis or hydration levels to see how your new routines are impacting your overall wellness
  • Reduce stress: incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily routine to focus on you and your mental health; pair with sleep and exercise tracking to really get in a groove
  • Eliminate caffeine: use our large, curated food database to monitor daily caffeine consumption, hydration, and nutrition all within a single app; record branded, homemade, or restaurant food and beverages with only a few taps
  • Get healthy: select your health focus – mix and match goals for meditation, sleep, hydration, activity, diet, and more to create the path towards a healthier you.

So download HealthMetric now and lets work together to make 2020 your best year.  Keep those resolutions and become: Healthier. Stronger. Better. You.