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6 Fun (and Calorie-Free) Halloween Traditions to Try

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/26/2011 6:00 AM   :  20 comments   :  9,651 Views

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Are you surrounded by Halloween candy at home, at work, and at the store? Do you find yourself powerless to avoid the treats that are being offered to you at every turn?

You're not alone. I love candy just as much as the next person, and if it's around, chances are that I'll be eating it. But if I allowed myself to buy, sample or eat every Halloween treat that crossed my path, I know I'd be getting further and further away from my goals of living a healthy lifestyle, staying fit and managing my weight.

Luckily, Halloween is a fun holiday for kids at heart, too—and you don't have to buy or eat a bunch of fun-sized treats to take part.  Here are some calorie-free ways you can celebrate Halloween without noshing on bags full of candy.
  1. Dress up your pet. Confession: I am one of those people who likes to dress up her dog. Actually, this year we got Ginger her first Halloween costume! She's a pretty good sport about it. I had a lot of fun browsing and shopping for a cute costume for my little girl. We're snapping and sharing pictures of her with family and friends and can't wait to parade her around the neighborhood while all the kids are out trick-or-treating this Halloween. We're also bringing her with us to a Halloween party! You can get (or make) a fun costume for your pet as an inexpensive way to enjoy the day. And unlike kids, dogs don't mind wearing the same costume year after year. (Yes, this is my way of justifying dressing my dog as a dragon.)
     
  2. Dress up yourself. Most people do love dressing up in a silly, scary or funny costume on Halloween. Sure it helps if you have a destination like a costume party, but if not, why not throw your own? Can you dress up at work and enter the costume contest? How about conjuring up a costume you can wear while you pass out candy to trick-or-treaters? Much of the fun in wearing a costume is coming up with that clever idea, and then scavenging for all the pieces you need to put it together and really pull it off. And if you're crafty, you can really get in on the costume-creating action by making a lot of the pieces yourself!
     
  3. Decorate the house. As a kid, we used to love decorating our house indoors and out during Halloween. Spooky lights, carving pumpkins, playing spooky sound recordings and making our own scary "dummies" to sit on the porch—we loved it! Why not capture those same creative ideas and decorate your own home for Halloween? This is especially fun if you have kids to share it with, but even as a child-free adult, I still enjoy it myself! What I love even more is scoring great deals on Halloween décor on the days just past the holiday itself.
     
  4. Go to a haunted house. Not only is this a great way for adults to get in on the Halloween fun, but it's also a calorie burner! Walking through a haunted woods or theme park will really rack up the steps as part of your active lifestyle. Somehow I always stand out as the one person in the group who scares most easily, which really benefits me from a cardio standpoint. Last time I was at a haunted house, I was running and screaming from a guy chasing me with a chainsaw—a short sprint that got my heart rate up and provided a nice little fitness boost!
     
  5. Watch a scary movie. Or if you don't like scary movies, "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is always playing this time of year. Go to a theatre, rent a horror movie (or two) and scare yourself silly (candy optional). This is a great alternative if you're not into the decorating or dressing up side of Halloween.
     
  6. Skip the candy, enjoy the sights. We only get 3-5 kids at our door on Halloween (we live on a dead end street). So I buy just enough treats to hand out to our handful of trick-or-treaters. Then, we turn off the lights and head out into the neighborhood for a walk around the block to look at all the kids, adults and dogs in their costumes and check out all the fun decorations. We usually bring the dog, and this year, she'll be dressed up for our walk (can't wait!). Since we don't have kids, this has been a fun tradition for us since we bought our home a few years ago. Even if you DO have kids, it can be a new tradition you take part in when you run out of candy, or if you don't want to be the one sitting next to that bottomless bowl of Halloween candy for hours. ('Cause let's face it, much of it ends up in your belly when you're on candy duty, right?)
When it comes down to making healthy choices on Halloween, I remind myself that I can have candy any time I really want it, and that Halloween is just one day. Indulge a little if you must, but don't eat something you don't love just because it's there. Although that's not always easy, I find that when I take part in these other activities, I don't think about candy much at all, and that means I still get to have fun even when trying to eat healthier.
 
What's your favorite calorie-free way to celebrate Halloween? Have you tried any of the ideas above?


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Comments

  • 20
    Oh Ginger is adorable, my moms poodle dresses up every year (and wears dresses and nightowns daily) but last year we dressed her up and even put a few scabs on our faces and walked the neighborhood (we get about 500 trick or treaters and the whole neighborhood does a block party kinda thing, streets get blocked off and it sooooo much fun) but we dressed her and walked house to house looking for some candy for ourselves instead all we got was dog treats...lol they were ready for us :) - 10/27/2011   1:12:16 PM
  • 19
    It's not all together calorie free but we have homemade chili and cornbread for dinner...and we all dress up...this year Noah is going to be an old time golfer...since he is 2 he doesn't go very far with trick or treating and then to our church for a harvest party...it's a little of everything but a very fun packed evening.
    - 10/27/2011   10:35:18 AM
  • 18
    Hah, Ginger is so cute! My husband won't let us dress up our Lab even though a few years ago I bought her the cutest princess costume!

    As for calorie free Halloween fun? We take a walk in the pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkin(s), then lug them back to the car and then into the house. Carve them and lug them back outside to show them off. This year we bought four, well five but one took a dive off the kitchen table and got smooshed! - 10/27/2011   10:04:23 AM
  • 17
    I'll be dressing up as a friendly not scary witch to hand out treats on Monday night, we live in a senior apartment building and those that want to hand out treats we all gather in the lobby to hand them out, the kids get many treats in one stop, and we all enjoy seeing all the different costume on the kids. - 10/27/2011   9:50:59 AM
  • 16
    OH GINGER LOOKS SO CUTE...AND I AM SURE SHE IS HAPPY TO TRADE IT FOR A LONG WALK!! I WANT TO SUGGEST THAT THOSE WHO BUY CANDY BUY ONES THEY DON'T LIKE TO GIVE OU, SO THEY ARE NOT TEMPTED. ALSO I HAVE FRIENDS WHO GIVE SMALL BAGS OF CHIPS AND MICROWAVE POPCORN. FOR ADULTS WHO WANT A TREAT, JOLLYTIME MAKES A CARMEL APPLE MICROWAVE POPCORN AND KETTLE CORN THAT IS IN THE HEALTHY LINE (94% FAT FREE), IT IS GREAT...TRY IT FOR YOUR SPECIAL TREAT!!
    ENJOY!!! - 10/26/2011   11:52:43 PM
  • 15
    Poor dog. - 10/26/2011   11:33:55 PM
  • LJEINVT
    14
    We always go to our grandchildrens house so we can see them, walk with them some, and stay at their house to hand out candy so both parents can go with them. So fun to see all the other children too. AND they love it when I am dressed up too! - 10/26/2011   11:31:59 PM
  • 13
    My little teacup Poodle loves her clothes and costumes! She will be wearing a red dress with a red poofy thing on her ear, and I will be wearing the same. Yes, I am a Red Hatter LOL - 10/26/2011   12:33:38 PM
  • HOLALOLA
    12
    I don't love scary movies but hubby does. So we've been watching the old monster movies like Frankenstein and the Abbott and Costello monster movie comedies. They're not scary to me but they are still Halloween fun for him. - 10/26/2011   12:10:02 PM
  • 11
    Poor Ginger! ;-) - 10/26/2011   10:22:24 AM
  • 10
    I've always been tempted to get a little wizard hat for my black cat, Merlin. He'd probably kill me in my sleep though.

    I love your idea of walking around the neighborhood looking at costumes.

    - 10/26/2011   10:07:43 AM
  • 9
    Make a scare crow. - 10/26/2011   9:08:44 AM
  • 8
    That dog is so cute in her costume!!!! We have a charity fund raiser each year for the JSPCA's Doggie Fashion Show and it is so well supported. The dogs just love the attention. - 10/26/2011   9:06:38 AM
  • SP_COACH_NANCY
    7
    Too cute! I love it!!! - 10/26/2011   9:01:34 AM
  • 6
    I dressed up my horse as a sheep for a horse show once. - 10/26/2011   8:48:10 AM
  • 5
    We enjoy dressing up for Halloween. My husband loves all the scary movies (I don't) and we used to have the haunted house for the kids (we don't do that any more). Just a word about dressing up the dog (or other animals). Only do it if it doesn't upset them. If they are terrified of it, please don't do it. They don't care about dressing up in costumes. - 10/26/2011   8:06:35 AM
  • 4
    Is that Coach Nicole's dog Ginger? So cute!!!! - 10/26/2011   8:01:35 AM
  • 3
    I love decorating my house. - 10/26/2011   7:30:39 AM
  • 2
    cute costume for the doggie!!!! AWwwwww! - 10/26/2011   7:22:24 AM
  • 1
    poor dog! - 10/26/2011   7:14:46 AM

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