Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Outdoor Adventures to Promote Health and Wellness
Now is a great time of year to get outdoors and enjoy nature. Not only do outdoor activities encourage exercise, they also renew appreciation for Mother Nature. Walking and running are always great ways to get outside and be active.
Here are some fun outdoor activities you may do on a regular basis, but that can be a lot of fun. All of these activities can be enjoyed alone or as a family. Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture your memories!
• Go Canoeing or Kayaking: Now that I have two small children, we love to go canoeing as a family. Once we pack snacks, lunch, water and sunscreen, we head out to rent canoes. The kids bring buckets and nets so they can catch minnows and turtles when we stop for lunch. We always have lots of fun identifying different wildlife we see as we go, such as blue heron and alligator gar. Don’t forget to be safe and wear your life vests! White water rafting and kayaking are outdoor activities that will give you a real rush but are better done without young kids.
• Go Hiking: You can have fun hiking near your house or check local parks and search for waterfalls or other attractions you may want to see on your hike. My kids have mixed reactions to this one! They usually love hiking but tire quickly. I suggest making sure you have water and a small snack with you to keep you and your kids energized. Make it fun for your little ones by pointing out neat things that you pass like mushrooms or fallen trees.
• Go Bike Riding: You can bike ride around your neighborhood as a family or load up your bikes and find some fun bike trails. Local parks may offer great paved loops for the kids to learn to bike ride. Make sure the whole family wears helmets! Here is a link that will help you find bike trails in your area, which ranges from easy to strenuous.
• Go Swimming in Nature: There is nothing like a trip to the lake or beach to cool down and swimming is a great, no impact exercise. Swimming is a good skill for everyone to learn and teaching kids is very empowering for them. I still remember my dad teaching me to swim. If you don’t know how to swim yourself, take a class! It will be fun, great exercise, and an invaluable new skill.
• Go Horseback Riding: For most people, horseback riding is not an everyday activity – that just makes it more memorable! Most places that offer horseback riding have great scenic trails to offer and it’s neat to have a new view of the landscape. Being up high on the horse offers a new perspective of nature and allows you to cover more ground and see more than you might otherwise.
These are just a few ideas for having fun and being active outdoors this summer. What are some of your favorites?