It is the last official week of July but there is still plenty of summertime left! Being able to enjoy the time outdoors is important to reduce stress and improve your overall health. This week’s blog discusses ways to encourage the families in your community to stay active by giving them ideas of outdoor family gatherings. According to Parents.com, studies have shown that family time can help boost kids’ self-esteem, enhance social development, and create strong relational bonds.
One idea is to promote or create events as at community gardens in your city/town. Encouraging families to become involved is a fantastic way to promote eating healthy. Not only does it help sponsor a healthy lifestyle, but an hour of light physical gardening can burn as many calories as spending an hour walking 3.5 miles! A couple hours at a community garden is a great way for family bonding while enjoying the outdoors. Check out the NCRPA Community Gardens page to learn more about community gardens. Another idea is to help set up a family scavenger hunt. Not only do scavenger hunts bring together the families in your community, but it takes advantage of your parks, walking trails, and greenways! Encourage families to check out a different park each weekend and discover what they have to offer. Read my past blog Capture a New Outdoor Program for more ideas of how to create and promote a summertime scavenger hunt in your community. Lastly, suggest an outdoor recreation location in the area that rents out kayaks, canoes, or paddleboats by the hour, many parks already do this! Your department can help provide a day itinerary that gives ideas for a healthy lunch and activities by a nearby beach or park after the kayak/canoe or paddleboard adventure.
All these ideas can be promoted and suggested over social media! Take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to motivate and inspire the families in your community to spend more time together! The ultimate goal is to live a healthier lifestyle.
One last note, remember this is the last week for the National Recreation and Park Association 80’s challenge. NCRPA is asking your departments to share if any of your community members participated during the month of July! Please submit any photos or information on the wellness site here: (firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)