Spring is the perfect time to head outdoors and get active as a family. It’s no great surprise to learn that physical activity has many personal benefits. But, did you know that being active as a family reaps even greater benefits than the physical aspect? Spending time together as a family holds a number of emotional benefits as well – especially for children. Leading by example, parents and caregivers can help their children learn how to make positive and healthy lifestyle choices. Plus, getting active together creates deeper family bonds. So as the weather gets nicer, here are some ways you can add a few outdoor activities to your family’s routine.
- Run a 5k. There are always local 5k walk/runs in our area. My favorite is the family-friendly Girls on the Run 5k. There is so much energy and fun going on at this race. It’s an untimed event so everyone in the family can participate without feeling pressured. They have one coming up this month at the Asheville Outlets. You can find out more and register on-line here: http://www.gotrwnc.org/race/372-girls-on-the-run-5k-spring-2017.
- Visit our local farmers’ market. It’s another way to learn how to make healthy food choices. You’ll find top quality produce at reasonable prices. It’s also an excellent way to support our local farming community. Learn more about the WNC Farmers’ Market here: http://www.ncagr.gov/markets/facilities/markets/asheville.
- Plant a garden of your own. Not only does this get everyone outdoors, it’s a wonderful learning experience for children. It may even get them more excited about eating their fruits and vegetables! Naturally Savvy has a helpful blog post on 10 fruits and vegetables that are kid-friendly: http://naturallysavvy.com/live/10-fruits-and-vegetables-to-plant-with-your-kids. If you end up growing so many fruits and vegetables that you have lots to spare, you can always donate some to one of our local food pantries or soup kitchens.
- Go for a hike. Our area is filled with fabulous places to hike and experience nature. Check out this blog from HikeWNC for some helpful tips on hiking with your kids: https://www.hikewnc.info/besthikes/kids-and-families. If you try out any of the recommended hikes, let us know what you think. If you want to add a little community service to your family activities, check out Brother Wolf Animal Rescue’s Outward Hounds Hiking Club. Find out more here: http://www.bwar.org/volunteer/outwardhounds
There are many more outdoor activities in our area that are family-friendly. To find them, do a simple internet search for “family-friendly outdoor activities asheville nc.” Feel free to share some of your experiences here or post some of your photos on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JosephCommunityCenter.
See you out on the trails!