Advertising
Advertising

Top 10 Fun Outdoor Activities to Keep Your Family Healthy

Top 10 Fun Outdoor Activities to Keep Your Family Healthy

Family time can be hard to come by, but it’s well worth pushing your busy schedules aside in order to make some new memories. Fun, outdoor activities are a great way to get everyone excited and on board for a great family outing. It’s also the perfect way to introduce a healthy lifestyle to your children.

Here are our top 10 ideas to get your family off the couch and outdoors for some healthy fun. Mix it up to keep everyone interested, and don’t be afraid to try new things!

1. Paintball

Paintball

    Want to be the mom or dad of the year? Make plans to visit your local paintball fields for what will undoubtedly be hours of fun. Play on teams or against one another, whichever fits your family dynamic! Girls vs. boys? Parents vs. kids? That’s sure to get everyone excited.

    Paintball isn’t for everyone, as there’s a chance for injury, and can sometimes be a pretty intensive workout. Still, it’s an affordable and wildly fun way to get your family out of the house and working on one goal together.

    2. Rock Climbing

    Advertising

    Rock Climbing

      Rock climbing is an incredible skill and sport which trains the body and mind to become more tone and disciplined. The sense of achievement after climbing a rock wall, whether it be real or one at your local gym, can’t be beaten. Before you begin rock climbing, make sure you have the proper equipment, including harnesses and helmets. Safety should be a top priority, so choose a rock face with a difficulty equal to your family’s ability.

      3. Pokémon Hunting

      Pokémon Hunting

        This sweeping phenomena is a perfect reason to get kids of all ages out of the house. Pokémon Go gives extra incentive to keep going, to walk a little further, and dig a little deeper. It also has its own built in reward system! As an extra bonus, your kids will appreciate you taking an interest in something that’s important to them.

        4. Canoeing

        Canoeing

          Canoeing is kayaking’s low-intensity cousin. Unlike a kayak, which is made for speed and sharp turns, canoes are made to be slowly meandered down lazy streams. Don’t let that fool you, though, canoeing can burn some serious calories. The best part about canoeing is that it requires teamwork in order to get the boat moving in the right direction. You’ll only get to your destination by working together, which is always a good life lesson to share with your family.

          5. Hiking

          Advertising

          Hiking

            There are over 6,500 state parks and 58 national parks in the United States. Many of them are very family-friendly, with well-marked trails of varying difficulties. Find one near your home and make plans to spend the day out exploring nature with the family. Our day-to-day lives can be pretty hectic, but one of the many benefits of hiking is reducing stress and anxiety. If your family needs to unplug and reconnect with nature, a hike is the perfect remedy.

            6. Bike Riding

            Bike Riding

              Cycling is an invigorating way to enjoy time with the family. Unlike hiking or walking, which may be too slow-paced for younger children, cycling is fast-paced excitement. It’s also a healthful cardio workout that can burn over 200 calories an hour for the average person.

              The best part about cycling is discovering your world, so change your trails often to add variety and extra challenge for your family. We especially like cycling as a family activity because it’s an eco-friendly activity that can be done almost anywhere.

              7. Swimming

              Swimming

                It’s not always easy for those in land-locked areas to get to the beach, but that’s not your only option for fun in the sun. Going to a nearby river or lake can be just as fun, including the adventure to get there. Swimming outdoors isn’t essential, but it does present added benefits. For example, we all know moderate time in the sun is good for a boost of vitamin D. The great outdoors also have a tendency to lower stress and increase creativity, giving your family a chance to unplug and relax.

                Advertising

                8. Backyard Garden

                Backyard Garden

                  Farm-to-table eating is all the rage today, so why not start in your own backyard. Gardens are an ideal outdoor family activity, as gardens take almost daily supervision to keep out pests, weeds, and to check on progress. Children love watching their plants grow from seed to fruit, and you’ll enjoy having some healthy options on the dinner table.

                  Pulling weeds and planting flowers can burn anywhere from 200-400 calories an hour. It’s also a perfect excuse to get the kids out back and enjoying some fresh air.

                  9. Dog Parks

                  Dog Parks

                    Your family pet should be considered, too! Taking your pooch to the dog park will be a great way to exercise both children and pets. If you’re lucky, by the time you get home, everyone will be ready for a nap!

                    Dog parks are full of excitement and are sure to have your children running around and playing for hours. Always be safe, making sure your children ask before touching any strange dogs. The best part about dog parks is that they usually require documentation that all the dogs are treated and healthy.

                    Advertising

                    10. Gold Panning

                    Gold Panning

                      You’ve never seen a child’s eyes light up like they do the first time they strike gold. Believe it or not, you can pan for gold in almost any stream or river. It won’t be a ton of gold, but after a little while of playing in the water, children can find a small smattering of gold flakes for their effort. Panning kits like this are available to make it a little simpler. Take the family to enjoy the great outdoors, and after a trek to the river, you can reward them with some fun panning! It’s a win-win.

                      We hope you found some good tips in this article. Now it’s time to get outside with your family for some healthy fun!

                      Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

                      More by this author

                      6 Reasons Why French Press Makes the Best Coffee 9 Things To Remember If You Love Someone Who Doesn’t Easily Show Affection 12 Ways To Earn More Money While You Have A Full-Time Job 7 Steps to Reduce Your Laptop’s Fan Noise & Increase Speed 7 Ideas To Decorate Your Home Using LED Strip Lights

                      Trending in Leisure

                      1 10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day 2 30 Inspirational Songs that Keep You Motivated for Life 3 The 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are 4 Reading for Kids: 17 Reasons Why It’s Important and Where to Start 5 How Not to Let Work Take Priority over Spending Time With Family

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on October 23, 2018

                      Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

                      Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

                      My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

                      Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

                      The Neural Knitwork Project

                      In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

                      Advertising

                      While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

                      The knitting and neural connection

                      The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

                      More mental health benefits from knitting

                      Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

                      Advertising

                      “You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

                      Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

                      Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

                      She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

                      Advertising

                      “People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

                      The dopamine effect on our happiness

                      Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

                      There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

                      Advertising

                      “Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

                      If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

                      Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

                      Read Next