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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

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    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

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          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.

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                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.

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                    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

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                      Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                      12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

                      12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

                      Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                      But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                      I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                      Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

                      1. Nuts

                      The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                      Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                      Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                      Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                      2. Blueberries

                      Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                      When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                      3. Tomatoes

                      Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                      4. Broccoli

                      While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                      Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                      Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                      5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                      Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                      The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                      Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                      6. Soy

                      Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                      Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                      Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                      7. Dark chocolate

                      When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                      Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

                      15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                      8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                      Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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                      B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

                      Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                      Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                      To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                      9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                      Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                      Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                      Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                      10. Gingko biloba

                      This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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                      It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

                      However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                      11. Green and black tea

                      Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                      Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                      Find out more about green tea here:

                      11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                      12. Sage and Rosemary

                      Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                      Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                      When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                      More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                      Reference

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