NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Walking ND in the Spring

Walking ND in the Spring


            It may not be here yet but SPRING! and the ability to be outside more –will eventually arrive.  The bike paths and sidewalks are sometimes mini-traffic jams with bikers, strollers, roller bladers, walkers, tricycle riders all enjoying the outdoors.

            In addition to the emotional lift of getting out of the house after a long winter, all that physical activity helps control weight, reduce the risk for many diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and many cancers. Exercise helps strengthen bones and muscles for both children and adults.

            How much time should we be spending on some type of outdoor activity?  For children and teenagers the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services recommends 1 hour of activity per day. For adults the goal is 150 minutes, or 2 ½ hours of physical activity per week.

            As parents, we can do many things to help our children develop healthy exercise habits for life and make physical activity fun for the whole family.

Tips for Making Family Time Active Time:

  • Set an exercise goal (in minutes) for the family. Agree on a prize for reaching your goal such as a family bowling night, trip to the pool or other celebration
  • Start a tradition of celebrating special occasions like holidays and birthdays etc. with a volley ball game, family tug-of war, football toss, basketball game, etc.
  • If you’re having trouble finding time for exercise, schedule exercise time on the family calendar.
  • Ask everyone to help unload the groceries. Carry smaller loads and make more trips to the car.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Make taking the stairs an adventure like climbing a mountain or a game of who can get to the top first.
  • Park farther away from your destination and walk the rest of the way. Park the car a block or two from school and walk kids the rest of the way.
  • Ask children for ideas of fun things they would like to do to be more active.
  • Start seeds to plant later.
  • When it’s too early to plant a garden, plan it, by measuring the space, and going through catalogs to select seeds. Turn garden soil over or get large flower pots ready to go.
  • Rake the yard. Give everyone a job, such as holding the trash bag open, raking and inspecting. Keep their interest by switching jobs often.
  • Wash the windows and sweep the sidewalk.
  • Walk or bike to the library grocery store, and post office.
  • Walk the dog.
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