For so many of us exhausted over another frigid winter, the freshness of Spring proves to be a welcome arrival– like a friend at our door whom we haven’t seen in forever. With daffodils and aster flowers poking through the dirt and gravel and so much going on in the city, now is a great time to cultivate the habit of getting outside and doing something fun! After all, not only is getting outside a vital bonding activity for families, but it is also beneficial to our mental and physical health in a variety of ways– but don’t take our word for it! We chatted with Danielle from Eat Right Philly, our District’s provider of information and resources on staying active, getting outside, and healthy eating.
When it comes to getting outside, Danielle (and a host of other health institutions) lists benefits such as an increase in social wellness and involvement with your community as well as a healthy dose of vitamin D and getting better sleep–”you’ll get more rest at the end of the day– boost your vitamin D and overall just feel more lively”. While exercise is certainly beneficial, it is important to know that just being outside, in general, is healthy too. Danielle added that “whatever you’re doing outside will relate to physical activity in some sense” and that you should “Aim for 20 to 30 minutes a day” of just being outside if at all possible.
For so many families, it can be hard to convince teens and children that getting outside is well worth the time and effort. Danielle recommends that when it comes to getting outside as a family, make it a group effort: “Join them– even if it is a walk or a game to get out with them”. And when it comes to some useful precautions, Danielle and the Eat Right Philly team recommend staying hydrated and highlighting the importance of proper protection against the sun (think high SPF Sunscreen and proper clothing!).
While getting some kids and teens outside may be difficult, there are plenty of activities and parks that can potentially win nonbelievers over. In a city as large and diverse as ours, there are plenty of things to do and places to see! From horseback riding lessons to free swim lessons and plenty of playgrounds and parks to explore, there’s something for everyone here in the city and you can rest assured that Danielle and her team have plenty of useful links and information for you and your fellow family members to find something that is of interest. So if you’re looking for an introduction to the great outdoors in Philly, look no further– we’ve got plenty of links below to get you started. And if physical activities like swimming or hiking aren’t your thing, don’t worry, as Danielle added about the great outdoors: “It’s more about getting outside, getting fresh air.”
Places To Go:
- Spruce Street Harbor Park
- Blue Cross Riverrink
- Delaware River Waterfront
- Philadelphia Neighborhood Parks (multiple parks throughout the city)
- Bartram’s Garden (located in West Philly)
- Franklin Square
- Benjamin Rush State Park (located in Northeast Philadelphia)
Things To Do for Students and Families:
- Want to find adaptive and inclusive activities for people with disabilities?
- Want to join a Zumba class?
- Want to Run?
- Want to find sprinklers and spraygrounds?
- Want to find playgrounds?
- Want to learn horseback riding?
- Want free swimming lessons?
- Want to do outdoor activities in Philly Parks?
- Want to garden?
- Want to find after-school and summer activities?