5 Tips to ‘Green’ Your Physical Activity

19th May, 2010 - Posted by - 11 Comments


Good news!

According to new research, even five (5) minutes of exercise outdoors in a green space (park, garden, etc.) can boost your mood and self-esteem. The combination of movement and nature is powerful medicine, according to UK researchers.

Who am I kidding — that’s GREAT news!

Here are 5 Tips to Get You Moving Outdoors:

  1. Trade the treadmill for the trail! Go to the gym? Consider skipping it in favor of outdoor time, at least a few times a week. Not only will the exercise do you good, but the time spent in nature will help you reduce your stress level, boost your creativity and will help you get a much needed dose of Vitamin D.
  2. Discover your green thumb. Plant a garden — you’ll get lots of physical activity and enjoy the fruits (and veggies!) of your labor. Gardening is a terrific activity and learning experience for children. For ideas and tips for gardening with children, visit Kids Gardening.
  3. Park the car. Form walking groups to help kids get to school. Ride your bike to do errands or visit a friend. While it’s not always possible to do everything by foot — you will be surprised at how often you can leave the car at home. Bonus: It’s healthier for the planet, too!
  4. Declare an hour of family play time — daily! It doesn’t matter if it’s shooting hoops in the driveway, running through the sprinkler or walking around your neighborhood — just make time to get outside and move together as a family. Parents and caregivers are children’s primary role models for physical activity and healthy choices, so don’t miss the opportunity to model fun.
  5. Explore your community. You will be surprised at all the resources you never knew where there. Bike paths, hiking trails, parks, community gardens, nature centers and more! To find green spaces and events near you, check out our friends at NatureFind.

Want even more reasons to get outside and get moving? Check out the 2010 Parks, Playgrounds and Active Living report.

Sign me up — I’m unplugging and going to get my ‘green’ on!  – Bethe

Bethe Almeras, MS, is the HSBS Training Director. A long time educator and play advocate, she is passionate about outdoor play and connecting children with nature. In her free time Bethe writes a blog, The Grass Stain Guru, and can often be found playing outside and enjoying Mother Nature. She is particularly fond of  chatting with squirrels.

Creative Commons License photo credit: xtacocorex

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Alison Kerr

May 19th, 2010 at 12:33 pm    

I agree Bethe, it’s GREAT NEWS!

Love your tip to get gardening. And I’d much rather hit the trail than hit the gym.

It’s the perfect time of year for everyone to get outside, and not just to eat BBQ!


May 19th, 2010 at 1:08 pm    

We like to take a family walk after dinner. It get the kids out of the house (yeah!) and gets us all moving.

Wendy Gabriel

May 19th, 2010 at 2:54 pm    

My favorite is Tip #4! Get your kids outside every day. Wonderful article!


May 19th, 2010 at 3:25 pm    

Glad you make getting outdoors and helping your children stay active a part of family life! Thanks so much for connecting with us here. :-)


May 19th, 2010 at 4:23 pm    

Great article Bethe! I like them all, but the one that brings me back is #5. As a kid, I would ride my bike everywhere, discover new alley-ways, parks or secret hiding places that are so important to childhood development.

Thanks and keep up the great work!


Oh, and nice to see you, Wendy and Allison!(You to Mel)

Marghanita Hughes

May 19th, 2010 at 5:01 pm    

What great tips Bethe. It really is amazing what you can explore in your own community.
At this time of year we are blessed with wonderful Farmers markets to visit. Buying local, supporting local farmers is a great way to go green and enjoy the outdoors.

Latest Blog Post: “Let’s Go Outside” Making Wind Streamers:http://www.marghanita.com/fairy-wind-streamers/


May 19th, 2010 at 8:22 pm    

Our favorite way to be active is (like Mel) to take a walk around the neighborhood every night. Not only do we get in some quality family time, but we see neighbors and explore the nature in our city.


May 19th, 2010 at 11:14 pm    

I think a post about bringing back the family walk is definitely in order!

Debbie Miller @HooootOwl

May 22nd, 2010 at 2:43 pm    

Great article, and good advise. Sweet photo love the excitement and shadow.

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