Sigh. Cabin Fever. Stay in Place. House Arrest. Whatever you & your family have called the COVID-19 lockdown. It has been a stressful time. As America begins to slowly phase back to normal, the warmer weather calls you to go outside. But what can you do, keeping safe distancing in mind? Family Health & Fitness Day, sponsored by the National Recreation & Park Association, was on June 13, 2020 — and they had the answer. Family Health & Fitness Day promoted the importance of parks and recreation in keeping communities healthy.
In fact, results of a recent poll conducted by NRPA, reveal that 83% of U.S. adults agree that visiting their local parks, trails and open spaces are essential for their mental and physical well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But what can you actually do? Participate in virtual programs in local parks where state and local ordinances allow. Or if you can’t get to a park, there are things you can do at home.
- Encourage family bike rides/hikes on trails that are open
- Host a virtual race in the park
- Host a virtual morning yoga/meditation session in the park
- Host a sidewalk chalk art contest
- Have “Bear hunts” – encourage people in your community to place a stuffed animal in an easily-visible window of their home so that families can go for a walk and search for them and take photos of the things they find
- Stream a healthy cooking class or healthy cooking tips on your social media channels
According to the NRPA, several research studies confirm that community parks and recreation, green space, and time outdoors are “critical for creating healthy, active, and sustainable communities. You can experience the benefits by connecting with your community parks and recreation any time of the year, and especially on Family Health & Fitness Day — just be sure to be mindful of physical distancing guidelines and guidance from your state and local government and public health officials.”
We have a lot of beautiful parks in North Carolina. There are 41 places currently in the North Carolina State Parks system: 34 parks, four recreation areas, and three staffed state natural areas.
As of May 22, most trails and restrooms are open. Several boat ramps are accessible. Most campsites, except for group campsites and group camps, are open.
All camping bookings must be made online. There are no walk-up reservations. Visitors must book online by 9 pm on the day of their reservation.
So, call a family member, neighbor, or friend and challenge him or her to a distance race, Point A to B in an area park. You run at 9 am, and they at 10 am. And then share over the phone or text or online the things you saw and experienced back in the real world on Family Health & Fitness Day.
This post was written by Anthony M Scialis. Find him here.