Have you checked how many public parks are in your hood – and exactly where they are situated? Public facilities are often hidden gems. But once you find them, there are endless benefits to you and your kids. Parks help to reduce traffic congestion and also play an essential part in preserving air and water quality—every reason to head out there.
Research conducted in the USA has proven that families that live close to park facilities exercise more and have lower obesity levels than the national average. Open spaces hold the promise of a longer life – every 2 km a person walks and every hour of activity can increase the length of a person’s life by 20 minutes!
But probably most importantly, in today’s complicated digital world, recreation in nature has a significant impact on the mental and physical health of children. Being in touch with nature has a calming effect and improves the self-esteem of little ones. Parks are often a sanctuary for small animals and insects. So, taking a stroll becomes an opportunity to educate kids on the import role insects such as ants, bees, butterflies and birds play in the health of our precious planet. It might be an idea to do a quick on-line search on an insect type on which you could focus for the day. That way, you may very well introduce a deep interest in nature in your kids – and distract them for a healthy while, away from their favourite device.
Ask yourself, when last have you seen the joy when a foot connects with a soccer ball? Or when last have you all joined in on feeding the ducks on the pond in the park? Many city parks have tennis and basketball courts, running trails and even swimming pools. You pay your rates and taxes, so you have every right to enjoy these facilities.
Here are 5 other good reasons you should be enjoying your parks, more often:
- Get the blood pumping – exercise is essential for health and maintaining a good mood.
- Get to know plants – teach your kids about the local flora at the botanical gardens (if you have one close by).
- Doggies can socialise – our pooches need playtime too.
- Get some vitamin D – get your daily dose of sunshine, it’s great for your immune system.
- Get to know your neighbours – start a walking club or just meet-up for a quick catch-up.
At the end of the day, everyone will want a refreshing drink and something yummy to tide them over to dinner. So, grab some puff pastry next time you’re shopping, grease and line the hollows of a muffin tin, blind bake and then cover with Nice ‘n Easy On The Side creamed spinach and some extra cheddar or feta cheese and bake again. A walk in the park, right?
Enjoy these TastyTips?
PS. Have one of your own? Let us know in the comment section below.
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