Want a Healthy, Happy Family? Do This!

Our family is looking forward to lots of quality time together this summer! Knowing how short this sunny season can be, we’ve already pulled out our calendars and made a plan for every weekend that we have free from other commitments. We encourage you to do the same.

Here are three activities to do with your family to promote togetherness and healthy living. Everyone in the family from babies to grandparents can participate and you don’t have to spend lots of money to enjoy them.

1) Get outdoors and hike together.
This is our #1 favorite family activity. There are so many beautiful and varying options for hikes around the Ottawa area. Pop into the Visitor Centre at the Gatineau Park, tell them what you are looking for and they will give you some great suggestions. Another great option in the area is to unleash your inner adventurer by hiking to the Lusk Caves and exploring. If you haven’t been to the Lusk Caves already, you will be amazed at what you find.

Perhaps you are willing to drive a bit further afield and your passport is up to date? Try the Visitor Interpretive Center at Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York. You can be there in just under a couple of hours. When our boys were babies this was our go to spot as they have a couple of accessible trails – great for strollers and wheelchairs! No excuses!

For those looking for the ultimate challenge in hiking, take on the Adirondack 46ers! Our family has made a goal to hike all of the 46 mountains over 4000ft in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks in New York state. As of this writing, we’ve done 5 – Cascade, Porter, Wright, Phelps, and Giant. We’ve got our sights set to summit two more this year. These are not easy hikes so read up and plan accordingly. If you are just starting out, begin with Cascade and Porter. Great exercise, lots of fresh air, sunshine and family memories to last a lifetime.

2) Picnic!
Pack up a cooler full of delicious, healthy food and head to a beautiful park for the day. We have wonderful memories of a day spent recently with extended family eating, swimming, playing catch, and relaxing together in the sunshine. Who knew Grandma could throw such a mean frisbee!?

3) And one for the days when the weather does not cooperate….a board game called Ticket to Ride.
We have the Europe edition and can honestly say how surprised we were at how many hours of enjoyment this game brought to our family. When Grandma was up over the Christmas holidays, we played this game a few times. The age range for our group was from age 8 to 72 and we ALL enjoyed it immensely. I made it a point to have veggie trays handy for the mindless munching that inevitably happens when you are planning global domination with a handful of cards. Added bonus!

Hope these have given you some ideas for your awesome summer family adventures!

Wishing you health and togetherness this summer and always!

Marisol Haughton