This was first published as a Coordinator newsletter in March/April 2022; submitted by Central and Western Michigan Coordinator Kim Murdough. (Edited ever so slightly). Enjoy!
Do you remember how excited you were to get up early in the morning, eat your breakfast, then dash out the door, just to be outside?
“Don’t forget your coat” or “be careful crossing the street” were the last words you heard your mom shout as you jumped the threshold of the front door to begin your journey to wherever your imagination took you.
My time spent in St. Joseph, Michigan as a child proved you can go swimming in 60-degree water and not freeze to death. For three years, I rode my bike around the neighborhood, through the ravines (well before mountain bikes were thought of) climbed fruit trees and swung like Tarzan from the vines in praying you got one strong enough to hold you.
Life was great, pleasures were simple, and moving my body wasn’t a conscious effort. I moved without an agenda, had no exercise plan or pedometer (to be sure I walked long enough), and there was no trainer telling me if I was using proper form.
I got up, ate, and went. One thing that stands out, especially as I reminisce about my childhood, is the fact that no matter where I lived, children were always playing — outdoors!
We were like the traditional postman: “Through rain, snow, sleet, or gloom of night,” nothing prevented us from our appointed fun. Odd, isn’t it, that today we have to prod and bribe our family members just to get them off the couch, away from the television or video games, in order to do what most of us embraced in our youth?
Luckily for us in this Great Lakes State, we’ve learned to adapt to changing weather conditions regarding our outdoor activities. Unluckily for us, we have gotten into the habit of work, rest, eat, rest again, and work. We have embraced this pattern so much that we don’t set aside time for fun – pure simple fun.
Well, now is the time to get a spring back into our step, and I know exactly what we can do.
We can begin today by planning fun! I suggest some ideas we can all implement with our spouse, children, and friends to make this time of year our “springboard” to fulfilled relationships and good health. Yes, good health can be the by-product of fun, I promise.
Listed below are practical tips we can all embrace.
— Make a hopscotch board on your sidewalk and hop to it!
— Map out some locations around town that include up-hill and down-hill climbing.
— Create a family garden. No matter the size of your property, you can build a raised-bed garden (check local lumber stores for a book or go online). Then plant vegetables you’ve never tried before. Or if you have never had a garden, plant the regulars – tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, radishes, green beans, and don’t forget the jalapenos!
There you go, some tips to get you and your family started toward healthier living. Incorporate these fun times into your weekly routine and embrace the joy that is sure to follow. There is one key I need to mention. To ensure your step always includes some “spring,” you must choose to make the change, and then you must put feet to your decision and do it. It is by taking immediate action that we see long lasting positive results!
Want to guest blog? Email me — firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat about the possibility!