I was not a water person before I became a parent. Now oddly enough, I love to do thing on the water (cruises) or near the water (I love the beach). But, I never really liked to actually get in the water.
My children on the other hand are water babies. I think if they could grow gills and live in the water they would. So I’ve had to spend a lot of time figuring out what kind of water activity options are out there. What I’ve come to find out is that there’s a little something for everyone.
Water sports and activities are wonderful ways to get exercise and increase mobility. Water is helpful for people who have ambulation issues or may be unable to engage in vigorous activities due to chronic pain or injury. Water can be a safe place to move and exercise when other options aren’t available.
Because we are buoyant in water, people who have difficulty walking, running, or bearing weight can find relief and ease the pressure on their bodies while they rehabilitate themselves. People who have difficulty exercising in normal situations may have an easier time in the water because they stay cooler and feel less pain when they move. Though they are still burning calories and engaging in aerobic activity, it is less stressful on their bodies than traditional exercise.
Water is also a form of recreation and relaxation. From boating to swimming for pleasure, water is a place to have fun. Depending on where you live, water may be the chief recreation resource. From lakes to rivers to ponds to pools, water calls out to be enjoyed. Some common ways to have fun in nature are:
- Water skiing or wakeboarding
- Snorkeling or scuba diving
- Rafting and kayaking
- Personal watercraft
You don’t need a natural water source to enjoy the benefits of water. Your local gym or parks and recreation service may offer pools for enjoying activities. Many pools offer activities like these:
- Youth swim teams
- Water aerobics
- Open community swim
- Water rehabilitation services
- Water polo leagues
- Diving teams
- Synchronized swimming
- Water yoga
Water recreation is big business. Your community may have some of these options nearby:
- Water parks
- Lazy lagoon features
- Water slides
Water is not just for humans. Dogs and other pets thoroughly enjoy the water as well. From fetching floating sticks and toys to surfing, pets can find a common interest and experience water fun right along with their owners. The local dog park may boast water features. Or you might take your dog swimming at the lake. It would be fun to see if your pet has an interest in enjoying the water too.
No matter what water sport or activity you love, there is an option for you. From swimming in your backyard pool to joining a diving team, you can find joy and have fun in the water. If you are recovering from an injury or managing a chronic issue, you can find relief in the water as well. Simply find an activity that meets your needs, and enjoy!
Get Outside to Hike, Bike, & Explore
Being outdoors is one of the most affordable ways to get exercise and explore. From hiking to biking – being on the move builds muscle, engages the brain, and creates memories. Your idea of exploring and hiking may be the pathway that winds through your neighborhood, or it may be the uncharted landscape in a remote mountain area. Either way, adventure awaits.
Before you begin your hiking career, it’s best to start at the beginning with some important tips that will help you get ready and be safe.
Before you hike a trail or mountain. Before you set off on your bike. Before you head out to explore. Do some research. Become familiar with any important aspects of your journey that need to be considered. Be sure you are making a wise and safe decision for the skill level and experience that you have.
Get the right gear
In the beginning, the right gear may be simple footwear and a bottle of water. As your hiking skills and interests increase, it will be important to invest in the best gear for your needs. Do the proper research and make certain you have what you need to reduce injury and increase your satisfaction with your outdoor adventures.
Make a plan and stick to it
As you get better and bolder with your skills, make certain someone always knows your plan. Leave a detailed map or itinerary with someone who can step in should you become lost, injured, or unable to help yourself.
From water and food to Band-Aids and an epi-pen. Being prepared is an important part of outdoor activities. Plan for the unexpected as best as you can. It’s always better to have something and not need it than to need it and not have it.
If you are tackling a new hike or bike ride, practice as you lead up to the big event. Taking smaller hikes or shorter rides will give you clues to what you need to know for bigger and more difficult events.
Use the buddy system
Any time you venture into the great outdoors, it is vital that someone knows where you are and what you are doing. If possible, always travel with someone else.
Make hiking, biking, and exploring part of your life. Spend time in the evenings taking short walks, bike rides, or adventuring. Foster the love of discovery with your kids and others who will be participating with you. Make the activities fun and build up the anticipation for the next big adventure.
Hiking, biking, and exploring are wondrous ways to get to know where you live or expand your options when you travel. Normalizing the explorer’s spirit will make life a continuous adventure and the options to explore limitless.