Staff Activity Picks

By Megan Richardson, FNP-C

Has your only physical activity lately been shoveling snow and frantically waving your arms to keep your balance on icy sidewalks? While we might like to call these nature’s cross-training workouts, they aren’t quite enough to meet the daily recommendations of 30-60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. Just as importantly, they aren’t the kinds of physical activity that we get excited about. Because regular exercise contributes so greatly to a healthy lifestyle (both physically and mentally), it makes sense to find activities that you consider fun and fulfilling so that exercise becomes a happily anticipated part of your day rather than a chore. Doing activity as a family is a wonderful way to stay healthy and be happy together.

We hope that you and your family have some favorite activities that you are looking forward to, particularly once spring arrives and the snow melts. We would love for you to share pictures and/or stories of your family outings with us on our Facebook page. Below we have listed our staff picks of some of our favorite activities:

Amy: KAYAKING

Maryland is blessed with a beautiful array of outdoor activities, to include water sports. Both river and ocean kayaks are available to rent for self or group-guided tours. The Monocacy Water Trail is a 41 mile self-guided trail that runs right through Frederick County. You’ll see birds, turtles, fish and an occasional fisherman, but mostly the river will belong to you. http://visitmaryland.org/Pages/WaterTrails.aspx

Brittany: WAKEBOARDING

Brittany has the inside connection of having family who live on a lake in Virginia, which makes wakeboarding wonderfully accessible. Fortunately for the rest of us, wakeboarding is available in other locales, too. Deep Creek Lake, the Chesapeake Bay and the Eastern Shore are your best bets. http://www.raddawake.com/home.html

Cindy: GARDENING

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” ~Alfred Austin

If you don’t think gardening can be a good form of exercise, then you’ve never really gardened. From digging up dirt to spreading mulch to harvesting flowers or fruits and vegetables, gardening is a great way to be active and enjoy nature’s bounty.

**Fredcokids is looking to start a community garden of our own—keep watch for more info coming soon!

Dr. Lee: RUNNING

A lifelong runner and former high school cross country coach, Dr. Lee has clocked A LOT of hours putting one foot in front of the other and helping others to do the same. It is a rare day that Dr. Lee does not go for a run. The 2015 race season has already begun and is filled with interesting races of various distances and themes. Several staff members of Fredcokids will be running in the Frederick Running Festival in May. http://www.roadracerunner.com/Races/RunningCalendar.aspx?state=md

Jen: PLAYING IN A PARK WITH THE KIDS

What child doesn’t love to play? Our local parks and playgrounds are great places to run free, burn off excess energy and learn to be social. We are blessed with open areas next to most playgrounds that are perfect for kicking a ball, throwing a Frisbee, flying a kite, playing tag—the list goes on. Next time you take your kids to the park and playground, get out and play with them. They will be thrilled and you will get a wonderful workout. http://www.recreater.com/35/Parks

Kerry: SWIMMING

There is something about Maryland that produces world-class swimmers like Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky and Tommy Hannan (all recent Olympic gold medalists). Maybe it’s because there are so many beautiful places to swim that a person just gets hooked.

http://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/swimming.asp

Megan: GEOCACHING

Did you know that there are over 2 million treasure troves just waiting to be found around the world? True, you don’t usually get to take something home with you but you won’t mind because the seeking and finding is plenty of fun. Besides being fun, it is a great reminder of our community connection—someone who you will likely never meet has hidden something for you and left clues how to find it, simply because it is such a great outdoor activity. www.geocaching.com

Tiffany: HIKING AND BIKING

There are trails galore in Maryland. You can hike or bike or both, and usually do so even in the heat of summer because the trails are beneath big beautiful trees that offer cooling shade. Did you know that the Maryland section of the Appalachian Trail is only 40 miles long and has easy access trailheads? You can do day hikes of 4-8 miles and claim your part of AT history. Speaking of history, the C&O canal is 180 miles of scenery, wildlife and adventure between Washington D.C. and Cumberland, MD. It passes right by the bridge that crosses over to Harpers Ferry and offers up some excellent ice cream shops, and more history.

http://www.everytrail.com/best/hiking-maryland