Outdoor Family Fun

One of my favourite things to do with my family is to be outside; all year around. The weather doesn’t scare me away from doing the things we love and the life long activities that we want to instill in our daughters.

I grew up playing soccer all summer long (and indoor in the winter), downhill skiing, riding my bike everywhere and I even walked to school. I walked 17 minutes one way to school from Grade 6 to Grade 9, then had to take the bus as it was too far away to walk to. When I was in University I started working in the Environmental Education field which then lead me to the Outdoor Recreation/Education world.

I learned how to cross-country ski, kayak properly, snow shoe, winter camping and started running a lot more. It’s because of sport and being active as a child that I am where I am today. I’ve learned life-long skills that I continue to build upon. As a thirty something adult, this past winter I tried Speed Skating and Sledge Hockey for the first time! Nothing like building your physical literacy as an adult! They are both amazing sports.

Now that we have two little girls we hope to be able to transfer our love for being active and see where it may take them. Both our girls love to be outside at almost 4 years old and 17 months old; the outdoors is not a stranger to our daughters.

We decided as a family to give up our television cable last year but do have some dvd’s that are appropriate for them and watch them occasionally. They get less than the recommended daily screen time which I’m completely fine with. They are still young and would rather play with toys or be outside.

In Canada, we are seeing more kids sedentary, more inactive and are becoming more overweight and obese. Don’t worry adults…your on the same path too. How do I know this, well…it’s my job to know this information as I work in the Physical Activity world.

For all you Canadian readers out there, I am confident you remember “ParticipACTION”, you would probably remember Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod?!?! I remember as a kid the commercials that Hal and Joanne had  on TV that promoted healthy lifestyles.It’s funny what things stick in your mind from when you were a kid/youth. Now that I have refreshed your memory or made you Google Hal and Joanne,  ParticipACTION has a new campaign called “Bring Back Play”.  Sounds simple, right?

It’s time we bring back play to our children…and I’m not just speaking to Canadians. If you are reading this, then I’m speaking to you. We need all kids around the world to get a little more active. ParticipACTION has some great resources that you can use to become more active WITH YOUR KIDS! Let’s get serious people, adults need to be active too!

For winter (and maybe into spring) activities, check out their resources here: Winter Bring Back Play. They even have a mobile app you can download. Think quick and easy games you can play WITH your children! Sweet, eh!


Do your kids get 60 minutes A DAY of physical activity?

Active Healthy Kids Canada releases a “report card” on physical activity (active transportation, physical education, after school time period, etc) each year. The 2013 Active Healthy Kids Report card can be found here: 2013. This information is one way we understand that kids aren’t getting enough daily physical activity.

On a personal note, through my job, I get to attend the Global Conference on Physical Activity for Children where they will release the 2014 report card. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited for this conference, to learn more and bring this information back to the communities that I work with.


Please note: These are my own opinions, however I was asked to write a post on outdoor play from ParticipACTION to help promote Bring Back Play. I was not paid for this post. I know I could  write multiple posts on children, youth and adults being active as I am very passionate about the topic as I have a lot of thoughts. I am a full believer in outdoor play, natural playgrounds, getting dirty and dealing with the mess later if it means my children are going to grow, learn, play, be healthy and happy. 

Don’t forget to check out their #sneakitin for April 7th – 11th –> more information here!

Do you play outside?

Do you take your kids outside to play?

How much TV do you/your kids watch? 

A Morning Run with the TTPer’s!

This weekend the girls and I packed up and went to visit my parents. We celebrated my father’s birthday with a little cake which ended up all over the girls face’s and in their hair – awesome! Ahh well, they sure enjoyed it 🙂 I also managed a quick trip to Costco and a run with the TTPer’s!

TTPer;s???? Timberlea Tundra Pounders running group. I grew up in Timberlea and my parents still live there so I joined the group mainly online but with the intentions of running with them when I visit my family. Friday night I checked the Facebook group and saw there was a run for 9:30am. I checked off  the “maybe box” as I had to make sure someone could be with the girls…Grammy, Grandad and even Auntie Laura said yes. (Lucky me).

I double checked the time and it was moved to 8:00 am. Oh me, oh my…did I really want to run that early? I dunno! I hummed and haa’d about it for a few hours and then decided that I would go. A little motivation from my family and a comment from Piratebobcat helped.


Saturday morning:

Hilary didn’t sleep well and came in bed with me and bounced, rolled over, kicked and kept me awake for a while. She finally woke up for the day at 6:47am, before my alarm was scheduled to go off. I took this as a sign from her to go run.

Looking tired before the run!

Looking tired before the run!

Everyone got up, we ate some breakfast, I got dressed and was out the door at 7:50 to meet the running group. When I arrived Tom was there so we chatted for a bit. Then Dave and Bryan arrived…..that was it. No one else was coming…..I wasn’t too sure about this. Running with three guys is a little intimidating.

We started off as a group of four then slowly moved into groups of two with Bryan and I leading the way. Up this l-o-n-g and gradual hill, down another, up another l-o-n-g gradual hill, another short hill.

Bryan looked really familiar to me so we played the who do you know game. I started with the soccer world as I played and coached girls soccer for a few years. No connections. He had an accent….it was British, so we talked about England and I told him that my husband was from England. Then I asked where he lived and we actually were just about to run by his house….that’s when we made a few connections. He was neighbours to people I grew up with and we found out we knew even more people in common.

We ran the whole time…slowed down a little but than picked up the pace again. Down, then up and down another hill, flat for a bit until the last little bit then UP another hill, down a short hill and done!

I was pooped! 5.18km in 31:58….I was pretty happy with that time considering the amount of hills we had.  We all high-fived each other …that was awesome! I then said to Bryan…“hope I didn’t slow you down”…he responded with “I was just trying to keep up”. After we stretched I asked if he knew my father….and he did, he knew both of my parents. Small world 😉

My legs felt great, my lungs were full of life and it wasn’t even 9am yet! I arrived home to happy girls playing with my sister. My father cooked me a late breakfast (spoiled, yes I know) and then I hit up Costco for my favourite cheese and a few other things.

We had an afternoon visit with a great friend of mine, Kelly…..the one who’s wedding I was in last year (Operation Get Fit for you newbies). Since Lilly attended her wedding last year, she calls Kelly a Princess….since she was all dressed up in her wedding dress. Lilly just loves Princess Kelly.

We had planned on  staying all weekend but I decided to pack up and hit the road after dinner. We are getting another storm today…. 😦  The good news is that it’s not snow but just freezing rain, rain and more rain AND that the snow from last Wednesday’s storm has almost melted away!

Do you run with a running group?

Ever run with someone and play the “who do you know game”?

Best weekend moment?