Family health

Staying healthy with community activities

Deanna and her family decide to take advantage of community activities in their quest to become healthier.

By Deanna Miller
Staying healthy with community activities Above: Addison with fruit and veggies from the market. Below: Sara and her friend Kenzie on their way to MEC Highlander Race.

Now that our family has completed the four official weeks of meal plans and activities for the Healthy Family Challenge, we’re in “maintenance” mode. As I mentioned in my last post, we’ve been given an amazing kick-start to making some healthy lifestyle changes and the task going forward is to figure out how we take what we’ve learned and just make it part of who we are.
This week, I decided to look at the Challenge from a different angle and asked myself how our family is taking advantage of our local community in our quest to be healthier.
As with most cities, Halifax has some great farmers markets that are within a 15-minute drive from home. On Saturday morning, we packed everyone into the car and went to the market in Dartmouth to get our fruit, vegetables and meat for the week. It was bustling with people, there was music playing and the kids had a blast checking out jewelry made with forks and being allowed to try some hand-carved stamps made by a local artisan. Although we’ve been a few times in the past, Sheldon and I both left thinking that we need to make the market a weekly tradition. Not only were we supporting local farmers but we were also able to get a lot of organic and spray-free foods that we can’t get in the local grocery store. We came home with things like apples, spinach, cucumbers and, of course, the girls found some four dollar silk fans that have been in constant rotation during pretend play this week.
When it comes to activity, Halifax seems to have a lot going on that we can take advantage of if we want to. This week happened to be the MEC Highlander Race on Citadel Hill. For those of you who have never been here, one of the main attractions in downtown Halifax is Fort George — a star shaped fort built in 1856 to defend the port of Halifax. It sits on top of Citadel Hill and is a Parks Canada Historic Site that still fires a canon (and scares me at my desk) every single day at noon.

Staying healthy with community activities  

So this weekend we took part in the MEC Highlander Race for kids — a 1km race through the ditch (moat) of the fort where the kids are given kilts to wear, real racing bibs (even though it’s not timed) and get to experience what it’s like to run in a race with about 200 other kids. It was really cold (and really sunny) and a great way to get out and start the day.
So what did I learn this week? When it comes to being an active healthy family, our community can be a huge help. The opportunities to try something new are everywhere — we just have to watch for them.

This article was originally published on Apr 09, 2013

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