Family Health Ideas in Asheville

So what are you doing this summer with your kids??

Springtime seems to be flying by with the end of the school year in sight, so I figured it was a good time to share some fun, healthy outdoor activity ideas with our OFD patients who may be thinking of ways to get their kids outside this summer. With all of the technology that seems to be occupying our lives these days, allowing ourselves to just “unplug” for a day and get active with our children is a great way to enhance both our physical and emotional health.

If you are among those families who have your children in day-camps or otherwise occupied during the week while you are at work, then no doubt you cherish the weekends when you can all be together as a family. And for those who have much more time with your children, then all-the-better to take full advantage of what Western North Carolina has to offer.

While I could easily come up with a list of 20 different activities to keep your family happy and healthy this summer, consider this my “top five” list of easy and healthy activity ideas for the entire family.

  1. Taking a family hike to see waterfalls or rivers (bring your swim suits and water shoes)
      • a. Head West to Graveyard Fields of the Blue Ridge Parkway (the upper falls trail is a little longer then the lower falls trail, but far less traveled and fairly easy with a great waterfall payoff at the end).
      • b. Head Southwest to check out the series of waterfalls in the DuPont State Forest near Brevard. You can make it a full day by taking in sliding rock which is not too far off of highway 64 in the Pisgah National Forest.
      • c. Or you can head East to the Lookout Mountain trail at Montreat College for an outstanding view at the top. There is a great playground on campus near a shallow brook for wading, and the town of Black Mountain is nearby for lunch or ice cream.
  2. Playground hopping at either Carrier Park with bikes in tow for flat trails or Azalea Park with soccer balls or Frisbees on hand for extra family fun.
  3. Fruit and vegetable picking at one of the many local farms in the area. Check out the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project website for a full listing of local farms.
  4. Spending the day swimming at one of the many local swimming pools. If a full summer pool membership is cost prohibitive, then an affordable day pass may be just what the doctor ordered. To take full advantage of the day, make sure to bring a picnic lunch and remember to bring your pool toys and sunscreen.
  5. Biking at the Biltmore Estate and visiting the farm at Antler Village. This is a great outing but does require either a yearly pass or a day pass. Consider that just two visits to the Estate pays for the whole year pass – which may be a great investment for the family if you like biking as this is one of the few areas where you can find flat trails.

Naturally, I could go on and on about all that is available in our area. The main thing is for you to take your doctor’s advice and “Get Out There and Be Active!”

Happy Summertime !

Michael Weizman, MD