Tipi Miller

Tipi Miller

Anyone else feel like we’ve already had summer break, and it should be time to get back to school?

How many times have you heard the dreaded “I’m bored”? My kids have learned that I can spout off a list of laundry that needs to be folded, dishes that need to be put away and carpets that can always be vacuumed. The kids quickly rethink their “bored” status!

I imagine that many children fill up their time by watching television or playing video games when they get bored. Many of you have witnessed a trend of a decreasing active lifestyle throughout the years.

Not so long ago, children would come home from school and continue playing outside until dinnertime. Neighborhood pals were constant entertainment. My dad says his clue to go inside was when the streetlights came on.

But we can’t blame inactivity only on children. For adults, we no longer have to walk in a gas station as all stores are “pay at the pump.” Instead of walking to a co-worker’s office to discussing something, I can simply (and quickly) email that person.

In effort to create a more convenient world, we have become more sedentary and sometimes the result is increase health issues.

I love to hear about creative ways local and national groups have encouraged people to become more active. In Opelika, Big House created a Hustle May 2020 Challenge. Each participant chose the number of miles they challenged themselves to walk, run or swim over a month span.

Through lots of coordination, Micah Melnick and Samantha Copeland had 558 people participate in the fun competition. Not only did this encourage people to get moving, it was a fundraiser for Big House. The next scheduled Hustle for Big House is November.

Nationally, the USDA Forest Service and American Recreation Coalition (ARC) created the National Get Outdoors Day. Getting people to participate in boating, camping, fishing, biking or kayaking can translate into healthy, active adults.

The USDA, ARC and other groups encourage participants of National Get Outdoors Day to take advantage of public lands. In Alabama, we have 22 state parks, seven national parks and four national forests. Of course, Chewacla State Park, the Tuskegee Airman National Historic Site and Tuskegee National Forest are all within a short driving distance from our area.

You will find hiking and walking trails, camp grounds, fishing areas, historical landmarks and museums to explore when you take advantage of these local public lands. Some parks have no admission fee; others range from $1 to $4 per person.

You don’t have to explore a park or forest (although you will find lots of fun things to do). Maybe explore your backyard.

Set up an obstacle course, go on a bike ride or even have a backyard campout. Remember those fun things you did as a kid? Make sure you are passing them to your children.

Tipi Colley Miller is the director of Keep Opelika Beautiful Inc. and writes a weekly column. Contact her at tipi@keepopelikabeautiful.com.

Tipi Colley Miller is the director of Keep Opelika Beautiful Inc. and writes a weekly column. Contact her at tipi@keepopelikabeautiful.com.

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