Getting busy – Family style

As the days grow longer and the evenings become lighter, it is a good time to seek out activities that expose you to the maximum amount of fresh air while allowing you to burn a few calories at the same time.  And if those activities can involve the entire family, so much the better.  In and around Aberdeen, there are plenty to choose from.

To really shake off the winter cobwebs, you may want to sign up for a local Parkrun. If you have never participated, Parkrun hosts 5k runs every Saturday morning in a number of parks throughout the country. Entry is free and all abilities are welcome – you just register once online, then bring your assigned barcode any time you want to participate. Parkruns are for everyone aged 14 and above, with the younger runners being catered for on Sundays through the Junior Parkrun 2k events. Saturday runs currently take place in Hazlehead Park, Inverurie, Ellon, Crathes Castle, and along the beach esplanade. Junior Parkruns are held each Sunday at Duthie park.

Sometimes exercise comes as a happy by-product of an otherwise very entertaining pursuit, and orienteering falls firmly in that category. Whether you choose to run, walk or saunter along with the kids and canines in tow, orienteering challenges your brain as much as your body, meaning both get a good workout. There are regular orienteering events that take place throughout Aberdeen, and some orienteering courses that are permanently set up and available. The best way to find suitable events is through the Scottish Orienteering website.

If you prefer to ride rather than run, horseback riding is a great way to explore the Scottish countryside from an amazing vantage point astride one of life’s most magnificent creatures. There are equestrian centres dotted about the city and shire, with most offering some combination of escorted walks, guided treks, and lessons for all ages. Some even offer group carriage rides, which are a fantastic way to involve even the very young ones in the fun.

If you really put your mind to it, you can find nearly limitless opportunities to have fun as a family – explore some dunes, bike along an old railway line, walk up a local hill, try some water sports – the main thing is to get out there. As parents, it is important to remember that children learn from the examples we set through our own actions, so taking the time to engage in healthy outdoor activities as a family could build beneficial habits that stay with them a lifetime.

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