Living on the Palouse provides an incredible opportunity for families to adopt and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. The Palouse offers many outdoor activities, community resources, and a supportive environment for families to thrive. Here are eight practical tips and ideas for families to stay healthy and active on the Palouse, fostering stronger bonds and overall well-being.
- Embrace Outdoor Adventures: Enjoy the stunning landscapes, rolling hills, and abundant green spaces on the Palouse. Take advantage of the natural playground by hiking, biking, and exploring the numerous trails in the area.
"Sharing outdoor adventures as a family is not only a good way to give our bodies exercise but also strengthens our connections to each other. Through exploring and shared experiences in nature, we create lasting memories, enhance our resilience against anxiety or depression, and improve our immune systems. Get out there and replace the simulation with something real." - Dr. Benjamin Adkins, Pullman Family Medicine
Our recommendations: Kamiak Butte, Steptoe Butte, Spring Valley Reservoir, Phillips Farm, and the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail.
- Make Use of Community Resources: Pullman and the surrounding area offer excellent community resources for families to engage in physical activities. “Summer is here and it’s the most beautiful time on the palouse to get outside and be active! We are so lucky to be surrounded by so many beautiful parks, trails, pools, and fun areas to explore! Go on a new adventure and have a fun, active, and safe summer!” - Dr. Maricarmen Shields, Palouse Pediatrics
Our recommendations: Sign up for family-friendly programs at a local community center or Parks & Recreation, Palouse Discovery Science Center, swimming lessons, group fitness classes, and sports activities there are numerous options for all ages.
- Explore Parks: The Palouse is home to several well-maintained parks, perfect for family outings and picnics. Enjoy green spaces, playgrounds, or even have a family barbeque. Enjoy friendly games of soccer or frisbee, fly kites, or simply take a leisurely walk. Engaging in these activities not only promotes physical fitness but also creates fun memories.
"Exploring parks as a family can be more than just a recreational activity as it helps our overall well-being. Engaging with green spaces has been shown to help reduce stress, improve mood, and boost overall mental health." - Dr. Katie Hryniewicz, Palouse Pediatrics
Our recommendations: Visit Sunnyside Park, Reaney Park, and Lawson Gardens in Pullman. In Moscow, head over to East City Park, Mountain View Park, Moscow Arboretum, and Ghormley Park.
- Enjoy Local Events: There are many local events and festivals in our communities. Many of these events have family-friendly components, such as fun runs, outdoor games, and sports tournaments. Participating in these activities as a family not only promotes physical fitness but is an opportunity to connect with the local community and celebrate the culture of the Palouse. "Participating in local events provides entertainment and is a great way to be active in our community. Engaging in local events connects us with our neighbors, celebrates our values, and strengthens our sense of belonging." - Dr. Jonathan Lee, Palouse Pediatrics
Our recommendations: Rendezvous at the Park, National Lentil Festival, Moscow and Pullman Farmers Markets, and Palouse Days.
- Support Gardening and Yard Work: We are in an ideal region for gardening. Start a small vegetable or herb garden to promote healthy eating. Gardening is an excellent way to instill a sense of responsibility, patience, and appreciation for nature in children. Moreover, the fruits (or rather, vegetables!) of your labor can be incorporated into healthy family meals, promoting good nutrition. If gardening isn’t an option, take time to work in your yard and be outside.
"Working in the yard provides so many benefits to our health. It allows us to be outdoors and in the sun, and has even been shown to reduce stress levels." - Dr. Laura Baker, Pullman Family Medicine
- Practice Active Commuting: It’s not always easy with the rolling hills of Pullman, but when feasible, choose active modes of transportation for daily activities. Biking or walking to school, parks, and nearby shops is a great way to get exercise. Active commuting not only benefits physical health but also reduces carbon footprint and instills environmental consciousness in children.
"Active commuting is not just a means of transportation, but helps improve health and well-being. Choosing to walk or bike to work or school provides the opportunity to engage in physical activity, strengthen our bodies, and protect our planet." - Dr. Kim Guida, Pullman Family Medicine
- Live a Balanced Lifestyle: It’s important to live a balanced lifestyle; work-life balance and school-life balance are essential to living healthily. Adopt healthy eating habits, prioritize good sleep, and minimize screen time to improve physical, mental and emotional health. Make family meals a regular occurrence, involving everyone in meal planning and preparation. Trying out new, nutritious recipes can be another fun way to practice good health.
"It can be tough to live a balanced lifestyle. There are many things pulling our attention different ways and some things seem more important than others, but maybe aren’t. Reevaluating the things in life that are most important can help nourish our minds and bodies, which in turn increase our overall health” - Teresa Cargill, PA-C, Pullman Family Medicine/Palouse Health Center
- Schedule Doctor Appointments: Seeing the doctor on a regular basis is of utmost importance for maintaining good overall health and well-being. Check-ups allow for early detection and prevention of potential health issues. Providers at Pullman Family Medicine, Palouse Health Center, and Palouse Pediatrics can assess vital signs, conduct necessary screenings, and monitor your health over time. Regular visits to the doctor also allow for discussions about lifestyle choices, like diet, exercise, and stress management, providing guidance and support for making positive changes. By prioritizing regular check-ups, you take a proactive approach to your health, staying on top of any potential issues and maintaining a healthy and balanced life.
Embracing a healthy lifestyle on the Palouse not only enhances the physical well-being of individuals and families but also creates an appreciation for what the region and community has to offer. By engaging in outdoor activities and making health-conscious choices about nutrition and exercise, families can experience the many benefits of living healthily and happily on the Palouse.
Dr. Laura Baker at Pullman Family Medicine, and Jen Davis, PA-C and Teresa Cargill, PA-C at Pullman Family Medicine and Palouse Health Center are all accepting new patients. Palouse Pediatrics has same-day appointments for established patients and are scheduling new patient appointments for all doctors at both offices in Pullman, WA and Moscow, ID.
Family Medicine Residency Center: (509) 336-7720
Pullman Family Medicine: (509) 332-3548
Palouse Health Center: (509) 878-1890
Palouse Pediatrics Pullman: (509) 332-2605
Palouse Pediatrics Moscow: (208) 882-2247