Kick, Shuffle, or Otherwise Step it Out!

It can be hard to enjoy time with loved ones as their capacity for activities changes. However, one thing that sustains through the early and moderate stages of the disease is walking.

Take advantage of green spaces that are in abundance throughout most of the United States currently, grab your loved one (and perhaps a snack), and get your walk on.

Here are some ideas for finding fun spaces to explore walking with loved ones.

Local parks and trails

For those who are in more urban areas, green spaces are fairly well mapped out, publicized, and easy to find.

I'm in the Philadelphia area, so spots like Kelly Drive, Fairmount Park, Delaware River trails all present an opportunity for walking around!

To find these, head to your city's visitor's bureau, which will often tout these things, or your city's parks and recreation department website.

Conservation areas

In the more suburban areas, parks, parklets, walking trails can be a bit harder to find. If you don't happen to magically stumble across a lush green area or revived trail space, have no fear - I'll help you to find them.

Old school way would be to call your borough, city, or county offices to find out about green spaces in your area. If your town is big enough to have a parks department, its website or personnel would be the source to go to.

Google "conservation areas near me" is another suggestion and option. A lot of the green space that exists today is preserved, either by ecological trusts or local and state governments.

As an example, I recently visited the Pennypack Ecological Trust, which boasts — and lives up to said boasting — a preservation area lush with nature and trails.

Repurposed space is another really great thing to look to either in the city or in suburbia. One of my favorite — and flat — trails to walk used to be a trolley line extended from Philadelphia into the suburbs.

It's now maintained by the state park association and the sites for both the old, abandoned railway and beautiful creek and marshlands are truly awesome to behold on walks.

State and National Parks
Perhaps the easiest way to find some green space to walk around is to look for state and national parks in your area.

Although subject to the whims of state and national government - ever try to go to the bathroom at a state park during a government shutdown? They are usually excellent sources of open space with trails, benches, even a swing or two to take advantage of.

Bonus is that these areas usually have bathrooms, which can be convenient for longer treks and urgent needs.

Lace-up your sneaks

OK, so all that's left is to lace up those sneakers and get started.

Some important things to remember: Use the bathroom ahead of time and monitor that situation based on your loved one's needs. Pack a water bottle – and another shoutout for snacks! I'm all about the snacks.

How do you and your loved one maintain physical activity? Let us know in the comment below or hare your ideas in the forums.

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