There was a time not long ago when children and their families spent a great deal of their daily lives outside. Imagine what life was like before the age of automobiles, electricity and running water. There was no internet, no computers or televisions, no cell phones, credit cards, refrigerators and washing machines. Most families produced their own food and everyone in the family contributed to working in the garden, taking care of animals, harvesting crops in the fall and taking care of buildings, fences and everything else you can imagine. Back in those days few people had health problems related to not getting enough exercise. Times have changed big time.
Getting outside and into the fresh air in the great outdoors has tremendous benefits for all. It helps everyone in the family get exercise, get vitamin D, have less anxiety, have fun socially, feel better about themselves, sleep better, improve their focus and have better immunity.
To get better connected with the natural world make sure you are prepared and well informed. Always dress appropriately, carry food and water, wear a hat and above all go in a group of at least two. If you want to be alone make sure that someone knows where you are going and when you will return.
Your experience visiting natural areas will be enhanced greatly if you learn something about what you are seeing beforehand. Places you can visit in El Paso where native plants are identified include the El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition native plant walkway at Cleveland Square in downtown El Paso, the Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at UTEP, the El Paso Museum of Archaeology, Keystone Heritage Park and Botanical Gardens and in Fort Davis the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center.
Great natural places to find short and long walks
Franklin Mountains State Park at Tom Mays
Franklin Mountains State Park at McKelligon Canyon
Westside Community Park
Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site
Rio Bosque Wetlands Park
Southern New Mexico
Dripping Springs at Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument
Aguirre Springs at Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument
White Sands National Park
Lincoln National Forest
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Davis Mountains Preserve
Davis Mountains State Park
Fort Davis National Historic Site
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Ranch State Park
To learn more about any of the natural areas listed above simple go online and search for their websites.