November 2021 … Being outdoors has many physical and emotional health benefits, according to health experts. When you are outdoors, they say, you are more likely to exercise which is healthy for your body. Being outdoors also improves your mood, helps you focus better, and reduces stress.
Kids need 60 minutes of exercise a day, according to the American Heart Association, which educates people about healthy living. Running, riding a bike, and swimming are all heart-healthy activities.
The Healthy Owl staff recently interviewed Waffiyyah Murray. She is the program manager at the Better Bike Share program in Philadelphia, and the reporters had the chance to ask her some questions about her work and why being outdoors is good for you.
Q: Can you tell us about what your job is with the bike share program?
A: I work for the city of Philadelphia. I make sure there are bikes available to rent and use so people can use them bike to work, school, or just for fun out in nature. I’ve worked for the Bike Share program for 4 ½ years.
Q: Right now, bike share bikes are only available for children over the age of 14. How can younger students get involved?
A: You can still bike on your own—you need to learn how to ride safely so that when you turn 14 you’ll be ready to use the bike share safely and effectively. If you don’t have a bike, there are many bike shops around the city that will rent bikes to kids.
Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?
A: I love being able to provide my city with something that is helpful, fun, and healthy all at once. People use the bikes to go back and forth to jobs and appointments, which is helpful, but bike riding is also fun and healthy. I love hearing how people use and enjoy the bike program.
Q: What do you like to do outdoors to relax? What are your favorite outdoor activities?
A: I like walking and biking. I like to be at the park so I can go lie in the sun and feel the fresh air. I like to have picnics and meet up with friends and family. My 1-year-old daughter likes the playgrounds, so we enjoy those activities together.
Q: Why do you think it’s important to spend time outdoors?
A: It’s great to get fresh air and explore your neighborhood. It is really nice to be outdoors so you can see all the beautiful things, like trees in the fall! Being outdoors is a great way to connect to your city and community.
Q: What tips do you have for someone who wants to learn how to ride a bike?
A: FIRST you need to have a helmet because you must be safe and protect your brain. You should learn with an adult so that you can learn how to ride safely and effectively. You also need a bike in good condition. You need air in your tires, working breaks, and a safe chain. We use ABC to teach this (Air, Breaks, Chain).