Fun in the Sun Part 1 GHP’s Guide to a Fun and Healthy Summer!

July 9, 2019

The warm summer months offer many opportunities to take your journey to better health to the great outdoors. From swimming and kayaking to hiking and biking, the outdoors offers many recreational activities to help you stay active, right in your community!

At the Genesee Health Plan, your health is our top priority, and we want to make sure you have fun, too! To help you have a healthy and fun summer, we are excited to announce our two-part “Fun in the Sun” series that will include health and safety tips so you can get the most out of your summer. We will also include a list fun places in the county and summer activities for you, your family and friends.

For Part 1 of this series, we interviewed Genesee County Parks for tips on enjoying the great outdoors and how it can have a positive impact on your health. Read on to learn about the benefits of going outside and ideas for healthy and fun outdoor activities.

Unplug from the digital world.

That’s right! To make the most of your time outside, put your phone or tablet on silent or airplane mode, shut it off or leave it at home.  Sometimes better health comes from disconnecting yourself from the digital world to enjoy nature while experiencing new outdoor activities with your family and friends, and creating lasting memories, too! Remember, you can still take photos with your phone while it’s on airplane mode.

Spending time outside improves overall health.

Living a healthier and happier life starts with spending time in nature. In Genesee County, we are truly blessed to have many opportunities to get outside. Did you know Genesee County is home to the largest county parks system in Michigan with 25 parks and more than 15 fishing sites? Visiting parks is a great way for adults, seniors and families to get outside and participate in outdoor activities that promote better health and fun for any age!

“It is proven that just going for a 20-minute walk in nature can improve immune function, mood and memory, nurtures creativity and improves sleep,” said Hollie Marlett, marketing assistant for Genesee County Parks.

Try a new physical activity.

According to the American Heart Association, adults should get at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) per week of vigorous aerobic activity per week.  Kids age 6-17 should get at least 60 minutes (1 hour) per day of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity, mostly aerobic.

Outdoor physical activity is a low-cost and accessible way to exercise, whether it’s taking a walk around your neighborhood or visiting a local park. If you’re looking for a new way to exercise, Genesee County Parks offers a variety of recreational activities such as hiking, biking, walking, swimming and paddling. 

There’s always something new to explore.  

“Genesee County boasts over 11,000 acres of land and miles and miles of trails systems,” said Marlett. “We offer programming throughout the summer that provides educational opportunities while promoting health and wellness.”

In addition to miles of trails systems, Genesee County offers unique parks activities including the For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum, an Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) area, an 1800s historical village and urban green spaces. For a full Genesee County Parks directory, visit

Genesee County Parks also offers a variety of events throughout the summer such as:

  • Animal Pose Yoga: A low impact yoga class designed after the movements and shapes of animals for all ages and abilities! It’s FREE!
  • Pop Up Golf: Provides a learning experience for all ages and abilities on the fundamentals of golf, without even going to a golf course! It’s FREE!
  • Full Moon Float: Enjoy a twilight-esque kayak paddle trip down the Flint River complete with glow sticks! Activity is suitable for all experience levels and ages 10 and up. Kids under age 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Cost: $10 if you have your own kayak and $15 to rent a kayak.

Genesee County Parks also provides educational events for children and community members. For a full calendar of summer events, visit

Cool off at one of Genesee County’s beaches

Genesee County is home to three beautiful beaches that are great family spots, according to Genesee County Parks.

  • Bluebell Beach on Mott Lake offers a large beach, ADA accessible playgrounds and a Splash Pad that is great for kids.
  • Clover Beach at Linden County Park is a family friendly getaway nestled in a beautiful setting.
  • Buttercup Beach on Holloway Reservoir offers that great “up-north” feeling without the drive.

If you’re heading to the beach, remember to pack the essentials such as sunscreen, sunglasses, a towel, first aid kit, hand sanitizer and water. Remember to only swim in designated areas and never swim alone.

Our team at the Genesee Health Plan hopes you can take advantage of the summer weather and try a new physical activity or enjoy one of the county’s parks. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our series where we’ll cover tips to help protect your health this summer.

As always, if you need access to health care coverage or resources, visit our website or give us a call at (844) 232-7740 for more information.  

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