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Get Your Family Active This Summer!

From Pat Stovey, Crossing Rivers Health Clinical Exercise Physiologist

The best kind of summer fun for a healthy family involves a balanced combination of outdoor fun and exercise. Adding exercise to your outdoor fun can be simple.

Here are some suggestions for fun summer activities:

Spend a few days at a State/National Forest or Grassland. Whether you choose to rough it in a tent or retreat to a hotel at the end of the day, a state/national park offers endless possibilities for summer fun!

You can go for a hike, climb some rocks, float on a river, mountain bike, build a sand castle or try horseback riding.

There are a number of state parks located within 100 miles of the Prairie du Chien area including:


Take an educational walking tour of a city or museum. This is a great example of a summer activity that incorporates education for kids. To get the kids involved, try to connect the activity to something they have studied in school. Having a point of reference helps them remember the places they visit and the history behind those places.

Prairie du Chien offers tours of the Villa Louis and Fort Crawford Medical Museum daily throughout the summer months. Not from the Prairie du Chien area? Try to connect your kids to the history in your town.


Forage for food. To incorporate exercise and healthy foods, take your family on a fruit or vegetable-picking hike as a summer activity or part of an active vacation. If you don’t have land or a farm that you can pick on, check out a local farmers market.

Once you carry your harvest home try using it in a recipe that you can make as a family. Picking strawberries or apples? Try making whole wheat strawberry banana bread or apple-stuffed chicken. Check out these great healthy recipes from Shelby Moose, our Registered Dietitian at Crossing Rivers Health.


Take a relaxing vacation. If it’s fun in the sun your family craves, you can create the perfect balance between relaxation and summer activity. Vacation rental properties often provide bikes, kayaks, canoes and other equipment to keep your family active.


Seek adventure locally. Look for fun summer activities to do with your kids around the local area. Prairie du Chien and the surrounding areas have numerous opportunities for summer activity. Contact the Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Department to learn more about equipment rental available at the new Outdoor Recreation Center at Washington Street Park and a variety of fun, family-friendly local activities. St. Feriole Island offers the Mississippi River Sculpture Park, frisbee golf and St. Feriole Island Memorial Gardens.

The Driftless Area Wetlands Centre in Marquette has summer programs throughout the summer months offering educational activities for you and your family to enjoy.

Take advantage of what our area has to offer. Make your family healthy and bring your family closer together through exercise!


Pat Stovey is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist in the Cardiac Rehab department at Crossing Rivers Health.

Phase II cardiac rehab or outpatient cardiac rehabilitation is a physician-referred, professionally monitored exercise program that focuses on managing and modifying risk factors for heart disease in individuals who had a heart attack, angioplasty or stents, bypass surgery, stable angina, heart valve repair/replacement, heart/lung transplant and congestive heart failure.

The Cardiac Rehab department also offers a Healthy Hearts program to community members seeking supervised exercise. Healthy Hearts is a maintenance exercise program that includes professionally guided and supervised exercise sessions with various levels of monitoring. This program is for any patient referred by a physician or as a transition to non-telemetry monitored exercise after phase II cardiac rehab.