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This month, we want to show love to a free and fast way to spend time with the family while improving your mental and physical health. Walking.

According to Mayo Clinic, regular, brisk walking helps you:

- Maintain a healthy weight
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mood
- Improve your balance and coordination

The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.

This time of year ushers in a potential hot a mess of holiday stress, sugar and obligations. We want to challenge each of you to schedule 15 minutes a day to walk down the street with your kids, partner and even the dog. Bonus points for keeping your phone in your pocket. Talk to each other, look at holiday decorations and breathe the fresh air.

Need to get away from everything and everyone? Take a solo walk in one of these Family Favorite parks to clear your head! Be sure to blast your favorite playlist in your headphones or enjoy the sounds of natural all around you.

- Canal Path / Rappahannock River Heritage Trail
- Virginia Central Railway Trail
- Downtown Fredericksburg
- Government Island in Stafford County

Want to share your favorite places to walk or even your playlist with other Fred Parents? Post it on Instagram Stories and tag us (@FredParentMagazine). We’d love to see it and share it, too.

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Healing PTSD can be a challenge for veterans of Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam. In Fredericksburg, Lance Sharp, Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator for Team River Runner, has launched a local chapter of Team River Runner to make water sports on Fredericksburg’s beautiful Rappahannock River and nearby lakes available to anyone with a visible or invisible injury.

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