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Instilling good habits that will last a lifetime in Palmer, Alaska

Rachael Richardson is a busy wife and mother, but still makes time to stay active with her husband, Brandon, and two children, 14-year-old daughter Rayna and 8-year-old son Kyler.

“Physical activity wasn’t a big part of my life growing up,” said Rachael who was born in Palmer, but lived in several other states before settling back in Alaska. ”We did a few things, and I played sports in high school, but not much as a young kid.”
Now a mother of two, Rachael says her grandmother inspired her to stay active when she was a child. “My grandmother was very active. She was always outside and enjoying life,” she explained.

“If we instill good play habits now, they will stay with the kids all their lives, and hopefully pass on with their families, too.”
Rachael Richardson

So Rachael’s family doesn’t let the weather keep them from getting outside and spending quality time together. “We include such activities as going to the fair, boating, recreational and school sports — such as wrestling and volleyball — snowboarding, and playing in the park as just a few of the things my family and I like to do together,” Rachael said. “We like to play outside in the snow, so that is just fun, but whether it’s warm or cold outside, we all manage to stay active and spend quality family time together.”

And like many parents of technologically savvy children, Rachael believes it’s important to balance sedentary time in front of a computer or video game with physical activity in order to stay healthy.

“With all the electronics kids have access to these days, it is important to teach them to be physically active as part of their lives,” said Rachael. “If we instill good play habits now, they will stay with the kids all their lives, and hopefully pass on with their families.”

Kyler is an aspiring wrestler.


Rayna shows off her volleyball team’s trophy for taking first place in the district.