Outdoor activities that will keep the whole family healthy this summer.
Children today live a very different lifestyle than those that came before them. Instead of playing neighborhood tag on the weekends or walking to their friends house, kids are now spending more time inside on their laptops and catching rides to their favorite hangouts. Recent studies have shown that child obesity rates in America have tripled over the last three decades, and today, nearly one in three US children are overweight or obese.
With nationwide cuts in gym classes and after-school sports, it’s important that kids are still learning about the importance of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle at home. This summer, why not make fitness a family affair? Here are four of our favorite summer activities that will not only encourage family bonding, but will also keep your family healthy and happy this season:
Fitness For a Cause
In addition to walking to improve your own families well-being, why not also walk to help to improve someone else’s? There are many walking, running and biking events in the summer that help different charities and foundations. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure is a multi-city walk that raises money for breast cancer research. Another large summer charity walk is Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Walk and Run for Wishes.
Not only will participating in these events help raise money for great causes, but they usually take some time to prepare for, giving your family a great excuse to start exercising far in advance.
The easiest and cheapest way to keep your family active this summer is by playing sports in your own backyard. A simple game of tag or Frisbee is enough to get your adrenaline up and your heart pumping. Traditional sports game such as flag football, soccer and baseball can also stir up some friendly competition. Invite some of the other families in the neighborhood over if you really want to get a good game going.
Explore The Outdoors
Camping is a great way to spend some quality time with your family and get a scenic workout. Getting the entire family to pitch in when setting up the tent or collecting wood for a campfire is one easy way to get active.
During the day, there are plenty of fun activities you can try: If you’re near water, why not go canoeing, kayaking or rafting to cool off in the summer heat. If you’re near the mountains, take your family for a hike. Let your kids pick out the trails that they think are the most exciting and set off for a fun day spent soaking up the outdoors.
Whether it’s in a pool, a lake, or an ocean, swimming is a summer favorite and also provides a great workout. Pools are the perfect place to play fun games such as Marco Polo or water volleyball.
If you’re lucky enough to live near a lake or ocean, simply swimming in the waves and running through the water is exercise in itself. However, no matter where you decide to swim, make sure that there is a lifeguard on duty and young children have proper flotation devices.
While family fitness can often take some encouragement and commitment, it’s a great way to get healthy and spend some quality time together this summer season.