Here are some tips I would use to get families outside and active during the summer.
- Turn off the tube- limit your family to 2 hours of TV a day and during those 2 hours make certain fitness contests like how many jumping jacks, sit-ups, or pushups can you get before the commercials are over.
- Make exercise a family affair- whatever you do, do not be hypocritical and only make your kids exercise outside! Join them and make it a family habit. You can do this with activities such as tug of war, rope or tree climbing, playing on playground equipment; Family walks/bike rides etc…
- Create structure- Create a set time each day that you can go do family activities. Make it mandatory that the whole family participate at least 3 times a week so that there is not too much structure in the summer; it is supposed to be summer after all.
- Get friends involved- getting other families involved is a great way to make the activities go much smoother. It will add a competitive edge and will also allow the children to socialize outdoors with other people and not just your family. It will be easier to get them to participate because it will make it fun!
By Kris Dixon, CPT
The fact that we need to find ways to encourage our families to stay active in the summer months reveals a huge issue. When I was a child I was forbidden to be in the house if the sun was shining or even just as long as it was not raining.
I almost think that these days someone in the home must take on the role of a trainer and leader. In my house movies, video games and such are off limits as long as the sun is up. We plan to be outside and active, whether that is going to the park, taking the puppies for a walk, or having a picnic. The more we plan and lead the way, the more our families are likely to follow suit.
As far as specific activities, one of the best things we can do all times of the year is swim. It is a total body exercise that yields the most benefit with the shortest amount of time. Most families find water time fun, so find a pool, waterpark, or even a sprinkler or slip slide and get outside and get wet while having fun.
By Will Willing, CPT