Hopefully summertime means outdoor play time for your family, but in case you are finding it hard to motivate your crew, here are some helpful tips for getting the whole family, outside, moving and most importantly, having fun together!
Ditch the car keys, and walk or bike to the market, drugstore, doctor or any other destination on your daily to-do list. You’ll burn calories, and you’ll remind your kids that even if they’re not yet licensed drivers, they can still get out and about and enjoy some independence.
Pack a light lunch, and head for the nearest park or playground. Whether you’re pushing your little ones on the swings or spiking a volleyball to your teenager, you and your kids will love getting out of the house and burning some energy together in the fresh air. Having some snacks on hand means you can re-energize without having to go home and a little rest and fuel might just gear you up for another hour of action.
Ask your kids to teach you how to play their favorite sports. Whether they love soccer, basketball or softball, they’ll jump at the chance to teach you something for a change. Hone your skills all summer long, and you may just find yourself joining an adult team once the kids head back to school in the fall. If your kids aren’t into traditional sports, see what else they can teach you. Ballet, gymnastics and cheerleading are just as challenging as football and baseball; as long as you’re moving your body, you’re exercising.
Challenge your kids to a race the next time they complain about being bored; young or old, no kid can resist the chance to show up their parents. Running, biking, swimming or any other activity is great as long as it gets you moving.
Make time for yourself at least once a week. Regardless of age, all kids can benefit from some quiet time, so tuck your preschooler in for a nap and send your teenager to her room to read while you hit the treadmill, stretch out on your yoga mat or follow an aerobics DVD in front of the TV.
Tips and Warnings
- Remember that when you exercise, you’re acting as an active and healthy role model for your kids.
- Don’t be a complete slave to your child’s summer schedule; your health is a priority so don’t be afraid to tell your kids “no” every once in a while so you can exercise and take some time for yourself.