Get Healthy Outdoors with the Family

Warmer weather means outdoor fun. Parents instill in their children a love and desire for outdoor activity and create positive memories and experiences by making family outings a priority. Take time planning activities that accommodate your family’s schedules, but also be prepared for the impromptu opportunity to enjoy a few moments tossing a ball or taking a walk.
Doing healthy family activities can improve the overall health of individual family members and help keep the family together. Children learn what they live. If children see their parents taking time to be with them, engaging in healthy activities and having a good time doing it, they are more likely to engage in similar activities themselves as they grow older. They in turn pass this on to their own children, and healthy group activity becomes a family tradition.
Children today do not get enough exercise. This has led to the rise in obesity and other diseases. Parents can change this pattern by encouraging family members to get together and ride bikes, walk in the park, go on hikes or spend the day swimming. Seeing parents and other family members enjoying healthy outdoor activities can motivate children to participate.
Adopt some new family fitness habits. Announce that you would like to spend a half hour daily (after dinner) having fun outside. Let the kids make a list of things they would like to do.
Some outdoor exercise ideas to get you started might include:
• Anytime Exercise
• Walking/jogging
• Bike riding/skating
• Backyard sports – softball/kickball/soccer/basketball/volleyball
Maybe you have let your children grow a garden before, but this time let them have the opportunity to learn even more. Make sure they plant things that they enjoy eating so that they can take part in the experience from beginning to end.
There is a whole world outdoors that your children can experience and learn about. Choose outdoor toys that are not only fun, but educational too. Find out what kinds of activities are offered in your community during the summer and sign up for something different from what you may have ever tried before. Encourage your children to learn new things and about their communities in the process!

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