Exercise should be an important part of everyday life. With summer approaching, longer and warmer days are ahead, creating perfect opportunities for you to enjoy the weather with your family through fun outdoor exercises and activities.
It is recommended that adults participate in at least two and a half hours of exercise per week, while children should aim for one hour of physical activity per day. If you're new to exercise, talk with your doctor first to help create a plan that will get your new routine off to a safe start.
While it can be difficult to find a time that works for all family members, consider creating an exercise schedule that everyone will agree to, like taking family walks to the park every Tuesday and Thursday evening or a family bike ride every Saturday morning. Take turns picking the activity so everyone has an opportunity to do an activity they are interested in, such as a trip to the local swimming pool or a game of family kickball in the park. The more fun you have with your family, the more likely you are to stick to your exercise plan.
Consider some of the following activities when creating exercise goals for your family:
• Have your extended family over and create your own family Olympics, with games such as flag football, soccer, three-legged races and any activity that will get you moving.
• Remember that exercise can be fun. Playing games from your childhood with your kids, such as hula hooping, hopscotch, flying kites and foursquare are great ways to spend time together while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
• Play a weekly game of outdoor hide and seek. Try to get your neighbors involved and create a fun neighborhood activity using everyone's backyards.
• Take day trips to local hiking trails or find a good beach and spend the day swimming.
• Join local runs around your city to participate in as a family, such as 5K run/walks. Many races are directed towards children, so it is a goal the whole family can work towards together and help encourage one another.
The important thing is to take advantage of these warm days and spend time with your family outdoors. Keep in mind how hot the summer can get, so be sure to always stay hydrated and wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Any activity will work, so long as you are moving and having fun.
Many factors can affect the health of your family. Click here for simple tips from Gregory Sweat, MD on how to keep your family well.