How to keep your family active
Summer is fleeting. Rather than spending the summer camped out on the couch watching Netflix, many families are exploring ways to get active and outdoors. This is especially true for summer 2020 when so many people have spent spring on lockdown.
If you’ve been trying to find creative ways to get the entire family up and moving, here are some practical ideas to help you take the first step.
Go for a Hike
This is a great year for a staycation. Take some time to research the various trails and paths around your home so that you and your family can go hiking.
You can use an app like Alltrails to help you find and research options in your area. Alltrails is a free app that allows users to leave feedback about the trails they hike while adding smart tags to indicate the skill level required, if the area is dog and kid-friendly, and what to expect when you get there.
Hiking is an affordable activity that requires very little equipment. Additionally, there are options for almost everyone, regardless of skill level or capability.
Head to the Beach
There’s nothing as fun and refreshing as a beach day. Grab some toys for the kids and outdoor pet toys and prepare to spend your day frolicking in the sand. Be sure to grab a few beach balls or frisbees so that you can get up and move throughout the day.
As beaches tend to be packed on the weekends, getting there as early as possible will help you secure the ideal spot. Remember to pack blankets, portable shade, and baby powder to help get the sand off you at the end of the day. Apply sunscreen before getting in the car so that you can all enjoy the water as soon as you arrive.
If you’re taking your family pet, be mindful of the signs of dry drowning. Don’t assume Fido can swim— take precautions with your dog as you would with your children.
Schedule a Daily Walk
During the height of the lockdown, when families weren’t allowed to leave their neighborhood or head to the local park, daily walks became a time-honored tradition. For many families, this experience was a bright spot in an otherwise dark and challenging time.
Keep the tradition alive by scheduling daily walks with the family. This is a great way to incorporate regular, low-impact exercise into the day while unplugging and sharing an experience. Getting a walk in after dinner and before bedtime is a great way to burn off any remaining energy from the day. Be sure to grab a no-choke leash from Pet Life so your furry family members can join in as well.
Invest in Yard-Friendly Activities
If you have a yard, it’s well worth investing in some outdoor games and activities to get your family moving. Some popular options to consider include:
- A badminton or volleyball net
- Mini golf
- Slip n’ slide
- Lawn darts
- Soccer nets
- Jump ropes
- Hula hoops
You can also stock up on various supplies to create an at-home obstacle course or ninja training set. Get creative and get outside.
Set Goals and Challenges
It’s one thing to have the proper equipment to get active at home, but what about motivation? What will keep your family moving when the couch is calling? The compelling force of friendly competition.
Sit down and set goals with your family. These goals could cover anything from being able to run a certain distance or building toward hiking a challenging trail. The key is to focus on goals that promote physical activity throughout the summer. Work with your children to set the goals, then make a plan for how to get there by breaking them down into actions. For example, if you determine that you want to run a 5k by the end of summer, you might commit to running three times per week.
Sweeten the pot by adding a reward for exercising every day or achieving your goals. Push each other to get more steps, run a little faster, and get a little better every day.
Earn Tech Time
Technology has always been a point of contention for families during the warmer months. In this digitally-driven society, technology is more mobile and accessible than ever.
Motivate your family to move more by making technology a reward rather than an expectation. This approach works for both kids and parents. Set a daily requirement to earn tech time, such as playing outside for an hour or doing a set workout.
It’s also worth setting daily tech limits for everyone with the option to take a break and earn more. Get creative and commit to following the guidelines along with your children. When in doubt, leave the tech at home.
Go on Scavenger Hunts
Scavenger hunts have evolved over the past few decades. You can print a free scavenger hunt list off the internet or use an app like Seek or Let’s Roam to explore the world around you. Geocaching is a modern twist on scavenger hunts that adds a sense of intrigue and mystery to keep you moving forward.
Scavenger hunts are a fantastic activity to combine with hiking, especially for little humans who find the walk tedious or tiresome. Build some hype by offering a reward for completing their scavenger hunt during a walk or hike. Remember to add a few items that are challenging to find!
To make it even more fun, have kids collect rocks, leaves, flowers, and even pond water that they can observe and study at home using a kids microscope. Learning and wow factor are 100% guaranteed with this activity.
Look for Equipment Rental Programs
Sometimes cost is a barrier to trying something new. Fortunately, there are a lot of community lending and equipment rental programs to help. Look at community options for renting sports equipment, kayaks, and other outdoor-oriented tools. Take advantage of these programs to try new things without making a serious financial commitment.
Keep an eye out for local try-before-you-buy classes and programs as well. There are many outdoor adventure and fitness-oriented businesses that are offering affordable options to attract customers after the pandemic. Take advantage of drop-in and introductory pricing to help your family try new things this summer.
Keep the momentum this summer with these fun family activities that will help you get better together.