Don’t let the lazy days of summer turn your kids into couch potatoes. Soaring temperatures may make television or video games in air conditioned rooms seem appealing, but that is not so great for their physical health. Exercise is important for growing bodies and helping your kids develop good fitness habits that can lead to a lifetime of good health. Use these ideas to keep your kids moving.
Sweat When the Sun Goes Down
In some parts of the country it is too hot to exercise even early in the morning. If you live in such an area why not wait until dusk to take a family walk around the block? You might even gather the neighborhood children and organize relay races or a bike parade. When kids are having fun exercise is easy.
Head to the Pool
Help your kids cool down and get their heart rates up with a few laps in the pool. If there is no pool in your neighborhood try your local YMCA or community center. While you’re at the Y take a couple of laps around the indoor track or challenge your child to a game of tennis.
Take a Hike
State parks are perfect places to exercise and stay a bit cooler in the summer. The canopy of trees provides some shade from the sun. While on your hike take the opportunity to talk with your kids about some of the things you see in nature. Pack a healthy picnic lunch with plenty of water and make it a family day out. Don’t forget your hats and sunscreen.
Bring Boot Camp to your Living Room
Set the timer for 30 minutes, put on some good tunes and lead the kids through indoor exercises like jumping jacks, hoola-hooping, jump roping, stretches or even dance moves.
When you are planning family activities or vacations be sure to keep fitness in mind. Choose activities that keep the whole family on their feet for some part of each day. Ideas include walking or bike tours, rock climbing and snorkeling.
Choose Camps Carefully
Camp is the perfect way to keep kids exercising during summer break. There are camps for every fitness level, budget and interest. Lacrosse, swim/tennis, baseball and yoga are just some of the camps available.
Help kids keep moving during the summer and all year long by being active yourself. Kids learn best by example. When you show them that exercise is important to you by word and deed your kids are more likely to follow your lead.