With childhood obesity rates doubling over the past 30 years, it's more important than ever to keep your child active and fit. No matter your child's age, you should always make time for them to stay active whether through sports or fitness activities. Perhaps the best way to get your child involved in activities during the summer is to participate along with them. Here is a list of fun summer activities you and your child can do together:
- Hula Hooping: This is a fun activity for all ages and can be done outside or indoors and really gets kids and parents mid-sections moving.
- Dancing: Turn some music on during chores, household activities or even when the kids are starting to get a little sluggish. Choose upbeat music your kids enjoy to get their body moving.
- Setting "park days": Schedule days to go to the park or to go on walks. Children will look forward to knowing that there is a specific day they can count on spending time with you outdoors. Don't forget a healthy snack and stay hydrated while outdoors.
- Playing with a ball: As simple as it seems, a game of catch or passing a ball with your feet can burn calories. Especially if you're out at the beach, don't let your child sit around playing in the sand the whole time - get them running around and catching a ball for a few minutes of easy exercise.
- Having electronic-free days: The electronics that our children are plugged into are the enemy of fitness. Set boundaries on their use and schedule electronic-free days or hours of the day to encourage activity.
- Riding a bike: Whether you ride bike around the neighborhood or to the park, biking is great exercise. Most children have a bicycle but many parents do not, so set a budget to get yourself a bike and ride with your children - and don't forget the helmets.
- Walking every day: Get in the habit of taking a walk as a family after dinner before you sit down to watch TV or incorporate a walk into your family outings. Before you drag beach chairs and toys out when you arrive at the beach, leave all the gear in the car at first, put on the sunscreen and walk the beach. A short walk on the beach or around your neighborhood can be great exercise for everyone.
- Making an obstacle course: Whether it's a maze through furniture or broomsticks on chairs to crawl under, you can use various household objects to make an obstacle course. Time your child and encourage them to beat their best time with each run through the obstacles.
- Throwing a Frisbee: Frisbees are a fun and inexpensive way to get active with your child outdoors. A Frisbee's path of flight encourages children to run to make a great catch.
- Setting an example: You are your child's most important role model, so set an example for them. Start early and create an active lifestyle for children at a young age. Especially for teens, if they see you going for morning run every day or visiting the gym, they're more likely to get active themselves.