Being active as a family is a great way to emphasize the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle with your children. They reap the benefits of all that an active lifestyle can bring and will be more likely to be a healthy, active adult!
There are many ways to be active with your family and have fun at the same time. Try these:
Create your own Olympics. Split the family into teams and compete against each other. Hold events like sack races, 3-legged races, relays and more. Use a measuring stick and see who can jump the furthest and highest. Have an egg toss, dribble a ball around obstacles or see who is the most accurate when throwing a ball. The possibilities are endless. Include the neighborhood to add to the competition.
Get Wet. When the weather heats up, there are plenty of ways to be active while cooling down. Hook up a sprinkler or water slide. Run, jump and laugh as you strengthen family bonds. If there’s a pool nearby, enjoy some water volleyball or basketball. Pull out the car, fill up buckets with soapy water and have a fun car wash.
Play Ball. Grab a ball and head outside to play anything from organized sports to fun games. Spud is a great game for families of all ages and it’s tons of fun. Or get the neighborhood kids together and set up a pick up basketball, baseball or soccer game. Impromptu games can help build skills and confidence without the pressure and stress of organized sports, while also encouraging teamwork and sportsmanship.
Take a hike. Go for a walk or hike and take in nature. Make it a game by spotting birds and plants along your way. Or just enjoy the quality time with everyone and use it as a time to catch up.
Create a Challenge. For example, commit to being active five days a week for the next six weeks or to compete in a 5K. A challenge will get everyone to try something new while learning how to set and accomplish goals. Make it fun and let each family member choose their own challenge if everyone has different interests.
Scavenger Hunt. Make it family-only or involve the neighborhood, scavenger hunts can be as involved as you like. Create a list from common items within your house or neighborhood. You could also do an “active” scavenger hunt where certain items on the list are activities like kicking a ball through a goal or doing a number of jumping jacks.
Go for a ride. Take a family bike ride. This is a great way to spend time together and enjoy some fresh air. Cruise your neighborhood or ride to your local coffee shop for breakfast or a late afternoon treat. Bike riding can also be a great way to get in some activity while on vacation. Check out the local scenery and town. In some places, you can take a ride on the beach.
All of these activities will help build family bonds and relationships. The idea is to have fun, keep moving and spend time together. Your family will see that being active can be fun and can help them feel good, too.
This article appears in the May 2014 issue of Berks County Living