School may have started, but that doesn’t mean summer has ended!
August was “Family Fun Month,” but there are plenty of ways parents can incorporate family fitness into your fun activities this September, which will help establish a healthy, active routine in kids.
Taking advantage of summer’s warm weather makes this the perfect time to have some healthy family fun and get some outdoor exercise before the cold temperatures set in.
Here are some of my top tips on the best ways to work out together as a family before autumn begins!
How To Live Up The Summer With Your Family…The Healthy Way!
1. Keep things fun and active
When planning healthy family activities, the best thing to remember is to keep it fun and active. The best thing for children is to just let them be children – they have a lot of energy they just want to get out and exert!
A playground, field or a backyard becomes an incredible workout for children and a great opportunity to have them use their imagination.
2. Get creative!
A way to make the backyard or outdoors unique and fun is to take regular activities and make them more exciting or elaborate to make them fresh and new. F
or example, going to the park with a soccer ball and just kick it around to get everyone moving is great, but putting a new spin on the game will make it even more exciting and fun for kids, so they’ll want to run around and participate.
A bike ride, hike, swim, any active to get you moving will work. In fact, just letting the children play and have the parents try to keep up will be a very demanding workout for everyone!
3. Explore new areas
If you are leaving the backyard or park with the family, try to find opportunities that provide a little education, exercise and fun for the entire family.
Finding great opportunities in the community will help instill fitness that will last long into the school year and create healthy habits!
Learning and experimenting doesn’t have to happen far away – there are plenty of opportunities close to home that work well for families.
Many community centers will have areas where children can learn about fitness and their surroundings. Local pools and gyms will have health awareness days. Search those out in your community and you will amazed at what you can find – and what the children can learn!
4. Make a game out of anything!
I like to try and make anything, from a daily task to a fun sporting event, like a football game on TV, into an opportunity to create healthy family fun.
The next time you watch a football game with the family, make it into a fun and friendly competitive game. Split into teams and make fair rules – whenever there’s a touchdown, the opposing team has to do jumping jacks and for every “down” everyone hits the floor for push-ups.
Related: How To Stay Injury-Free This Summer
Not only will it keep the family active, but it promotes wellness and gets them off the couch.
5. Make “now” habits that last a lifetime
It’s important to remember that as parents, to put your best foot forward – how you understand family fitness is how your children will model.
Children are all invincible, so teaching them about fitness will do little…but living it and practicing it at home, in the community and over time will instill a lifetime of health and fitness into them so they will live a fit lifestyle without you ever saying a word.
Especially as school starts and kids are spending their days in classrooms indoors, teaching them healthy habits will go further than you think – from choosing the right foods in the cafeteria to taking those moments during recess to participate in tag or running around.
It’s not hard to have a healthy family. The “do as I say, not as I do” method will yield no result; however, living a fit life in front of them every day will. Enjoy the end of the summer and get moving!
John Rowley is a health and wellness expert who helps people transform their bodies while finding their passion, purpose and drive for success. With his tell-it-like-it-is attitude, John inspires others and changes lives by restoring physical, mental and spiritual health to help lead a better life. Rowley is the author of the best-selling books The Power of Positive Fitness and Climb Your Ladder of Success Without Running Out of Gas.
Photo by Salvatore Tessitore