Summer is here. That means school is out, and free time is filled with extracurricular activities, trips, and most importantly, family time. Take advantage of the extra time spent together by setting your family on the road to healthy living.
Among pressures to eat better and work out more, it’s important to remember that what may be “healthy” for one family isn’t necessarily the same for another. The goal is to simply encourage a more active and health-conscious lifestyle while keeping the focus on having fun.
Encouraging physical activity is an important first step. While some families seem naturally athletic, everyone can find ways to get moving! To prevent injury and make your path to healthy living a long and pleasant one, it’s best to start small. Taking small steps at first is not only practical, but also imperative, especially for families with young children. Here are a few fun, easy ways to start on your new path.
- Take a walk after dinner. Exploring your neighborhood on foot can unlock details typically missed in the car. You may also make new friends with nearby families and pets. Bonus points if you bring your pooch, because pets need exercise, too!
- Head to the park. Sunny afternoons or evenings after work are great opportunities to head outdoors. If your kids are young, you can pass the time at the local playground, enjoying the swings and jungle-gym. If your family is older, bring a basketball to shoot some hoops or a frisbee to toss around. You may also choose to incorporate some community service by picking up trash and helping to keep your local parks and nature trails beautiful.
- Turn up the tunes. Dancing is a great way to combine exercise with play. Open the doors and windows, and boogie around the house or yard. Let everyone have input on the playlist. You’ll get to introduce your kids to classic favorites, while they turn you on to more modern hits. If you have a gaming system, you can even pop in a game like “Just Dance” to add a fun competitive element while keeping things interesting.
They say the first steps are the hardest, but staying on track can be just as challenging. As the summer months slip by and temperatures rise, going out of your way to get your sweat on can be daunting. Let your family become your team, and look to each other for support and motivation! When you keep the activities fun, there’s a greater chance you’ll stick with them. Here are some more intermediate options to keep you on track.
- Take a class. Whether it’s signing up for a weekly martial arts class or joining your local CrossFit box, setting aside a specific time and paying for a membership keeps you accountable. The professional guidance also means you and your family get the attention and proper instruction necessary to avoid any fitness-related injuries.
- Bike to lunch. Designate one day a weekend to try biking to a lunch location. Start with a close favorite to ensure yummy food and a successful ride. Over time, push your distance while trying new restaurants. You’ll get to broaden your horizons while getting great health benefits.
- Family runs. If your mornings seem lazier now that there’s no rush to get everyone to school on time, try starting your day with a group run. If your kids are old enough, have them run with you. If they’re little, build your strength twice a fast by pushing a stroller.
Once you’ve established a healthy foundation and routine, the last step is creating a positive lasting effect by continuing to challenge yourself. As you and your family become more accustomed to an active life, your exercises will need to grow accordingly. Just like you would incrementally increase your weights in the gym, here are some other ways to ward off workout boredom.
- Take a hike. Though there are lots of beginner hikes that stick to mostly flat and groomed trails, there are many more that require better fitness and determination. Pick a track with a beautiful overlook at the top, pack sandwiches, and mix up your exercise routine with some time in nature.
- Join a league. Many communities have league teams during the summer months. If your kids are old enough, make a family and friends team, and compete in weekly games. No leagues in town? Start a neighborhood kickball game for some local fun.
- Swim laps. Whether you go to a local pool or have a lake nearby, swimming is a great way to get a full-body workout and soak up some rays. This provides younger kids the chance to become confident swimmers, making it a family event for any age.
Trying new things to make health a priority within your family can seem daunting, but by starting with smaller goals, you can build active habits that last. The more you move, the more muscle strength you build, which helps protect against injury.
However, if existing pain or an injury is slowing you or a loved one down, Airrosti is here to help. We can treat the whole family — getting you all back on your feet and enjoying quality time together. Give us a call at (800) 404-6050 or schedule an appointment online.
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