Summer Fitness for all Ages

As adults, we know we should stay as fit as possible for our own good, but we often fail to consider how our fitness might affect the young ones around us. The truth is, kids who are around physically active adults are more likely to be active themselves. So, your activity does good for more than just you.

And that good has a way of compounding: When kids participate in physical activity with their families, they not only get the benefits of better health, but they also learn things like teamwork, leadership skills, and quality decision-making.

The good news is that summer family fitness doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. You can increase your family’s activity and fitness level in a few fun and easy ways:

  • Take a walk. Build a family walk into your day’s activities a few times a week. Start out with easy rambles around the neighborhood, then pick up the pace and distance over time.
  • Dance! Put on some music and get the whole family moving. It won’t take long for the giggles to start, and everyone will forget they’re actually exercising.
  • Pick a sport, any sport. Have a designated “sports night” once a week and choose a different sport to try each time. Attempt sports you’re not good at, and let the kids be the teachers. Make up sports. Anything to get everyone involved.
  • Do it for charity. Sign up as a team for a charity run, walk, bike ride, or another event. Set a goal and train together. You’ll not only get fit, you’ll also benefit from having a shared goal and working toward it together, encouraging each other, and celebrating when you’re done.
  • Walk the dog. Research shows that dog owners have more fun losing weight and keep it off longer than non-dog owners. Don’t have a dog? Let the kids pretend. They’ll enjoy the game, and you’ll get them walking in a new, fun way.
  • Break out the kid stuff. Hula hoops, bounce houses, and other things we think of as “just for kids” can actually be great fitness tools for the whole family.

Remember: Anything that bumps up the heart rate is good for you and your family, and there’s nothing wrong with having a few laughs while you’re at it. So, break out the fun and get fit as a family. You’ll get stronger individually, and as a family, too.

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