School’s out, the weather is beautiful and families have more time to reconnect before the new academic year begins. Unfortunately, a trend toward technology means that bike rides and tree climbing have all but been replaced by their virtual equivalents in some households.
Fortunately, all is not lost. We’ve prepared 5 easy steps to help you coax the kids away from their screens this season. Netflix will wait, this amazing weather won’t!
Cook with the Kids
A big part of maintaining health and fitness is a balanced diet. If you want to have the energy to get up and go, you’ve got to give your body the nutrients it needs. Of course, it can be difficult to convince the family to swap delicious fried meals for something a little more balanced. Don’t worry, though, no one is expecting you to go all Gwyneth Paltrow – all you need to do is sneak some extra veggies into your dinners.
Involving both younger kids and teens in the cooking process will make them more likely to try new foods. It’s also a great way to bond and teach your youngsters important life skills.
Take up Running
Taking a brisk walk, jog or run directly after dinner will both aid digestion and give your family time to talk about the events of the day without the roar of the television in the background. Running is also an effective way to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, thus minimizing your risk of developing heart disease.
Bringing a pet dog along for the trip can help keep the kids entertained. They won’t even realise they’re exercising when they’re throwing Rover’s Frisbee!
For some tips, read runner Gerald Kochan’s blog post on setting up a family-friendly running plan.
Head to the Beach
Make the most of the glorious weather by packing a picnic and heading to your local beach. Your children are guaranteed to make precious memories building sand castles, collecting seashells and laughing when Daddy face plants into a wave. Swimming is a fun exercise for kids who aren’t keen on running and a perfect way to cool off when temperatures soar. You can also take this opportunity to teach your younger children about water safety.
Time Technology Usage
If you completely take away technology in the hopes of coaxing the kids outdoors, they’re going to rebel. However, a compromise is often enough to keep everyone happy. Simply limit the time your children are allowed to be glued to their devices during the daytime, then let them reconnect in the evenings. When they know they’ve got plenty of time to play games and catch up with friends in the evening, they’re more likely to venture out and enjoy the afternoon.
Set Family Goals
Most of us are competitive at heart, whether we’re 4 or 40. Consider setting up a family goal chart, complete with stickers and rewards. Set goals such as “walk 5ks together” or “no takeout for a week.” When these goals are met, the whole family can decide jointly on a treat. The process of goal-setting incentives lifestyle changes and brings the family together as a team. Involve the kids in setting family goals as much as possible. This will give them a feeling of added responsibility and pride when the goals are achieved.
Exercise shouldn’t be a drag. Using these five simple steps, you’ll be able to keep your family fit this summer and have fun doing it!