Family Fitness for Summer

June 7, 2018

Summer means freedom from homework, PTA meetings and the rush to catch the bus. Time off is good, but too much of a break can lead to unhealthy changes. In fact, a recent study found that children tend to gain weight faster during the summer. Help your kids stay fit by making it a family affair, with activities you can all do together.

Focus on food.

Don’t take a vacation from nutrition.

  • Pack a lunch for your kids and yourself. Make it a picnic!
    • Fill that brown bag with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein, and skip sweetened drinks.
  • Replace the junk food in your pantry and fridge with healthier snacks.
  • Plant a garden together, or visit a farmers market for in-season produce. Let the kids choose, then make dinner together.

Find a new routine.

Schedule some structure into lazy summer days with activities to keep everyone active. It could mean less screen time and snacking.

  • Sign your child up for day camp or swim lessons.
  • Join your kids by going to playgroups or story time.
  • Use your vacation time to slow down and unwind. This can help lower your blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones.

Be serious about bedtime.

Without the school-day wake-up alarm, getting kids to bed on time might be forgotten. But having a normal sleep routine is important for the whole family during the summer.

  • People who sleep less have less energy for healthy activities, like exercising.
  • To make it easier:
    • Keep a regular dinnertime.
    • Make sure your child gets fresh air and exercise during the day.
    • Turn off screens an hour before bed.

Get outside and get active.

There’s no better time to show kids that moving is fun.

  • Teach your kids how to fly a kite, paddle a canoe or do a cannonball into the pool.
  • Set a time every day when you all take a walk, ride bikes, play tag, jump rope, play soccer, dance or swim.
  • Exercise doesn’t have to be a consistent 30 minutes. Many types of recreation are also good exercise.
  • Just try to make it all add up to 60 minutes of activity every day.

Great Summer Workouts
8 Steps for Healthy Summer Living