Family Fitness for Summer

June 7, 2018
Family Fitness for Summer

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