We recently discussed how spring is the perfect time to start better eating habits with your family. There is also no better time to begin to implement more physical activity into your routine. Regular exercise improves your mood, enhances the quality of your life, helps you reduce stress — and, most importantly, it strengthens your body while it burns calories. Physical activity helps your body work the way it is supposed to, and this goes for your kids as well. Adding new elements of physical fitness can be quite simple, and most importantly fun. Here are some ideas for you this spring:
- Family walk and talk.
A weekend walk can be enjoyable and a way to fit in some fitness, and with more hours of daylight now, you can also squeeze in a weekday post-dinner stroll. Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin, a mood and energy booster, and improves our absorption of vitamin D, essential for healthy bones. A walk also provides the perfect opportunity to further discuss the day, and what’s to come for the week!
- Hiking and bicycling.
These are activities that can both accommodate groups of varying ages and abilities. In the process, you’ll build endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and stronger legs.
- Join a Family Fun Run for charity.
Spring is “high season” for local charity events that encourage you to walk, run, or cycle, meet new people, and support good causes. It’s a great way to do a good deed and improve your heart health.
- Fly a kite.
While it may not sound like real exercise, flying a kite at your local park or playground can keep your family in constant motion for hours. From assembling the kite to running repeatedly back and forth, this activity helps your family connect, burn calories, and build leg muscles.
- Participate in a local park cleanup.
When your family volunteers for such an event, you’ll get plenty of sun and exercise while making a difference in your community. And remember, spring is peak season for local cleanups. Contact your state Department of Natural Resources or local environmental groups to find cleanups in your area.
- Go kayaking or canoeing.
These are great ways to explore the outdoors and build upper-body strength. Many local departments of parks and recreation offer free courses as well as reasonable equipment rentals. If you live near an area with major outdoors outfitters, you can also find free or low-cost introductory classes where the sponsor provides all the equipment.
With a focus on family, the outdoors, and physical activity, these examples will remind you that fitness and fun go hand in hand. Ready to go outside and play this spring?