Spring is finally here and before we know it school will be out of session and summer will be upon us. One might think that the warmer temperatures would spur kids to get outside and play, but some may require a bit of a nudge out the door.
The importance and need for physical activity in our lives, especially for kids, is a message we continue to hear time and time again. It is recommended that kids get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. This is a general guideline, and it’s the minimum. When those 60 minutes are combined with a well-balanced diet kids tend to lead healthier lives, and become more focused and perform better in school.
During the school year, children may have access to physical activities either through P.E. class, recess, or sports, and it’s important that we make sure the kids in our lives are active as much possible outside of school, especially during summer months.
Here are a few tips and ideas on great outdoor activities to help keep your kids (and yourself) active.
- Be active as a family and schedule regular time for family physical activity. This is the perfect time to bring those bicycles out of storage! Not only do you get in your exercise, but it’s a great way to explore your community, take in some great nature scenes and spend some quality time together.
- Show children how much you enjoy physical activity whether it’s going for a walk, run or swim. Find a fun way to approach each one, like spending the day walking around your local zoo. Talk to them about why exercise matters and why you enjoy it.
- Make fitness FUN! Schedule birthday parties and events at the local pool, gymnastics facilities and other activity-oriented places. Or get the neighborhood kids together for a good, old-fashioned game of kickball.
- NFL FLAG Football is a fun way for children ages 5-17 to engage in physical activity through a non-contact, fun and continuous action while teaching kids the fundamentals of football. Click here to learn more and to find a league in your area.
- Your local park district is a great resource for activities. Many offer a variety of programs and classes for kids of all ages from toddler to teen. Your kids can participate in activities such as basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and swimming. There are even programs for the entire family. There is something for everyone!
Whatever activities you choose – be sure to take advantage of the long days and warm weather. Go online to search for additional ideas on outdoor activities – a great place to start is to visit Fuel Up to Play 60. Fuel Up to Play 60 is the largest in-school health and wellness program in the country, and it provides great online tools and resources for families to implement at home too.