School’s out and there’s lots for both kids and parents to do this summer to keep things healthy and fun. So why not make a plan to keep the action going during these long, warm days, making sure to keep everyone’s body moving and healthy without it feeling like a chore? We’ve got some easy-to-make-happen ideas for you to incorporate into your summer plans right here.
We know this is easier said than done, but begin by limiting your children’s screen time, be it with the phone, TV or game console. If you set up a plan with them – perhaps allowing an agreed-upon amount of time first thing in the morning and then after dinner – they will know what the summer rules are and hopefully agree to obey them.
You don’t need a special day to keep children on the go, especially if you are willing to join them in keep-it-moving activities you can do both indoors and out. Start by planning to include friends, neighbors and other family members, making the activity into a social event – with some fitness snuck in without even mentioning the word “exercise.”
That means planning swimming outings at the pool or the beach, complete with toys and swimming aids (kickboards in the pool, boogie boards and surfboards at the beach); even swim lessons can be a lot of fun, especially as your children learn to motor through the water all on their own. (Be sure to supervise young children whenever they are near or in the water.)
Plan a special hiking trip or two, and pack a picnic lunch and plenty of water. Check out the 5.9-mile Peters Canyon in Orange County. It’s rated moderate and usually takes about 2.5 hours to hike, and it’s a place with plenty of panoramic views and wildlife spotting opportunities. Also in the O.C is Quail Hill Trail, an easy 2-mile loop that offers expansive views and will take about 1 hours to complete. And you can bring your dog along for the hike!
Or grab your bicycles and take off for Aliso Creek Trail, an 18.4-mile trip that’s rated easy, but full of natural sights to see. This trail is away from the road with plenty of shade which is great for the kids.
If it’s too hot outside for strenuous play, think outside the box and do some indoor activities like signing everyone up to take a hip-hop (or any other style) dance class together, or perhaps go in for a little karate, jiu-jitsu, taekwondo or even kickboxing (for older kids), all made more fun if you parents join in as well and everyone learns together.
There’s even fun in the gym this summer, for free! At Planet Fitness gyms across Southern California, teens ages 14-19 get a summer membership at no charge, until August 31. It’s called the High School Summer Pass and lets teens workout anytime they want to and also has a chance for them to win a $5000 scholarship at summer’s end. Planet Fitness will even help kids learn how to use the gym equipment!
No matter which ideas you try, it’s a great plan to keep your kids and yourselves moving all summer long. You’ll all be amazed at how good you all feel when the whole family gets off the couch and goes!