Summer is a great time to work in some fun family fitness activities!
The days are longer, the kids are home from school. There are so many opportunities to get active as a family and help combat childhood obesity! Since kids are no longer burning off energy in gym class at school, it’s important to make sure they stay active during the summer. It’s too tempting to spend the months playing video games or hiding out in the air conditioning. This can really pack on the pounds and contribute to childhood obesity.
When it’s scorching hot out, though, it can be difficult to motivate everyone to leave the comfort of that AC and head out for family fitness activities! Unless, of course, your fitness activities include doing something that will cool everyone down!
Fun family fitness activities that cool you down in the summer
- Pool volleyball. Rather than stringing a net on the beach beneath the hot sun, consider stringing one right across your pool! Jumping around in the pool is a lot more refreshing than sweating in a field or the beach. In fact, the pool is full of potential family fitness activities. Basketball, relay races or even just a fun family swim time can all help you stay fit as a family while staying cool.
- Water balloon tag. Playing tag is one of the most fun family fitness activities that both kids and parents can enjoy, but all that running around can cause you to overheat pretty fast. Bring water balloons into the mix, though, and you’ll stay cool while burning calories! Water balloon tag follows the same concept as regular tag. One person is “it” and the rest try to avoid that person. Instead of tagging with your hand, though, the “it” person throws water balloons at the other players to tag them.
- Wet and Crazy Obstacle Courses. Break out the sprinkler, hose, baby pool or lawn water slide and create a fun, wet obstacle course. Obstacle races can be set up to make use of what you have on hand, so there is no need to go out and buy anything special. Set up different obstacles, like splashing through the baby pool or sliding across the water slide. Anything goes here! The goal is to have fun, get wet and keep moving!
- Beat the Heat Sidewalk Chalk Pictionary. In Pictionary, players split into teams and take turns drawing pictures to represent an object, movie, character and so on. Typically, this involves drawing on a large sheet of paper. Super-size it and make it even more challenging by taking the playing canvas outside. Use sidewalk chalk to create massive pictures. Here’s the challenge, though- players must race to complete their picture and have their teammates guess what it is before the hose or sprinkler wipes out their picture! Set a timer. When it goes off, start the hose or sprinkler! Once it starts, the drawer has until it hits the picture and erases it to get her teammates to guess what it is.
- Just play with water. Family fitness activities don’t have to involve a complex game to be effective. If no one is feeling up to a game, just turn on the sprinkler and start running through it. Have water balloon fights. Spray each other with the hose. Just get moving and have a good time!
- Hit the air-conditioned gyms. When it’s just too miserable to even think about going outside, go ahead and stay cool in the air conditioning. Just do it at a gym instead. Take a family fitness activities class together. Check your local YMCA or gym to see what they offer. For families that cannot afford memberships, the YMCA does offer sponsorship programs that provide deeply discounted or free memberships based on a sliding income scale.
Remember, family fitness activities are a great way to bond during the summer, burn off some extra energy and help prevent childhood obesity (not to mention adult obesity). When families participate in fitness activities together, kids may look forward to getting active more than if they’re just told to “go play” on their own. Preventing childhood obesity is something that should involve the whole family. Exercise for children has so many benefits beyond just preventing childhood obesity, and it’s more fun when you do it together!
Do you have any great fun family fitness activities that help keep you cooler in the summer? We’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment below!