How To Be Active During Summer!
Summer is here: Let the fun and games begin!
Summer is a time for relaxing with friends and family. It's the time of year when families generally take their annual vacations since children are out of school.
Summer is also the time when parents aren't as strict about what their children eat. Picnics and barbecues become standard fare. As such, it's important that children get an adequate amount of exercise during summer months.
The question remains: how do parents go about getting their children to exercise without it seeming like a chore?
They let them play.
Photo credit: Steve Thompson / tagsforkids
This image is one of many found on Animated Squids
Catch me if you can!
It's been around for generations and still holds as much excitement for yourself and your children as the first time you played it.
Running around the yard while trying to avoid the tap on your shoulder which would mean you're "it" is packed with a bunch of laughs, shrieks, and near misses until, eventually, someone does get caught and the fun begins again.
This is one of the best games to play to get the heart racing while entertaining everyone at the same time.
Let me score a goal
Set up a net and you're on your way to have a lot of fun. With one goalie, who cares about team players? Everyone fend for yourselves, running and trying to get the ball away from everyone until you score a goal.
The adrenaline will begin to rush through your bodies as you run around the yard, forever trying to retain control of the ball.
Lots of laughter will ensue as long as it doesn't become too competitive to the point the fun disappears.
Let's play soccer! - Oh, oh! Where's the ball?
Where's the skipping rope?
You've heard the expression, "Jump Rope for Heart." No kidding! Jumping rope is entertaining especially when you're using a long skipping rope, and other people jump in at the same time as you to jump for as long as they can.
It's fun to see who holds out the longest but it's a major work-out. Water should be nearby for when you've jumped out. You'll definitely need it!
Enjoying the Tree House...
Wait a minute! Does it really have to be in the backyard?
Families can be entertained anywhere - and they can get lots of exercise, too!
What better place can you think of to take your children for a day filled with entertainment than a beach, especially in the early evening hours when there are not as many people around?
My family and I go to the beach whenever we can get an opportunity...but not to laze around, though that has its merits, especially if there's a need to relax from the hectic pace of life.
During our vacation in Prince Edward Island during July, 2009, my children alternated between relaxing on the beach, playing in the sand and walking
along the sandy shoreline. Of course, I always enjoyed walking along sandy beaches and could walk for long stretches at a time if not feeling the need to continually watch out for my children.
Needless to say, for me, I'm most comfortable when we're all together and, while visiting Greenwich Beach, PEI, we spent a lot of time hanging out, exploring one part of the beach and then another - until Kelsey, my oldest daughter, managed to climb a sand dune...and proceeded to slide down the dune.
It was hilarious and I laughed until my stomach hurt - also good exercise, by the way.
From there, the enjoyment was contagious; Courtney climbed the dune while Miles and I relaxed at the base. Miles played with his life jacket while I took on the role of photographer.
We have some beautiful moments of that day - all captured on my digital camera - and I did take my turn climbing and sliding down the dune and it was a lot of fun. Admittedly, I had more fun watching my family and recording them because it really was entertaining...and they were getting a great physical workout while making memories to last a lifetime.
Badminton is the game to play
Frisbee is a good alternative
Whether you try to knock the birdie at the feet of your opponent or keep the birdie in the air, this provides a great form of exercise and is enjoyable as long as the wind isn't strong.
If the winds are too strong, pull out a Frisbee and you'll have to run greater distances to retrieve it, thus increasing your heart rate.
Badminton sets for you and your family...
Fun in the sun
Children love the water and, when running through the sprinkler on warm summer days, they get the opportunity to cool off, have fun, and get some exercise.
Add a large family-sized trampoline and the fun and exercise doubles as the sprinkler continues to spray them and whoever is on the trampoline with them.
The bigger, the better
You may not think much of it but your children will get a lot of exercise while having a lot of fun playing in tunnels, sliding, swinging, and climbing inside of playground structures.
**Just be sure the equipment is in a shaded area and isn't so hot it will burn your children.**
Horseshoes may be an ideal game
But, perhaps, lawn darts is your preference
If there is an area of your backyard which isn't highly visible to the public and has low traffic most times, it may be an ideal spot to set up a game of lawn darts or horse shoes. Regardless of whether the sun is shining or there is a light mist, these games can be enjoyed.
Possible horseshoes for your family...
Tending to the lawn and gardens
Mowing, raking and gardening incorporates great abdominal exercise.
The smell of freshly mowed grass is one that will always tantalize my senses; I can't explain why but I love the smell of grass and trees.
During the summer of 2009, I had the rare pleasure of mowing grass and raking the lawn a couple of days later. I had forgotten how great of a work-out it was, though I didn't strain one muscle in my body. My two younger children also helped - Courtney trimmed around the edges of the house while Miles started pushing the wheelbarrow around to collect the grass I was raking. We had a wonderful experience and we, literally, did not venture more than 20 feet into the backyard.
Being productive is wonderful; after all, grass needs to be cut frequently. It's a greater blessing when such moments can be enjoyed with my children.
Tips to look after your garden or yard.
Share your thoughts with me!