Pediatrics

Fun family activities for summer

Fun family activities for summer

By Dorothy Page, MBBS, Nuvance Health Medical Practice — Family Medicine

6/22/2021

As if it wasn’t hard enough for busy parents and caregivers to squeeze in time for their own fitness, the COVID-19 pandemic created a whole new level of hardships. Staying at home for the past year-plus has not only disrupted routines and 9-to-5 work schedules, but the added stress and pressures of home schooling and mask-wearing has led to extra hours in front of electronic devices and unhealthy snacking habits. It is time to get the family’s fitness back on track. Here are a few suggestions:

Family workouts

Short on time? Lack motivation? Try to take 5- to 10-minute breaks out of your day to get your family’s heart rate up. Try family-focused fitness apps and Youtube sites, which have high-intensity interval training workouts to low-impact workouts with less jumping. Four short “break” workouts won’t throw off your schedule and will do your body good.  

Have a water balloon war

Recycle that pile of cardboard shipping boxes by making shields and forts and then have an epic water balloon war. As you run, jump and dodge, you will make wonderful memories with your children and get an excellent cardio workout.

 

Explore the great outdoors

Head out to local parks, rail trails and hiking spots where masks can come down. Walk, run and ride bicycles in the fresh air together. I like to jog alongside my son as he pedals his bike. This is a great motivation to go faster, as we race each other and compete to see who has more stamina (usually him).

 

Pick-your-own fruit

Some children need an incentive to get moving. Why not a healthy treat? Visit one of our many local farms that offer fruit picking. In the summer, berries and stone fruits are plentiful and the fall marks the apples and pumpkin harvest. All that walking, tree-climbing, squatting and fruit-carrying will offset the calories from the freshly baked pie you’ll make for dessert.

 

Wet and wild

Now that the hot days are here, water will keep you cool even as your body heats up. We love the sprinkler, but to keep it interesting, try playing hokey pokey, leap frog, jump rope or freeze dance under the spray. Jumping, dancing and running are all fun ways to spend an active family day.

 

Get Fit Challenge

Nuvance Health’s 6-week Get Fit Challenge offers mom and dad motivation to keep the family busy. Adults, age 18 and older, can log workouts at WeGetFit.org and become eligible for prizes that the whole family will love. First and second place can select an item up to $150. How about a volleyball net for the backyard for endless fun? Visit WeGetFit.org to learn more.

The bottom line: Sometimes it seems like the kiddos disappear for hours into their electronics. Put limits on screen time and when they emerge, try some of these ideas to have fun, get exercise and reconnect with them. The whole family will benefit.

 

Dr. Page is a family medicine provider with Nuvance Health Medical Practice in Fishkill. You can search for a primary care provider near you here or learn more about primary care here.

Dorothy Page, MBBS