Top 5 Exercises to Do Outdoors As a Family

As a parent it can be a challenge to get your kids out and about and doing exercise. With the ever increasing availability of television, smartphones, the internet and games consoles, kids are spending more time in doors and less time in fresh air. Here are top 5 exercises you can do as a family to encourage a healthier, more active lifestyle.

1) Walking

Walking is one of the easiest and accessible activities to do as a family, and best of all its completely free! Getting your children out walking is a great way to get them away from the TV and computer, improving their fitness levels and keeping their weight under control. But whatever you do, don’t suggest going for a walk! This is guaranteed to put children off the idea. Instead, make it into an adventure. Plan the day in advance- you could make it into a treasure hunt or I spy game, looking for animals, birds and leaves. You can also break the walk up with a homemade picnic. If you need even more of an incentive, team up with another family with young children and make the walk into a social event. But don’t be surprised if teenagers lose interest in walking- they may take it up later in life.

2) Cycling

Cycling is another great way to get those lungs working, and small children are often eager to get out on their bikes. According to the British Medical Association, the health benefits of cycling outweigh risks by 20:1. It’s healthier for a child to cycle than not to cycle. Busy roads may not be the best environment for a family cycle, so drive to quiet lanes and forest tracks for a more sociable and safe ride. Off-road tracks are ideal for children to develop bike handling skills, and it will be more interesting for them to learn. Buckle them up in a helmet, pack some snacks to keep up their morale, and take to the track! If their interest starts to wane, you can shake things up with some small jumps and bumpy ground. Above all, have fun with it- your child may be the next star cyclist!

3) Beach fun

If you are lucky enough to live near a beach, it is the perfect place for you to have some outdoor fun as a family. Bring a football, volleyball or Frisbee and take advantage of the huge space you have to run around in. Just throwing a Frisbee back and forth between players can be enough to keep children entertained for a good long while. Windy shore-side conditions also make for great kite flying. Have everyone in your family make a kite and then head outdoors for a kite-flying contest. The person who keeps his kite up longest wins. An obstacle course is another good way to get everyone active- make a course out of beach chairs, blankets and even sand toys and see who can complete it the quickest.

4) Games at Home

Now, the idea of this article is to get kids outdoors and active, but sometimes the weather just isn’t conducive to a long wet and windy walk. But all is not lost! Think of your childhood- hide and seek, tag, skipping, ball games… all these can be played indoors or in the garden and will get you and your kids on their feet and moving. If it is sunny outside you could always set up a relay race or an obstacle course with garden furniture- with prizes for the winner of course! If you are worried about the safety of your family then consider investing in a family health insurance policy to give you extra peace of mind.

5) Trampolining

A trampoline could be the best piece of equipment you invest in for your family. Whether it is an enormous garden trampoline or a small fitness trampoline, your kids will love it. Have a competition to see who can leap the highest, or have a show for you to all display your finest moves. Trampolining to music can make the activity even more inviting- it will certainly become a hit at birthday parties. But not only will it be popular with the kids, but it will be keeping them healthy too- trampolining is great for the heart, lungs and your muscles. You might even find your children love it so much they want to take a class in it. Make sure you take any necessary safety measures to prevent any injuries, and go ahead and bounce your way into a healthy lifestyle.

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