Once the spring season hits, many people start feeling an itch to get outside and get active. It can be a challenge to keep moving during the colder winter months, but springtime tends to become a great motivator for families to make an effort to get moving. What are some great ways for parents to get started on embracing the spring season and get the whole family going?
Schedule time to embrace the outdoors together
The American Heart Association recommends scheduling a time that becomes the regular family playtime. For many families, right after dinner is a great option, and there may be consistent chunks of time over the weekends that work nicely for family adventures as well. Family activities may be as simple as heading out for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner, heading to the park, or playing ball as a group.
Of course, there are numerous activities beyond the basics that can keep a family active when springtime hits. The Rainy Day Mum blog suggests that families grab a kite and head to the park, and there are easy ways to make your own kite that will get the kids invested in the activity. Additional ideas include playing hopscotch or jumping rope together, or doing something like planting a garden, building a fort, or working on outdoor home projects as a group.
Think outside the box to create family fun
One way to keep things fun and a bit unpredictable might be to brainstorm ideas together, writing each one on a separate slip of paper, and putting them all into a jar. When your family has a bit of free time and is stuck trying to decide what to do, pull a slip out of the jar and head out the door. Some of these ideas may be simple, and others more goofy or uncommon, but this strategy can be a great way to avoid getting stuck in a rut.
Today’s Parent suggests putting together a family fitness challenge, choosing a timeframe and reward that will motivate everybody to get moving. Put together a chart with different tasks listed such as climbing 10 flights of stairs, walking a certain length, jumping jacks, and different active tasks, and come up with a reward of some sort that the winner is awarded at the end. There are easy ways to mix this up and start over after each challenge and it’s a great way to get everybody involved.
Look for fun spots throughout the community to utilize
Springtime offers the opportunity to explore trails in your community, visit local nature reserves, parks, and lakes, and grab the bikes to go for a ride. Some families enjoy spending a few minutes together first thing in the morning to stretch or exercise, kicking the day off right, and having the sun out early in the morning can be a great motivator.
If your family needs something a bit more creative than simply hitting the trails or neighborhood sidewalks for a walk or bike ride, get adventurous and try a “penny hike” as Mind Body Green suggests. Find a local network of trails or a neighborhood with plenty of twists and turns and at each crossing, flip a coin to decide which way to go. Of course, you’ll want to think ahead in terms of not venturing too far away so you can get the kids redirected by to the start again before they get too tired.
Every parent wants their kids to be active and enjoy it, but the sluggish winter months can make it a challenge to get moving again. Luckily, there are plenty of creative ways to get everybody outside as a family to enjoy the springtime weather and embrace the opportunity to be active. Create a family challenge or activity jar to mix things up or look for new trails or community activities to spark a fresh feel to your family fitness routines and embrace the energy of the spring weather.
Paige Johnson considers herself to be a fitness nerd and shares her insights on LearnFit. She loves offering her advice on weight lifting and strength training.
[Image by Pixabay]