School’s Out – Stay Active This Summer!
Now that the calendar has shifted to summer, sunshine, fresh breezes and warm days can make it easier to get energized about healthy living. But summer days can also set you astray. In the midst of school vacation and summer fun, it can be easy for the family to get off track, especially children. Technology based temptations such as video games, television, and smart phones can transform your kids into couch potatoes. As screen time and outdoor playtime compete for children’s attention, it can be challenging for them to get the recommended 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day. To keep your kids living an active and healthy life during the summer break, you may need a game plan.
A good place to start is the same place your child just left—school! Often, afterschool programs take a new form over the summer by adding extra programs during the summer months. Summer camp is also a great destination for kids. Camps offer a unique opportunity to participate in sports, arts and crafts, and a wide array of seasonal activities. Summer field trips can help flex your child’s physical mental muscle—as do community service projects
Keep in mind, the journey to a healthy and fit summer should be a family affair. Parents and adults play a big role in helping children grow into healthy habits. Here are some tips to leading an active family life you can use throughout the year:
- Model the behavior you seek. If you lead an active lifestyle, your child is more likely to do the same.
- Make moving routine. Create expectations and rituals around fitness as a family. Take a walk after dinner and perform housework and yard work chores together.
- Include physical activity in your summer vacation planning. Choose destinations where swimming, biking, rowing, kayaking, dancing, walking, running, hiking, and active adventures are available.
- Take advantage of free or low-cost public parks, basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts and baseball diamonds.
- Encourage children to be active with their friends through games (tag, hopscotch, basketball, biking), toys (balls, kites, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk), and events (birthday parties, camping trips, sports).
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests limiting kids’ total screen time – time spent watching TV, playing video games, and using a computer or smartphone – to no more than 1-2 hours per day.
- Don’t allow electronic devices during mealtime, and don’t use screen time as a reward or punishment for your child.
The long awaited summer days are upon us so, be sure to use them well. School’s out and the possibilities for an active family summer are endless! We look forward to seeing how you and your family maximize summertime to accelerate your healthiest life. Share your pictures and stories on social media using #0to60. Cheers to a healthy and happy summer.