Sports and activities your whole family can do together.
Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash
Many of us have been sheltering in place during the pandemic. Additionally, hard winter has put some serious restrictions on our ability to get out and get some exercise. To get moving again, consider the tips below for some family fun.
Your child’s first bicycle will open up their world, but if you’re a dedicated cyclist you may have to slow down your rides to bring them along. Another option is to add a tandem bicycle to your cycling routine. With a tandem bike, you can bring along a very small child as you and your partner get into a workout.
With a tandem bike for your workouts, you and your partner can switch places. The front rider or Captain does the steering and keeps an eye on the hazards of the trail. The rear rider or stoker is the power. This rider also has the freedom to take some photos of the trip.
If your local bike paths aren’t completely safe, consider investing in good hiking shoes and a traveling cooler you can strap on your back. Packing a picnic and checking out a local park or hiking path is a wonderful way to enjoy family time together, get some exercise, and soak up some sunshine.
For those with older children, consider adding other steps to the process of your family exercise outing. For example, you can invest in portable solar panels that can hang off the back of your backpack, charge your phone while you hike, and increase awareness of energy conservation. Children can also travel with an inflatable solar light clipped to their hiking backpack or garment and enjoy reading by the power of the sun.
For families who really love to hike, consider checking out National Parks that are kid-friendly. From Zion National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains, you can find ways to enjoy exercise as a family and see the amazing sights preserved in our National Parks.
Once you have good hiking shoes and weather-appropriate gear, look for a good pair of binoculars for every member of the family. Treat your children to journals and sketchbooks where they can track the birds and animals they see.
There’s no limit to your exercise options when you’re keeping an eye out for unique wildlife in the area. A hike during a desert sunset could bring coyotes into view. A long walk in the snow could bring you within viewing range of multiple cardinals. The natural world is loaded with amazing views; binoculars will bring this world into range for your children.
If you’ve got a soccer ball, you’re geared up for some time in the outdoors. From here, you can move up to
- tennis, badminton, and pickleball paddles
- bicycles and the necessary safety gear
- golfing tools
You can plan ahead with some fun tools, including online golf lessons, frisbee wi, and online skiing simulation. Even if you’re a two-day drive from the mountains, you can enjoy the mountain view as a virtual skier.
Look for competitions
If you and your children get serious about any sport, look for competitions that will push you to new levels of fitness. For example, pickleball tournaments will allow you to meet other players and check out their gear for ideas. As you meet more parents and find out other playing venues and games, you may be able to move into softball as a family.
Avoid focusing only on competitions that only include the children. If you’re sitting in the stands to support your kids, they’re getting some exercise but you’re not. Consider getting to the park early so you can get in a good walk before the game starts. Of course, once the game starts, you can show off how to be a respectful fan!
There are many ways to not move as a family, but it’s hard to teach healthy habits when you’re watching a movie together. Whenever possible, try to incorporate chances to move your body through space while connecting as a family. As you get more motion into your family outings, you can also involve your children in conversations about the importance of a quality diet and healthy hydration.