Throughout the blustery cold winters many of us turn to indoor options for exercising like running on treadmills or riding stationary bikes, but as the snow thaws and the days lengthen joggers and bikers return to the pavement. Summer is great for playing and exercising outside. There are so many options for moving your body and getting your children involved. Here are a few fun activities to get the whole family moving.
Head to the Pool
Swimming is one form of exercise that won’t leave you feeling sweaty and sticky on a hot summer day. Swimming laps is an easy way to burn off calories, but there are other fun ways in involve your children. If you want to work out your arm muscles try tossing your children up in the air and watching them splash down into the water. Looking for a way to build those leg muscles? Ask your kids to hold a contest to see how long they can kick their legs or tread water.
Set up Sprinkler Races
If a pool membership seems too expensive have no fear. You can set up water fun in your own backyard. Buy a sprinkler and race your children back and forth through the water. You can even alternate your races, by running, skipping, hopping and even trying to balance water balloons on your head while racing through the water. The water will keep you cool as you move.
Create Obstacle Courses
What could be more fun for kids than creating a life-size obstacle course? Let each child search the house for items to use as obstacles. You can hop through the rungs of a ladder, dive through hula-hoops and jump over broomsticks laid out in the grass. If you can’t find a lot of objects use chalk to create your own hopscotch-like obstacle course right on the driveway. Draw circles that participants have to hop to, lines they have to skip over and circles where they have to spin in place. To make it feel more official number large pennants at the start of each new obstacle, then buy an inexpensive stopwatch or use your own watch to time each participant.
If you have a budding soccer star buy cones or a pop-up soccer goal from a company like Soccer Corner or simply create your own goal by placing toys or chairs a few feet apart in the backyard. Then play goalie while your child attempts to score. If you want a little more exercise play keep-away with your children. Start dribbling and see if your child can get the ball away from you. You’d be surprised how much energy you expand in this easy game that requires little more than two people and a ball. If you want to test your dribbling skills a little more scatter patio chairs, toys or some other items in the yard and try to dribble the ball in, around and between them. See if you can run a little bit faster each time through.