What better way to teach children the importance of healthy activity than to get outside and get moving as a family? National Family Health & Fitness Day USA is the last Saturday in September and promotes family involvement in physical activity. One of the goals of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health is to get the whole family involved in exercising. According to the report, Americans – especially those between the ages of 12 and 21 – are not active enough.
In today’s technology-driven age, it is easy to get sidetracked by social media, streaming videos, and video games. By encouraging kids to participate in a family activity, it not only gets them moving, but also helps form strong family bonds. One easy way to get more active doesn’t require much equipment: walking. Taking a regularly-scheduled walk around the neighborhood will get kids noticing things going on in their area, whether it is other kids they may like to play with, animals to watch, or the changing of seasons in a neighbor’s rose garden.
Many family-friendly fitness activities are free, whether you want to stick close to home or are looking for an adventure. Here are some ideas for outings sure to interest everyone!
- Go hiking, biking or walking at a nearby state park
- Find an orchard to go apple picking
- Take advantage of the local school or community playground
- Rake leaves together, and jump in the pile afterward!
- Plant a garden
- Get moving for a good cause – sign up for a fun run or charity 5K
- Take a stroll around your local mall or downtown shopping district
- Wash the car together
- Plan a trip to the beach and bring a frisbee
- Encourage outside activity even in the rain – remember floating leaf boats down streams?
Many kids enjoy competitive sports or organized activities. Encouraging your kids to try new things may discover a hidden interest. It isn’t all about sports or competition, however. It’s about being outside as a family and making healthy movement part of your regular activities. If a parent used to play a sport, teach the kids to play, even just a basic form of it. 2 on 2 basketball or a good game of H.O.R.S.E. doesn’t require any special equipment aside from a basketball and a hoop at the park! Be creative and find out what inspires your kids, and make an adventure out of every day.
Oregon Health DPC is a direct primary care provider near Portland, Oregon. If you’re looking for a new kind of relationship with your doctor, one where you get next-day appointments and easy communication, we would love to tell you more about Direct Primary Care. It’s not enough to just have your primary care provider nearby; come see how Oregon Health DPC does things differently for you and your family!