By Jennifer Gendron, canfitpro PTS/FIS
We are quickly coming upon the anxiously awaited summer season and by this point in the year, most parents and kids are anxiously awaiting a break! It is a time to relax and enjoy the summer weather and a more relaxed schedule. However, it can also be a time that we all become a little less active – parents and children included.
During the summer months, many people give up their gym memberships or other regular fitness routines thinking that they are just generally “more active” during the summer as they spend time at summer camps and trailers. While it may be true that we are spending more time outside, often it is not being more active as much of it gets spent in a lawn chair! It also tends to be a time when we consume more calories as we head to barbecues, beach parties and other summer events. Unfortunately, we see all too many people giving up their gym memberships in June only to return in October grumbling about the extra weight they have put on and the strength gains they have lost.
For the kiddos, if they are not involved in organized sports, summer can also be a time when they are less active with more screen time and video games now that school is out for the season. With less structure to their days, many kids do not get the same amount of exercise they are used to throughout the school year.
So, what can we do to make sure that we don’t fall in to the summer inactivity trap? Here are a few suggestions for both adults and kids to keep the whole family active over the summer.
Find some new summer activities you can do as a family. We are very fortunate to have a great trail system and beautiful scenery in our area so cycling, hiking or other activities such as kayaking can be wonderful ways to get the whole family active while enjoying the great outdoors.
If you love to be outside and hate to come in to the gym during the summer months, find an outdoor bootcamp or come up with your own outdoor workout that you can do in the park to keep up your strength. There are tons of exercises that you can perform outside to build your strength and endurance that require only your body weight as equipment or, make use of the equipment in a park for many different exercises.
Search out a fun run or other activity towards the end of the summer that you can register to participate in so that you have a goal to work towards. There are many local fun runs, paddling events and other activities that you can enjoy and train for throughout the summer and many are even suitable for families. You may want to try something like a bubble run or tough mudder to get the whole family out and trying something new! One of my favorite events for the whole family is the Hampton 5-Miler which takes place just after Labour Day so it is a great event to register for to keep you accountable all summer long!
As the lazy, hazy days of summer come upon us, make sure you have a plan to keep the entire family active and healthy all summer long!