You know that exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle, but did you know that the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends adults get at least 2.5 hours of physical activity a week and kids get an hour per day? While the time commitment might seem intimidating, meeting these guidelines doesn’t have to be a chore! There are plenty of ways you and your whole family can get active while having fun.
1. Change Gears
Biking is a low-impact exercise that can get your heart pumping. Your little ones can even participate with training wheels or a tricycle. Find a speed that fits the ability of all your family members, choose a safe path around the neighborhood or a bike trail, and don’t forget your helmets!
2. Plan a Race
Jogging and running are great forms of cardiovascular exercise, and all you need to start are some running shoes! Picking a race to participate in can also give you a goal to strive for. Many family fun runs even offer a 1K option for kids. “Start slow and short, then increase your distance as you build up endurance,” advises Neal Spears, MD, pediatrician at St. Joseph & Texas A&M Health Network in South College Station.
3. Splash Around
As the days get hotter, nothing could be better than jumping in the water! Whether swimming in the pool or heading to Lake Bryan, keep these safety precautions in mind. Bring life jackets for inexperienced swimmers, actively supervise your children at all times, stick to areas patrolled by a lifeguard, and don’t forget the sunscreen!
4. Score a Goal
Whether your family prefers bouncing a basketball or tossing a football, playing a friendly game together can get you running. Pick up a ball and find a park with a basketball court, a soccer field, or an open area where you can all let loose.
5. Dance It Out
Dancing isn’t just a great exercise—it can also help your children unleash their creativity! You can try and learn the newest dance craze with your kids, or make up the steps as you go. Just be sure to have a great playlist ready!
6. Walk the Dog
Walking the family pet around the neighborhood or through a park can increase your heart rate and teach your children about the responsibility of caring for an animal. Some parks and trails don’t allow pets, so do some research ahead of time to find dog-friendly ones.
If you’re looking for the perfect place for outdoor activity, look no further than our Local’s Guide to Bryan-College Station! No matter what you choose to do, be sure to have fun and take all necessary safety precautions. Always consult a doctor before beginning any new exercise routine. Visit your St. Joseph Health primary care physician or pediatrician for a physical or advice. They can also help you create a family fitness plan, a roadmap to achieving a balanced diet, and much more.
Health.gov | Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans