Family Health and Fitness Day
Fun for the Kids

It’s summertime in Arizona.  The LAST thing you want to do is be outside.  This makes being active as a family even more difficult than usual.  Without school to keep your kids occupied, they start to go a little stir-crazy.  Obviously the PlayStation and X-Box should not be the answer for boredom 99% of the time, so what else can you do to keep your kids active?  With September 24th as National Family Health and Fitness day, here are a few tips to help get your kids up and moving again.

The sprinklers- Did you ever run through sprinklers as a kid?  What could be more refreshing? Besides, by this time of the summer, your pool is as hot as your bathtub.  You may not have grass, therefore, no sprinkler system, but an easy solution is a hose and a manual sprinkler.  Due to water conservation efforts, this may not be the answer every day for hours on end.  However an occasional hour here and there could be just the thing your kids need to get out some energy and a little vitamin D. (Remember the sunscreen!)
Family walk- If you aren’t the kind to run through the sprinklers with your kids, go for a walk together.  You may want to wait until the sun is down to escape some of the heat, but it would be great for you too.  Maybe even get your kids to use their bicycles or scooters collecting dust in the garage while you walk behind them.

Oldies but Goodies- Do your kids know all the games you played growing up?  You know, the classics like “Mother, may I”, red light green light, Red Rover, freeze tag, Simon Says, the list goes on. Obviously you might want them to stay outside with some of these games, but taken down a notch, they may be a good way to get the kids off the couch.  Take the time to teach them the games kids played before video games.  And you know, if you played with them, they’d probably enjoy that too.

Balloons- Buying inexpensive things like balloons could keep some kids occupied for hours.  Help them use their creativity. Make up games like Hot Potato with the balloons without letting the balloon touch the floor.  Spending a couple of bucks every week or so is a lot more affordable than buying a new video game when the kids get bored with it.

Chinese Jump rope- This kept me busy for hours as a kid and it doesn’t require a lot of space, but it does require a lot of energy.  All it takes is a long piece of elastic tied together.  If you don’t remember how to play or you never learned, look into learning this or another new game together. Remember, being fit as a family is what it’s all about, not just the kids.

Park Hopping- Look into visiting all the parks in your area.  Again, it may be hot, so you might want to save this one til the temperature starts to cool a little bit.  Take your kids to parks they have never been to.  When your kids start to play, refrain from looking for the bench under a shady tree, play with them for a while.  As a personal trainer, I used to take some of my clients to a playground and have them do obstacle courses and I would time them.  It’s a good workout.