Summer is a time to unwind, take a long holiday and spend some extra time with the kids. However, it can also be a time where we lose our sense of routine, gain unwanted weight and our little ones get stuck inside on their devices instead of being active.
The choices your family makes throughout summer are very important.
Of course, no one wants their rugrats to spend the whole summer laying down in front of the TV, scoffing down bags of chips and not getting outside. We also understand it’s not always easy, especially for parents working full time, to come up with ways to keep kids active.
So, how can you and your kids enjoy the summer sun AND stay healthy and fit?
1. Model desired behaviors
Children tend to follow our patterns and habits rather than what we say. So the first step to taking care of your children’s health is to take care of your own: Eat well, reduce the time you spend watching TV or surfing the net and exercise regularly. Your actions will speak volumes and your kiddos will follow suit.
2. Encourage your child to get outside and play
Have them ride a bike, join in on a neighborhood basketball or soccer game or go on a hike with you. Having an abundance of toys and activities – like balls, jump ropes and kites – can encourage physical activity.
Add in some outdoor games that the whole family can play together; tag and baseball are great ways to get everyone moving.
3. Be active with your child
Take a walk together or create a scavenger hunt. It’s a great opportunity to not only get some physical activity for you and your child, but it’s a chance to bond.
4. Keep healthy snacks around the house
Toss the unhealthy foods out of your kitchen (chips, cookies, soda, ice cream, etc.). If it’s there, they will eat it. Instead, stock up on fresh fruit and add a little yogurt or milk for a bright-colored smoothie.
Freeze some grapes or make your own fruit popsicles for a quick and fun snack. Fill half your child’s plate with seasonal fruits and vegetables – they taste better, are usually cheaper and are easily accessible.
Yes, we know kids should be kids and enjoy yummy treats, and that’s okay from time to time. The best way to diet is to balance; ensure your children’s meals are full of nutritious foods, but enjoy a treat once in a while.
5. Create a routine
Image via Depositphotos
It doesn’t have to take up every minute of every day, but having structured activities lined up can help curb laziness. Without having a routine, you will see a drop in your kids’ physical activity and an increase in eating.
It’s summer, so make the after-dinner bike ride or morning walk a regular thing!
6. Limit screen time to two hours a day max
Keep TV and video games from being the number one go-to thing to do. Or, if your children want some extra time on the computer, throw in some required efforts, like helping around the house to earn some extra device time.
7. Include physical chores in your kid’s summer structure plan
If your kids are old enough to stay home alone, then they are also responsible enough to help out around the house. We all have our roles in a family and this can be a great way to get some extra movement in.
Yep, they will complain… that’s what teens do!
Kara Wutzke is a TEDx speaker, body transformation expert, podcaster, physique champion, mom, philanthropist, cancer-beater, beer lover and an expat living abroad for over 22 years.
She launched the Ultimate YOU 10-week Challenge in 2012 to help people transform bodies, minds and lives. After helping over 6,000 people collectively lose more than 70,000 pounds worldwide, she has come up with the easiest way to get you in the best shape of your life.
Wutzke’s mission is to help a million people live their healthiest, happiest and fittest life, and her heart’s calling is helping moms and dads just like you; her coaching program is designed specifically for the 'everyday' real person that wants the key to fitness results.
For more coaching from Wutzke, check out www.k2fit365.com , follow her on Instagram @kara.wutzke or feel free to add her directly on WeChat (ID: Wutzke):
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