Engaging in physical activity as a family can be a fun way to get everyone moving. The warm summer days are finally here, and we live in a perfect area to plan outdoor adventures and sneak in some exercise too. Family exercise will improve the health of your loved ones, make exercise more fun, and at the same time develop stronger connections between everyone.
So what kind of outdoor adventure is your family interested in doing? The possibilities are endless and range from simple to elaborate with local or regional options. The important thing is to make it a family goal to get more outdoor exercise this summer and enjoy it together. Here are a few ideas to get you started and add exercise and fun into your summer plans.
EXPLORE! Traveling by foot is easy and affordable, from a walk around the block to a mountain hike, there are lots of places to explore. Activities like hiking and walking have been shown to improve cardiovascular health and build stronger bones. Local trails include Willow Bay, Fish Hatchery area, Massacre Rocks State Park, or enjoy a walk around any of the five local parks around town! Other options to explore include checking out the local historical landmarks or museums in the area like the Idaho Museum of Natural History, Pocatello Zoo, or the many State and National Parks in our area with miles of hiking trails and campgrounds to enjoy a weekend adventure with the family. Fun new options could also include Geocaching or Ziplines! Geocaching is like outdoor treasure hunting for the whole family! Try the website www.idahogeocachers.org for more information to get started. For a thrilling zipline adventure try closer local options at Heise Hot Springs or Lava Hot Springs.
Take a RIDE! Try some active transportation options (and save gas) by riding around our community with your family. Riding options can help improve endurance and balance. You can also get places faster and cover more ground around town. Riding options can include bikes, scooter, skateboards, or even rollerblades. Be sure to wear a helmet and take a trip down to the library, grab some ice cream, or go to the parks as a family more regularly this summer.
SWIM time! When the hot temperatures rise, there is no better way to cool off, or get fit, than swimming. Swimming burns more calories per hour than almost any other activity and has been shown to improve cardiovascular health and lead to greater strength and flexibility. It is also low-impact, making it an ideal activity for people with disabilities or those recovering from an injury. The whole family will enjoy days of swimming at our local favorite Indian Springs!
PLAY around! Getting active outside can help to improve coordination, balance, and agility. Keep kids healthy mentally and physically by making time for 60 minutes of play each day. Try things at home like playing tag/yard games, walking the dog, or gardening. Go to the local playgrounds and parks for equipment to hang, crawl, slide, and jump on; or enjoy some family playtime at a local ball field to practice soccer, basketball, or baseball skills together.
Regular outdoor exercise with any of these activities is proven to improve adult and children’s physical and mental health. The outdoor activity also helps maintain a healthy weight, boosts immunity, bone health and lowers stress. Schedule a mix of activities to see what fits your family best. These adventures will help give everyone plenty of exercise AND fun for the whole summer! In the process, you will also teach your children about the importance of health and family connections.