Summertime is here and the children are out of school. No more school busses, early morning drop offs or after school pickups.
So now that they’re out, what do they do? As parents, it is our responsibility to make sure we keep our children active and healthy during the summer break. Whether your children are home, visiting family, at summer camp or spending it with you, you should have planned activities that include exercise and healthy snack options.
Swimming pools are the main attraction during summer. This is a great way to keep children physically active and fit! Those who know how to swim will benefit simply from swimming. Those learning to swim can also benefit by kicking their legs for a set number of times as well as their arms. For the non-swimmers, floats can be a helpful way to ensure your child’s safety in the pool. After swimming, provide them with fruit instead of sugary processed foods along with water to avoid stomach aches and cramps. Children love to snack after swimming, so make sure you’ve got healthy snacks readily available. Sugar free pop-sickles can be another great snack after swimming. Indoor Activities during summer break are a must.
Depending on where you live, the climate can be very hot, muggy or even rainy. During these times, children will need a safe indoor environment to keep them active and healthy. Your local skating rink is the perfect safe haven for keeping your children active and healthy. Skating is an all time favorite that provides total body fitness! Most skating rinks sell pizza, popcorn, hot-dogs and even candy. Although these may not be the only choices, pop-corn is the better choice, along with water. Teach your children to hydrate with water so when they are thirsty that will be their desire.
I have two sons ages 22 and 17, they were raised as if water were the only beverage available. Today it is my oldest son’s preference and if the youngest one is extremely thirsty, he prefers water as well. It is up to the parents to set a healthy foundation that will benefit our children in the long run.
Free activities to keep your children active and healthy during summer break include organized sports, neighborhood functions and good old fashioned play ground time. If your child is athletically inclined or just likes to have fun; softball, baseball and soccer are great organized sports to to stay active, fit and healthy. They all provide great arm, leg and cardiovascular exercise. The benefits are priceless.
A neighborhood activity could include jumping on a trampoline (with supervision). Not only is it loads of fun, its great exercise!!! One of my favorite past times includes jumping rope. It’s another great way to keep your little ones active and healthy. Last but not least, the playground. Its free and its fun! The sliding board provides strength and endurance to climb the stairs and rewards you with a fun filled slide all the way down. Keep your children active and healthy and remember to be creative!
There are online health care management degree programs available for those interested in helping children and others stay healthy for a career.
Photo Credit: Anissa Thompson