Biking, hiking, picnicking — there are many ways to have fun and get fit once warm weather returns. Stay active with these springtime outings that you and your family can enjoy together.
It’s springtime, a great season for being outdoors. And while you’re enjoying the warmer springtime weather, you can also help your entire family get more active and stay fit. Here are 10 great springtime activities you can try together with family and friends.
1. Bring out the bikes. Gather the family and go for a bike ride around the neighborhood or through a nearby park. Biking is an aerobic exercise, so it’s great for your cardiovascular health. A convenient aspect of aerobic exercise, is that you can burn the same number of calories with a short, intense workout as you can exercising at a longer, more leisurely pace. Just be sure everyone wears a helmet and follows the rules of the road.
2. Take a hike. Take in the beauty of springtime with a hike through the woods. Like biking, hiking provides cardiovascular health benefits. You may also find that hiking brings mental health benefits — it’s a great way to clear your head.
3. Plan a picnic. Fill your picnic basket with lean meats, whole grains, and colorful fruits and vegetables that are bountiful in spring. You can make healthier versions of traditional picnic fare like potato salad simply by using low-fat dressings or low-fat yogurt in place of mayonnaise. Head for a park, beach, or ball field to enjoy lunch in the sun — just be sure to wear sunscreen.
4. Plant a garden. Gardening can be good exercise: Planting, hoeing, and weeding all require bending and stretching. Gardening also has other rewards — the freshest, tastiest foods. Vine-ripened tomatoes are a classic garden staple, and research has shown that the lycopene in tomatoes may boost immunity and prevent diseases, as well as reduce the risk of prostate cancer. If you plan your garden well, you can enjoy a healthy harvest into the fall, and a healthier body, too.
5. Romp in the park. Parks are great places to stay active. You and your family can picnic, play games, go for a walk or jog, or climb on the jungle gym. Playing on monkey bars is a great way to improve your kids’ motor skills. Parents can reap the health benefits by joining in on the fun and fitness.
6. Take a trip to the zoo. Zoos are a great place to visit during the spring, when animals give birth to adorable new offspring. Walking around the zoo is also a good way to get moderate exercise.
7. Participate in a charity walk or run. There are dozens of charity races for good causes in the springtime. Pick a charity you feel passionate about and sign up for the organization’s 2-mile fun run, or take on a 5K if you’re looking for more of a physical challenge. You can help yourself stay active while supporting a worthwhile cause.
8. Take a swing at golf. Whether you enjoy 18 holes of golf with friends at the country club or a round of miniature golf with your children, golf is a fun, healthy activity to enjoy in the springtime.
9. Get game. Get the family together for some kids’ games at the park. Fun family choices include badminton, Frisbee, volleyball, soccer, tag, softball, and basketball. Afterward, you can celebrate your game with a healthy treat, such as low-fat frozen yogurt or low-fat ice cream.
10. Savor a seasonal meal. Fruits and vegetables are at peak quality when they’re in season. Treat your family to a meal with the freshest produce from the local farmer’s market or grocery store. A healthy springtime meal can include a salad with seasonal lettuces and greens; grilled chicken, fish, or lean meats; seasonal vegetables like peas and asparagus; and fresh strawberries for dessert.
However you choose to be active, you will benefit most if you can increase your heart rate and break a sweat. Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week. Gather your family and friends and head outdoors to enjoy the many activities that springtime has to offer.