August 17, 2017

Spring Break Family Fitness by Dr. Kent Sasse

Spring break is a celebrated time for families to relax and reconnect for a week. Whether families pack their bags or plan a staycation, activities abound to keep the family close, healthy and fit.  Begin the day with healthy activities, knowing that those habits will influence choices throughout the day.

Here are some day starters for families:

 
Do an activity challenge. For example, plan a pedometer contest amongst family members; who can reach 15,000 steps per day the quickest gets to choose the family meal of the evening or pick music for the car-ride across town. Holding a protein shake contest is also a fun way to evoke creativity and provides a platform for exchanging healthy information; implement a little friendly competition in who can make the best tasting out of healthy ingredients. Look up www.foodnetwork.tv for basic ingredient ideas.
 

Cook a healthy breakfast together before an all day activity. Allowing kids to create the menu or take a lead role turns a chore into fun. The same idea applies to packing a lunch.
 

Plan to spend an entire day outside together. Pack a lunch and write down a list of activities ahead of time that you can all do together.

All geographic locations have activities of which to take advantage. Warm or cold, city or mountain town, you are almost guaranteed to find hiking paths and bike paths. Many cities have spacious parks or river communities as well as the typical cultural downtown.

Here are a few ideas to look into as a family if you are visiting an area:
 

Hike: this can be in the form of snowshoeing, walking on a lakeshore, or an adventure in the mountains. Call the Chamber of Commerce for maps and advice. Be sure to also ask about current conditions to allow appropriate packing of clothing and other goods.
 

Hit the water: If you are fortunate enough to be near a body of water, spend a day on the shore and in the waves snorkeling, surfing or swimming. Ask the locals for their recommendations on the best and safest place to begin.
 

Go for a walk: walk your dog or explore an unseen area together. Walking is a great way to stay fit, and to view a city from a different perspective than the typical car ride. Search www.mapquest.com for a map of city streets, interesting landmarks or trailheads from where to begin.
 

Play games at your nearest school or park. Basketball, baseball, Frisbee, croquet, play on the swingset, and the list goes on and on. These activities require almost no money, and very little planning, but involve everyone. Do a quick search online for location for a list of locations and amenities of nearby parks.
 

Scavenger hunts and treasure hunts provide physical as well as mental challenges as problem solving is a key component. Look up organized hunts online at for example, www.geocaching.com. Or make your own list and organize it as a family or in teams.

Being in a society surrounded by fast food and sitting entertainment, it is easy to succumb to less healthy choices. Being active as a family creates memories of everyone working together as a group or team and will serve as topics of reminiscing for years to come! Be a trend setter and vow to get active on your spring break!

Dr. Kent Sasse founded Western Bariatric Institute and iMetabolic. He is also the author of numerous books and a featured speaker nationally in the field of weight loss.

Comments

  1. With all this beautiful weather we’re getting we’ve been hitting the tennis courts this spring break. My boys are little but the courts are empty so it’s a great time to start practicing with no crowd.

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