Part 2 written by By Lisa Lin, BA, RMT

Family Fun in the Summer Sun

Summer is almost upon us. The days are longer, the grass is green, flowers are blooming and we want to be outside soaking up the sun’s rays having some fun! The following two articles will give you some recreation activity ideas and a better understanding of safe suncare for you and your children. First, Dr. Hagel will talk about how to stay safe and healthy in the sun by looking at sunscreens and vitamin D absorption for adults and children. Then Lisa will give you a number of ideas and considerations on how to stay active with your family outside this summer. How many of us have gone on a family picnic, wondered what to do with the kids, sat around on lawnchairs and got a sunburn? Too easy to get stuck in that rut! Time to break free from that mindset, so read on.

Healthy Recreation Ideas

When I first became a parent ten years ago, I had no idea how my recreation lifestyle would change when having children. Each stage of a child’s growth brings on a new complexity and considerations for motor development, self-efficacy and interests in activities. As your family grows, your recreation needs and interests will change along the way. Sure there will be times and it is very healthy to regularly do so, for parents to participate in fitness and sport activities on their own, while the children are with a babysitter. Summer family time though does not have to be just sitting around in the house or in lawn chairs eating ice cream and potato chips for something to do. Here is how everyone can stay active and be together.

Exercise Activities Calgary

Family recreation pursuits are important as they:

Promote stress release, time together having fun, getting to know each other better, improved health and fitness, opportunity to try new activities and family members learn to appreciate each other more.

What to do outside with kids to stay active this summer:

Babies and toddlers – put a blanket down on the grass, baby can roll around and do tummy time, bring a few teething toys. Toddlers can do “mini” races and practice walking, kick or roll a ball. Adults – go for a walk with little ones in a carrier or stroller. Kids love to be outside and will often engage more when you play with them.

Preschoolers – they now have the coordination to perform more complex activities – set up a mini soccer game, teach them how to putt with a golf club and ball, set up bowling or croquet on the lawn, play tee ball, draw hopscotch on the sidewalk with sidewalk chalk. Mom and dad play too!

Elementary and teenage years – encourage them, set up an activity that is at their level and let them challenge you (they will love that part!). They can swing a racquet, kick a ball with aim, throw and catch a baseball, run, climb and will demonstrate strategy and competitiveness at these ages. Be ready mom and dad as I hope you have been maintaining your fitness level to keep up!

Other general family recreation ideas – visit different playgrounds in the city throughout the summer, go on nature walks through the city parks and by the river, go hiking in the mountains, go swimming, visit the Zoo, Science Centre and Heritage Park, ride bikes, build a fort outside, run through the sprinkler, hula hoops, badminton and volleyball. Could drive to a local town and walk, explore, have lunch. Rainy day? Check out one of the many fabulous recreation centres our city offers and head inside. (Sometimes my daughters and I can be found inside our house on a rainy day doing a dance party in our living room).

Remember – sun safe strategies, hydration and regular healthy meals and snacks will keep your activities enjoyable without the sluggish late afternoon feeling of indigestion and brain fog.

This summer let’s get active, stay active and have fun with our families!

If you have any questions and concerns about your health, contact us at 403.452.6262 today!