If your family is spending too much time loafing on the couch, watching television, playing video games, or checking social media, you are not alone. Families often allow their electronics to take over their free time, even when the weather turns nice and they can break free of their sedentary winter lifestyle. If you’d like for your family to exercise more and improve your overall wellness, our three creative ways to get active as the weather improves will help you get started.
- Go for a Hike
While families may consider walking around the block a boring way to get active, going for a hike is anything but. Hiking gives families an opportunity to explore new areas, learn more about nature, and use teamwork to traverse steep or rocky areas. The key is to find hiking trails that are safe and suitable for all members of your family. Make sure you have the right equipment, such as hiking boots and reliable backpacks (waterproof backpacks are ideal). If your family is hesitant to try hiking, begin by taking nature walks on local trails or through local parks.
Walking in nature is an excellent way to improve your family’s physical and mental health. Research shows that people who have access to nature have fewer psychological problems than people who don’t, and people who visit natural environments have lower stress levels than people who have not visited the outdoors recently. People who tend to be negative or depressed also report improvements in their mood after being in nature.
- Go on a Family Bike Tour
Riding a bike is something that nearly anyone can do, and bike tours provide awesome adventures for everyone in the family. Many family bike tours offered in the United States are designed to be active vacations for the entire family. You can bike through the picturesque countryside or mountainous national parks. And, many bike tour companies offer leisure packages and recreational packages that enable families to determine how much biking they want to do, balanced with shopping, exploring the areas through which they bike, and taking advantage of other activities such as kayaking and hiking.
You also can choose whether to map out and design your own family bike tour or to take advantage of travel companies specializing in bike tours. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but many families choose to enlist the help of a bike tour company that facilitates the experiences, provides fun guides, and handles all luggage transfers.
- Plant a Family Garden
One of the best ways to get your family to be more active is to plan, design, and grow a family garden. There are several options for gardening, and you may choose to clear a patch of your lawn, plant vegetables in pots on your porch, or build raised garden boxes for your yard.
No matter how you choose to garden, the key is to get the entire family involved in the process from the beginning. Decide which vegetables you want to plant and how many you will need for your family. Assign chores to each family member and be sure to stress the importance of completing the work to help the garden grow successfully.
For some families, a family garden does more than get everyone actively tilling the soil, planting the seeds, and caring for the plants. It educates the family about nutrition and the value of eating clean foods. While proper nutrition can lead to weight loss, it also can improve physical and mental health. Nutritious, balanced diets improve heart health, improve bone and teeth strength, increase energy levels, and improve brain health.
Healthy eating habits also help family members who struggle with addiction. Healthy foods deliver the vitamins and minerals our bodies need, and they help the body flush toxins that remain from substance abuse. Additionally, healthy foods balance blood sugar and curb cravings, which helps prevent relapse. Fresh fruits and vegetables deliver the nutrients those in recovery need to repair the harm done by addiction; these foods also result in healthy serotonin levels that boost your mood and improve your sense of well-being.
Your family can get active and improve overall wellness if you find fun, creative ways to do so. Try going for a hike, going on a family bike tour, or planting a family garden to get everyone moving this spring.
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