Before kids, getting outside and being active seemed a whole lot easier. There was only myself to dress and all I needed to do was fill up a water bottle, pack a healthy snack and essentials and be on my way.
Add on another hour (or two) to the process and a whole lot more planning and organizing. Getting outside and being active as a family is so, so important, but we also need to keep things simple. Little ones often aren’t up for half day rigorous hikes (unless they’re sleeping in a hiking carrier) and there are often many more snack and potty breaks involved.
You might be in the same boat. You want to get outside and be active, you know the importance of being in nature, but you’re not always sure of how to make it happen.
We’ve adjusted the way we stay active, making it more conducive to kids and family life, but making sure we’re all still getting our healthy dose of nature and exercise. We’ve also perfected the list of essentials for active, outdoor play and aftercare (hello, bruise-y summer legs!) If you’re trying to figure out how to get outside and become an active family this summer, these simple and fun ways will give you some inspiration.
How To Get Outside and Become an Active Family this Summer
Plan Ahead of Time
Make sure you have full water bottles and enough healthy snacks to keep everyone happy. We prefer homemade healthy energy bars or granola bars as well as fruit since they’re easy to bring along. If you’re going to be gone for lunch, pack simple sandwiches or high-protein foods that everyone enjoys. Try to make everything the night before so it’s all ready. Plan out your route, print off any maps if necessary and figure out the best way to get to your destination if you’re driving.
This is one of our favourite things to do as a family. It’s free, it’s awesome exercise, there are always new things to explore, and it’s easy enough for everyone. If you have a little one who isn’t yet walking or up to hiking, invest in a hiking pack or good carrier. We’ve been hiking with our little ones since they were months old using this awesome hiking baby carrier we received, and there’s nothing like getting out in a forest to help clear the mind and ease any crankiness. Try to find new places to go each week to add to the excitement.
Make a Park Date
Scope out a big, local park with walking paths and head out in the late morning. Walk the paths or trails for an hour or so before finding the perfect place for a picnic. You’ll get some good exercise and end it with a fun feast.
Spend the Day at the Beach (or Pool)
Along with exploring what nature has to offer at the beach, splashing around in the waves or swimming in a pool is so good for you. Bring along some balls and beach toys, and plan to take a good walk along the beach. Bring a bucket to pick up shells or any other fun treasures.
Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Run around, explore the outside world and get active outside. Nature scavenger hunts are such a fun way to play outside as a family and stay active. Make up your own list of items to look for or print off a free printable like one of these from Buggy and Buddy.
Get Your Yoga On
Pick a nice quiet spot outside, whether it’s in your own backyard or a park, and take in a nice yoga session. There are lots of free online yoga videos geared toward kids, or just make up the routine as you go. Yoga is great for all ages and it’s a fun way to relax together while stretching your limbs.
Family bikes rides are one of my favourite things to do. Whether your kids are riding a two-wheeler or a balance bike (Kelan LOVES his Strider) or if the wee ones are in a bicycle trailer or a baby seat, there’s always a way to get out together. Take nightly bike rides around the neighbourhood or scope out new places to bring the bikes on the weekend. A family bike ride is such a fun way to get outside and be active together.
Try Something New
Canoeing, mountain biking, water-skiing, climbing. Decide as a family what fun new activity you want to try and plan a day to all get out together. Learning a new sport or outdoor activity together is an awesome way to bond and helps get you outside and active as well.
Don’t Forget the Aftercare
Becoming active together as a family is such a fun way to bond, get healthy and connect with nature. We can’t forget to replenish our bodies after all the hard work they do for us though.
- Drink up! Make sure you drink lots of water and natural electrolytes like coconut water to stay hydrated throughout your excursions.
- Get Your Shut-Eye. Your body will also need a lot of sleep after all that physical activity, so plan for an early night in and make sure the kids are able to get to bed early enough.
- Keep Natural Healers on Hand. Summertime is also the season of the bruised legs. Or as I like to call it – “busy summer legs.” I joke that you can tell how much fun my boy is having outside by the amount of bruises on his legs. He is a busy boy, after all! To combat all the bruises and any muscle aches and pains after a busy day spent outside, we all use Boiron Arnicare. The natural homeopathic acts as an amazing natural pain relief for minor bumps, bruises and aches. I have been using it for more than a decade now, when I first discovered its benefit after I was in a really bad car accident. We now use Boiron’s Arnica cream and gel as well as the Arnica tablets on a regular basis for any bruises and join paint. It’s a great, natural source to help with inflammation and encourage faster healing of the body. We also keep an aloe vera plant for any minor burns as well as Vitamin E for natural healing.
Whatever your style – hardcore fitness lover or laid-back wanderer – there are tons of activities that you can do together as a family outside this summer. Not only will you get in plenty of fun bonding time, but you’ll also stay healthy. Don’t forget to pack the essentials and focus on recovery after the end of a long day spent outdoors, so you’re ready for more fun the next day.
Make sure you RSVP to the #BoironSummer Twitter Party. All the details are below.
Join the #BoironSummer Twitter Party
Hosted by @BoironCanada and @GreenMomsCo, we’ll be talking about all the ways we can get active with our families this summer plus how we can naturally recover from all that activity too! Myself (@HENfamily) and @ActionEvans are also joining. There are 3 amazing prizes available*
Grand prize: Active Living essentials by Jules’ Basket, valued over $150 that includes goodies that help living actively easier like Boiron Arnicare Cream, Boiron Arnicare Tablets, Love Fresh Natural Deodorant: Eucalyptus & Spearmint (my favourite), Ella’s Botanicals Muscle Rescue Balm, Anti-Inflammatory Lemon Lily Loose Leaf Tea, and much more! Go see for yourself!
2 more prizes: Boiron Essentials Medicines, each valued over $80
– Cocculine, Dapis, Arnicare Gel, Arnicare tablets, Cicadermine and Oscillococcinum 12 doses
*Anyone can join the party but only Canadian residents, excluding Quebec are eliglible to win.
RSVP to win a #BoironSummer prize
RSVP with your twitter handle for a chance to win below, and we’ll see you Tuesday, July 19th!