Old Man Winter is finally gone and now the weather is beckoning us to come outside. There are many benefits to being active, so let’s use the weather as an excuse to get outside and get moving. No matter your age, we should all be moving at least 30 minutes per day. The time you spend being active does not feel like a chore. It can be fun and doesn’t have to be exercise; it can simply be playing, exploring or connecting with the people you care about.
Why should you unplug and get outside?
The great thing about physical activity is that it can be spontaneous. If the weather is nice, take advantage of it. Go to the backyard or the local park and play a game with your kids. I know that my daughter loves playing “the ground is lava.” We run around and she yells that the mulch, grass, rocks or whatever else is lava, and I am prompted to jump off the ground to safety. She gets to tell me what to do, and we all run around the yard. If you are moving, and your heart rate is above your normal resting rate, it counts as activity.
Because it’s fun to explore
You can use this activity time as an opportunity to explore. This exploration can be in your neighborhood, a state park or even a new route that you’ve not taken before. Exploration can also be good for your brain.
Recent studies have shown that your brain releases chemicals that lead to the growth of new brain cells when you are physically active and exploring new places.
Because we all love the time to connect
Physical activity time is a great way to connect with someone else, including your kids, pets, family and friends. You can play the exciting lava game with your kids; explore somewhere new with someone you care about or walk with your pup and call someone.
Being physically active is a lot more enjoyable when it does not feel like exercise or something that you must do, but rather something that you want to do. It can also give you a chance to catch up with loved ones or friends that you haven’t talked to or seen in a while.
Another great way to connect and stay active is by making a day out of it. Schedule a day out with family or friends to bike, walk or run along a path that leads to something relaxing. Maybe it’s a new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try? Or maybe it is the perfect Instagram moment that you can share with your followers. Either way, make a day out of it and design the destination to be something rewarding, too!
Recommendations for activity by age
Here is a chart that shows the recommended activity you should participate in weekly, based on your age. If you look at this chart and don’t currently meet those minutes of activity, start incorporating more activity into your day!
If you are someone who enjoys having a schedule throughout the week, add “activity” to your calendar so that you receive a notification on your phone to remind you to get out and be active. This is a great way to hold yourself accountable, but also the perfect way to make sure it is already built into your schedule for the week.
Active play during the day
Don’t forget your sunscreen!
As the weather warms up, the need for sunscreen becomes greater. Sunscreen is important for all ages. Make sure you apply sunscreen throughout the day and encourage those around you to apply it as well, especially when you are outside in the sun.
Read about sun safety tips and why using sunscreen is not just a recommendation, but a must!
Fun activities for the family outdoors
My personal top five favorite outdoor exercises to do with my family are:
Playing games (tag, lava, hopscotch, soccer)
These are just a handful of my personal favorite outdoor activities to do with my family. What are your top five? Be creative and come up with original games for your family outside that your kids can teach their friends to play as well. It is a good game as long as you are moving and having fun!
Plan to take advantage of the great weather and get outside and play. Explore a local park, drive out to a state park or go hiking with someone you love. It is time to turn off those devices and get outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air!