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by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance

Fun ways to stay active and enjoy the outdoors

  • Keith Ledbetter, Indiana Farm Bureau Fitness Center Manager, National Institute for Fitness & Sport (NIFS)
    Keith Ledbetter, Indiana Farm Bureau Fitness Center Manager, National Institute for Fitness & Sport (NIFS)  | May 9, 2022
    Social Profile | LinkedIn
family playing outside with their soccer ball and dog

The weather is warming up… 

 

The weather has turned; it is beckoning us to come outside. We all know we should be more 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. This time you spend being active does not have to be a chore. It can be used to play, explore or connect 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, you do not have to plan it out. If the weather is nice, take advantage of it. Go to the backyard or the local park and start up a game with your kids. I know that my daughter loves playing “the floor 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 excuse to explore. This exploration can be in your neighborhood, a state park or a new route that you have 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, family and friends. You can play the exciting lava game with your kids; explore somewhere new with someone you care about or simply go for a walk 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 have the destination 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, simply start incorporating more activity into your day!  

 

If you are someone who enjoys having a schedule throughout the week, add “activity” into 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.  
  

Age   

Minutes of Activity   

Days per week  

3-5  

Active play during the day  

Every day   

6-17  

60 minutes  

At least 3 days per week  

18-64  

30 minutes   

At least 5 days a week  

65+  

30 minutes   

At least 5 days a week  

 

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:   
 

  1. Playing games (tag, lava, hopscotch, soccer)  

  1. Swimming   

  1. Biking    

  1. Walking/ hiking  

  1. Gardening  

 
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. As long as you are moving and having fun, it is a good game!    

 
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!