When I think about family, I generally think back to all of the times we have spent together. These times consisted of holidays or parties, and so food was always involved. We were also very health conscious, so we made sure to stay active when we were together. If you are looking for a few ways to bond as a family, here are four fun physical activities you can do together.
1. Cook Together
Nutrition plays a vital role in staying healthy while exercise is simply a supplemental way of being fit. What you’re eating and what you’re feeding your family is vital, and if you aren’t supplying your family with valuable nutrients, you’re likely only sustaining part of the healthy lifestyle you want. This is why I always have my son in the kitchen while I cook.
When my son was little, he used to sit in his bumbo or booster seat looking at a countertop full of yummy vegetables and fruits awaiting the juicer. When I am baking, he’s helping me mix away while I explain to him what we are incorporating into the mixer. Now that he is older, I’ve taught him to crack and mix his own eggs, and he has his own little kitchen toy set, too. Now he mimics me while I cook. It’s imperative to involve all members of the family into the kitchen. When the kids are little, it seems like you’re just teaching them what a zucchini or an orange is but as they get older, those bell peppers (water source) and orange (vitamin c) can be defined by their benefits. It best to teach children the value of food and water at a young age, but if you haven’t started teaching them yet, it is never too late.
2. Bike Rides
When it comes to bike rides, there really isn’t an age requirement. Babies (pending on the bike attachment requirements) and big kids alike can enjoy this family activity together. Though it may not be exercise for the baby, it is calming and engaging, and they get to see the world around them. As for mom and dad and older kids, the bike rides can be relaxing and a work out all at once. Our family personally enjoys bike rides in our neighborhood and bike trails with natural, scenic pathways. The best part about family bike rides is that time flies by and before you know it, you’ve been biking for over an hour.
Just like bike rides, hikes can be an enjoyable physical activity for the family. I wouldn’t suggest crazy cliff hikes with narrow pathways, but I can’t say that I haven’t heard of families doing so. It all depends on your family. For me, I like adventure, but I also like safety. While my son is still young, we go on basic, easy hikes with small hills. If you have older kids, try out some more difficult and longer hikes, especially ones that have waterfalls. Some of my favorite places to hike are Sturdevant Falls (Los Angeles area with a waterfall) and Vulture Crags (Orange County) where they have a military box at the end of the hike to write notes of your successful hike up.
[Related: The Best Spots To Work Out Outdoors In Orange County]
4. Join A Sports Team
I have many great memories of my childhood, and one thing I enjoyed doing with my family the most was playing sports together. I remember playing a lot of basketball games and other competitive sports against other families. We would all decide to meet up a local park and randomly select the teams. All ages would play, so it was just for fun. The younger kids might get some help from Dad to hit the ball and then he would chase them to first base. If the child was older, the game was a bit more competitive with a little less help from the parents. At the end of the day, it didn’t matter the age or skill; the key was being together and having fun! Afterward, we’d have a potluck BBQ and enjoy more time together.
Teaching kids healthy habits start in the home and when they are young. Some people might think that babies don’t understand much, but I promise they watch what you eat, how you eat and how you exercise. Over time, you will see them mimic your active lifestyle and try to do push-ups or yoga with you! So, get all the family members together for some fun physical activity you can do together and instill healthy habits that will last a lifetime.