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Wellness@Work : How to keep your kids active this summer 

How to keep your kids active this summer 

How to keep your kids active this summer 

By Ann Payne-Johnson, M.D., M.S.
Family Medicine Center

School soon will be out for the summer, and while your child is sure to be looking forward to a break, keeping them active is important for their physical and mental well-being.  

Here are some tips to encourage them to set aside the screens for physical activity and social interaction during their summer break. 

  • Outdoor activities: Encourage outdoor activities such as bike riding, hiking, swimming, or playing sports in the backyard or at a local park.  
  • Organized sports or camps: Enroll your kids in organized sports leagues or summer camps that focus on physical activities, like soccer or basketball, that provide structure and social interaction. 
  • Family fitness challenges: Create family fitness challenges or competitions to make staying active more engaging. You can have step-count competitions, relay races, or even workout sessions together. 
  • Screen-time limits: Set clear and reasonable limits on screen time. Create a schedule that includes specific times for physical activity and ensure that screen time is earned through participation in active pursuits. 
  • Indoor activities: On days when it's too hot or rainy to go outside, plan indoor activities like dance parties, yoga sessions, or even indoor obstacle courses to keep kids moving. 
  • Making it fun: The key to keeping kids active is to make it enjoyable for them. Let them choose activities they like and mix things up to keep it interesting and exciting. 
  • Involving them in planning: Allow your teenagers to have a say in the types of physical activities they would enjoy. When they have a choice, they are more likely to participate willingly. 
  • Incorporating technology: Use technology to your advantage by finding interactive fitness apps or games that your teenagers might enjoy. This can make physical activity more engaging and appealing to tech-savvy teens. 
  • Celebrating achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate your teenagers' efforts and achievements in staying active. Positive reinforcement can help establish the habit of prioritizing physical activity over excessive screen time.
  • Encouraging variety: Keep things interesting by introducing a variety of physical activities to prevent boredom. This could include biking, hiking, swimming, dancing, or even trying out new sports. 
  • Modeling healthy habits: Show your teenagers the importance of staying active by being a role model yourself. Engage in physical activities and invite them to join you to make it a family affair. 

By implementing these strategies and fostering a supportive and active environment at home, parents can help teenagers make healthier choices and prioritize physical activity over screen time during the summer. 

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